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Prepare in a Year: Water

posted Mar 16, 2021, 2:35 PM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated Mar 16, 2021, 2:41 PM ]

Clean water is essential for life, both for hydration and to prevent the spread of disease. To help combat potential healthcare emergencies when water becomes a precious commodity, clean water storage is a top priority in disaster preparedness.

Each person in a household requires approximately one gallon of water per day for drinking and sanitation, and FEMA recommends you store enough water at least two weeks. Water can be stored in specialized barrels, as well as in screw-top plastic bottles, such as sanitized two-liter soda bottles that are less likely to break or leak. However, please be aware that plastic milk and juice containers are not recommended, as the plastic can become fragile and brittle over time.

To sanitize a two-liter soda bottle, rinse it out with one teaspoon on non-chlorine bleach and one quart of water. Then fill the bottle with clean water and screw the lid on tightly. Label the bottle “drinking water,” put the date on it and store it in a cool, dark place. Empty, sanitize, and refill the bottle every six months to ensure the water remains clean. Bottled water may also be purchased and used for storage. While the FDA does not require expiration dates to be printed on bottled water, it is recommended it be consumed within a two-year period.

Hidden Sources of Water in Your Home
Turning off the main water valve does two things: 
  • It prevents contaminated water from entering the lines in a home; and, 
  • It keeps gravity from draining water out of the home’s lines if there is a break in an outside pipe. 
To turn off the water, locate the main shut-off valve and turn the knob or handle clockwise until it is completely closed. A wrench may be needed to do this. Some older homes may also have a shut-off inside, located in the basement or garage.

Water heaters can provide several gallons of drinking water can be obtained by following these steps:
Determine whether it is an electric or gas-powered water heater. If it is electric, turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater. If it is gas, close the gas valve.
  1. Turn off the water intake valve.
  2. Attach a short hose to the valve at the bottom of the tank to assist with draining. A three-foot length garden hose or washing machine supple hose can be used.
  3. Turn on a hot water faucet in the house to let air into the system.
  4. Drain water from the hot water heater. Hearing a sucking sound in the pipes is likely to occur. Sediment will also likely be in the water that is drained. Use the methods described earlier to clear the water of sediments after allowing them to settle to the bottom of the water.
  5. Refill the tank before turning the electricity or gas back on. REMEMBER, a professional MUST turn the gas back on after it has been turned it off for safety reasons.
Tip: Protect this water source by securing your water heater to the wall studs.

Water standing in the pipes of a house is also available for use. To collect this water, turn on a faucet at the highest level of the home to allow air into the lines, and a small amount of water will trickle out. Water can then be collected from a faucet at the lowest level of the home. Water can also be obtained by melting ice cubes, from canned fruit and vegetable liquids, and from toilet tanks, as long as the tank is free of mold and toilet cleansers have not been placed in it.

Using Water of Questionable Purity
It may be necessary to use water of questionable purity, such as rainwater or water from streams, rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes, and potentially flood water. These sources of water can contain various contaminates that could cause illness, so it will be necessary to sanitize the water prior to use.

The first step in sanitizing water will be to filter out as many solids as possible. This can be done using coffee filters, several layers of paper towels, or a clean cloth. Portable water filters can also be used. If purchasing a portable water filter, choose one with a filter pore size small enough to remove both bacteria and parasites. Most portable water filters do not remove viruses. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the water filter intended to be used.

Sanitizing Water by Boiling
After filtering the water, bring water to a rolling boil for one minute and allow it to cool naturally. Boiling water is the surest method to kill many disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria and parasites.

Sanitizing Water by Using Bleach
The only thing that should be used to purify water is liquid household bleach containing 6 percent sodium hypochlorite (no thickeners, soaps or scents). For each gallon of filtered water, add eight drops of unscented chlorine bleach and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. If the faint scent of bleach is present after 30 minutes, the water is good to use. If bleach is not detected, add eight more drops of bleach and let it stand for another 15-30 minutes. If a faint scent of bleach is still not detected, the water cannot be used for drinking.

Remember, boiling water and using bleach will kill most viruses and bacteria but it will not remove metals, salts or chemicals, so the water may still have a funny taste. The taste may be improved by pouring it from one container to another and allowing it to stand for a few hours or by adding a pinch of salt for each quart of water. Also, plan for how to boil water if there were no power.

