Emergency Management

EOC returns to Level One operations
Posted By Sheri Badger on Dec 21st, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Tacoma, WA – December 21, 2008 – The Pierce County Emergency Operations Center will return to Level One operations at noon today. A duty officer will be on call for emergency issues.

The Pierce County 4×4 Search and Resuce volunteers transported over 100 essential hospital personnel to the regional health care facilities throughout the night. Since public transportation is up and running, the volunteers will suspend their transports at noon.

Five shelters were opened in Pierce County in anticipation of possible power outages during the storm and all have been closed.

Emergency officials are continuing to urge citizens to drive safely, carry emergency supplies in their vehicles, and to check emergency kits at home and at work.


Shelters close; snow and ice loads threaten roofs
Posted By Sheri Badger on Dec 21st, 2008 at 9:16 AM

Tacoma, WA – December 21, 2008 – As the storm winds down, and the threat of power outages subsides, only one shelter remains open in Pierce County. Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church at 7700 Skansie Ave in Gig Harbor is still available to people who may be experiencing limited power loss on the Peninsula, or just need a warm place to stay.

Another upcoming threat that looms from the accumulation of snow is collapsing roofs. Structures in the Pacific Northwest are not designed to withstand heavy snow and ice loads. Flat roofs are a major concern. Residents and business owners are advised to seek professional services to remove the snow and ice from roofs.


Pierce County Search & Rescue 4X4 takes to the road
Posted By Sheri Badger on Dec 21st, 2008 at 2:26 AM

Tacoma, WA – December 21, 2008 – The last 24 hours have been filled with one traffic nightmare after another and most of us have been asked to please stay home and off the roads. However, some people like emergency room staff at our local hospitals, must get to work if at all possible.

During this time the Pierce County Search & Rescue (SAR) 4X4 all-volunteer unit has stepped forward to provide safe rides for these essential medical personnel to get to work. Becky Anderson, president of the 4X4 group, said they picked up over 90 health care workers from their homes and took them to work. When their shifts end, the 4X4 unit will provide return trips home. Anderson said they have picked up passengers from around Pierce County, in Federal Way, Auburn, and as far south as Thurston County.

Pierce County 4X4 works under the supervision of the Sheriff Department’s Search and Rescue (SAR) unit. In addition to helping out during natural disasters, they conduct day and night searches for children, the elderly, lost hunters and downed aircraft.

The 4X4 units are called on to provide off-road rough terrain transportation of SAR personnel, search dogs, supplies, and equipment. Every 4X4 volunteer must undergo special training and pass an extensive background check.

Anyone interested in finding out more about 4X4 SAR can visit their website at www.pcsar4X4.org or call Becky Anderson at 253-606-8234. ###


Emergency Declaration signed; citizens urged to prepare
Posted By Sheri Badger on Dec 20th, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Tacoma, WA – December 20, 2008 – Executive John Ladenburg signed a declaration of emergency for Pierce County for this afternoon’s winter storm.

Blizzard conditions, high winds, and below freezing temperatures are combining to make this a dangerous weather event. Extensive power outages are expected in many areas.

County officials are urging citizens to prepare by sheltering in place – readying homes for electricity loss, gathering food and water, medications, flashlights, radios, alternative heating methods, first aid kits, and corded phones. Do NOT bring generators, grills or propane heaters indoors. These items produce carbon monoxide, a potentially fatal poisonous gas. Officials are also asking people to check on their neigbors, particularly those who are vulnerable.

Two emergency shelters in the Key Peninsula area will be opening at noon today: the Key Peninsula Community Center on 17015 9th St. KPN in Lakebay, and the Key Peninsula Lutheran Church on 4213 Lackey Rd. in Lakebay. Other shelters are on alert, and the public will be notified when those open.


Emergency operations update
Posted By Sheri Badger on Dec 20th, 2008 at 7:31 AM

Tacoma, WA – December 20, 2008 – The Pierce County Emergency Operations Center has been activated since noon today, and plans to remain open until Monday a.m.

High winds continue to be the largest threat because of power outages. EOC staff are monitoring all jurisdictions in Pierce County.

In preparation and response to the Saturday evening storm, five shelters have been opened in the Pierce County area. Volunteers with the Pierce County 4×4 Search and Rescue teams have driven over 60 essential personnel from local hospitals in to their jobs. Emergency officials are urging people to stay off the roads, and to shelter in place.