Unsafe Water Sources
Sources that should never be used for drinking water:
  • Radiators
  • Toilet bowls
  • Hot water boilers (part of a home heating and not drinking water system)
  • Water beds (fungicides are added to the water and chemicals in the vinyl case make the water unsafe for use)
  • Swimming pools or spas (due to the chemicals added)
  • Any water that has an unusual odor or color, or that you know or suspect might be contaminated with fuel or toxic chemicals. Water contaminated with fuel or toxic chemicals CANNOT be made safe for drinking by boiling or disinfection.

Throughout this year, we will continue to provide resources to help get you better prepared for emergencies! To learn more about water storage and other essential ways to prepare for an emergency Washington Emergency Management Division offers this free guide:

Prepare in a Year: Action Plan

posted Mar 1, 2021, 4:56 PM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated Mar 2, 2021, 10:37 AM ]

Meet with your family and discuss why you need to be prepared for a disaster. Pacific Northwest communities can be subject to many types of disasters and being prepared is wise.

Create a Disaster Plan 
Plan to share the responsibilities in your family's emergency planning and work together as a team. Develop a household communication plan with your family and reunification plan, so that you can maintain contact and take the best actions for each of you to re-unite, if you are separated. Discuss the types of possible disasters and decide what to do in each case. Discuss what to do in an evacuation and pick two places to meet:
  1. Right outside your home in case of fire.
  2. Outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number. 
Put Your Plan into Action 
Teach children how and when to call 911. Show them how your cell phone works. Many counties in Washington allow Text to 911 - Call if you can, text if you can’t! Post emergency telephone numbers in a visible location. Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches. Other tips:
  • Check for adequate insurance coverage.
  • Install an ABC fire extinguisher in your home. Teach each family member to use it and where it is kept. 
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home, in appropriate areas.
  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble disaster supply kits.
  • Take a First Aid and CPR class.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
  • Find a safe spot in your home for each type of disaster. 
Practice and Maintain Your Plan 
  • Review your plans every six months so everyone remembers what to do.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
  • Test and recharge your fire extinguishers, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month; replace batteries every six months.
  • Replace stored water and food every six months to a year, depending on expiration dates.
  • Update plan as necessary. 
What to do NOW 
  1. Learn what types of disasters are likely to happen in your area. 
  2. Learn about your community’s warning signals — What do they sound like and what should you do when you hear them? 
  3. Also, learn which radio stations will provide emergency information for your area. 
  4. Learn about animal care in your area. 
  5. If you are disabled and unable to care for yourself, your planning needs to include your support network who will help you and your household. 
  6. Find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, schools your children attend, and other places your family frequently visits.


Prepare in a Year: Communications Plan

posted Jan 29, 2021, 10:50 AM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated Jan 29, 2021, 11:04 AM ]

Making a phone call to family or friends may not be possible after disaster strikes. Social media and texting can make a difference connecting with loved ones and letting others know you are safe.

The task for January is a focus on family and how to prepare for communication contingencies.

In the event of a large-scale emergency, you could be anywhere: home, work, school, or on the road, and not with all members of your household. Local phone lines may not work due to the number of people trying to make local calls, or phones have been bounced "off the hook" during an event. Phone lines could be overwhelmed for hours.

1. Facebook offers Crisis Response to check in and check on others at:  

2. Red Cross offers the Safe and Well website, which is a secure and private option at:

3. Also, check out other mobile apps offered by the American Red Cross, at:

Crucial: Have an Out-of-Area Contact
An out-of-area contact is someone who lives at least 100 miles away from you, as long distance phone calls are more likely to go through in a local disaster. This person can be the contact for all of your immediate family members to call, to provide information about their location and how they are doing.

Make sure that your out-of-area contact knows you have designated him or her with this task and that all family members know how to reach the contact person. Consider creating a card with information about your out-of-area contact, for each member of your household to carry at all times (purse, wallet, backpack). Let your out-of-area contact also know the name of all the people you want contacted and informed of your situation, should a disaster occur. 

Contact Card template is available (pg 4) in the Prepare in a Year Guide.

Practice is Important! Conduct a communication drill to ensure your plan and all methods of communication are working. Information that your out-of-area contact will want to collect:
  1. Who called
  2. The date/time they called
  3. Their current status - If injured, how they are injured
  4. Their current location and if they intend on relocating
  5. When they plan to call again with an update
Coming up: Next month we will explore ideas on how to Create an Action Plan.



Prepare in a Year

posted Jan 20, 2021, 11:53 AM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated Jan 20, 2021, 12:00 PM ]

It is a new year and fresh start, and we want to help you get prepared! 

Each month we will share ideas so you can easily tackle one task in under an hour! The goal is to help prepare yourself and your family, so that you can be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster. 

Throughout this year, we will provide resources to help get you there! Thanks to our friends at
Washington Emergency Management Division
for this terrific guide that will get you started:



Special Meeting Notice (expired)

posted Nov 17, 2020, 11:02 AM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated Nov 24, 2020, 9:21 AM ]

The Board of Fire Commissioners of Anderson Island Fire/Rescue held a Special Budget Meeting on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, beginning at 9:00 AM, for the purpose of conducting a 2021 proposed budget review. All members of the Board joined via remote attendance technology, in compliance with the recent extension of the Washington State Governor’s response to COVID-19 and issuance of Proclamation 20-28.12, in conjunction with its correlated business meeting restrictions.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING

PIERCE COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT 27

ANDERSON ISLAND

Please note that regularly scheduled Board of Fire Commissioners meetings are typically held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 3:00 p.m., for Anderson Island Fire/Rescue, an all meeting are currently held via remote technology.


Outdoor Burn Ban Lifted

posted Jul 29, 2020, 2:02 PM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated Oct 23, 2020, 4:23 PM ]

Pierce Co. Fire Marshal has lifted the Fire Safety Burn Ban. In light of recent rains and the forecast of continued precipitation and moderate temperatures, the county-wide fire safety burn ban for unincorporated Pierce County as of Monday, October 5, 2020 at 8:00 AM.


Burning is restricted to natural vegetation from the burn site only. The burning of garbage, paper, or other refuse is strictly prohibited at all times. Please see below for additional information on outdoor burning, or contact the Pierce County Fire Marshal’s office at (253) 798-7179.


BURN PERMITS

If you do not have a Residential / Recreational Burn Permit, you can obtain one from  Anderson Island Fire/Rescue, at 12207 Lake Josephine Blvd, in the kiosk box at the front of the fire station.



Board Mtgs Held Via Remote Attendance

posted May 4, 2020, 1:33 PM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated May 4, 2020, 1:34 PM ]

Notice is hereby given: 

Regularly scheduled Board Meetings of Pierce County Fire Protection District No. 27 will be held remotely until further notice, in compliance with the Governor’s Proclamation.

The Board invites the public to observe these open meetings via the Zoom web portal, Zoom desktop client, or Zoom mobile app. For information on how to access an upcoming meeting, please contact the fire station during business hours at 253-884-4040.

Board Mtg Date Change [expired]

posted Nov 30, 2019, 8:21 PM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated Dec 2, 2019, 5:05 PM ]

The Board of Fire Commissioners Meeting was held on Monday, Dec 2 @ 3:00 p.m., at 12207 Lake Josephine Blvd., Anderson Island, Washington. This is one day earlier than the regular schedule, and appropriate notice was provided more than 24-hours in advance.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING
PIERCE COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT 27
ANDERSON ISLAND

Please note that regularly scheduled Board of Fire Commissioners meetings are typically held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 3:00 p.m., in the fire station for Anderson Island Fire/Rescue.



Special Meeting Notice [expired]

posted Nov 10, 2019, 7:17 PM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated Nov 22, 2019, 11:41 AM ]

The Board of Fire Commissioners of Anderson Island Fire/Rescue held a Special Budget Meeting on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, at 10:00 AM, for the purpose of conducting a 2020 budget review, at 12207 Lake Josephine Blvd., Anderson Island, Washington.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING
PIERCE COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT 27
ANDERSON ISLAND

Please note that regularly scheduled Board of Fire Commissioners meetings are typically held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 3:00 p.m., in the fire station for Anderson Island Fire/Rescue.



Volunteer Firefighter Recognition Banquet

posted Oct 29, 2019, 3:44 PM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated Dec 27, 2019, 11:19 AM ]

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Annual Banquet to recognize Volunteer Island Firefighters! Here's to an even better year for our team in 2020!

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You are cordially invited! Please join us in a celebration to thank Volunteer Firefighters and EMTs for their dedicated efforts to serve our community.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at the Johnson Farm Archival Building

Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Cost: $25 per person
RSVP: 253-884-4040

Volunteer Firefighter Recognition Banquet

Come to the banquet at the Johnson Farm Archival Building and sit with our team! Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and wards will be presented during the evening. Delicious catered dinner includes carved Baron of Beef and tender Chicken Marsala, served with scrumptious desserts.

Seating is limited. so please call to reserve your place at our celebration today!

Each year our volunteer firefighters are recognized by the Board of Fire Commissioners for the service, effort, and dedication they provide to our community. Awards are annually presented to one firefighter, one EMT, and one Rookie, which signify exemplary service and extraordinary effort above and beyond the calling of volunteer. We look forward to seeing you at the banquet. 


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