Hood River Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
The Big One - landslide/quake photo
The Big One - landslide/quake photo
It's back! April 20 - bigger and better, during Earth Day week - The Big One Hood River event - Cascadia quake preparedness (Photo) - 03/23/17

2nd annual Hood River County / Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) event:

The Big One Hood River - Get Ready for Cascadia earthquakes and emergencies
Thurs. April 20, 5pm - 8 p.m.
Rockford Grange and Westside Fire Station #1 -- Hood River,
4250 Barrett Dr. Hood River, OR - and Westside Fire Station #1, next door

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Back by popular demand in Hood River- a hands-on safety fair and fascinating Cascadia Subduction earthquake presentation - THE BIG ONE 2.0 in Hood River -- 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20. It was standing room only last year and this year, we're at a new location with a lot more room for hands-on activities at Rockford Grange and Westside Fire station, 4250 Barrett Dr. Hood River, OR.

Go hands-on with fire extinguishers, Go-Kits, mobile response vehicles, tour Westside Fire station, talk to the folks that staffed the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) for the winter storm, learn how to purify and store water safely, preserve food, learn about generators, how to safely shut off utilities, get ready for recreation season and emergencies at the same time.

Enjoy Westside Fire/Hood River Fire free BBQ and Fresh Start tasty hors d' oeuvres. Hang out with Sparky the Fire Dog and Smokey Bear. It's everything you need to know--all the local public safety experts in one place - how to handle emergencies-- and practice it, hands-on - to Get Ready Gorge for Cascadia earthquakes and other emergencies.

After Hood River's intense winter that became a County and State declared snow/ice storm emergency, June Cascadia Rising statewide drills and the summer Mosier train derailment -- emergency preparedness is more relevant than ever, here in the Gorge.

At 6 p.m., back with the latest Cascadia Subduction earthquake information, is popular geologic speaker Dr. Althea Rizzo, from Oregon Office of Emergency Management. Plus, you'll hear the latest from Barb Ayers, Hood River County Emergency Manager and Sheriff Matt English, on progress Hood River County has made in the last year.

Hood River County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Management, Columbia Gorge Community College, NW Natural, Westside Fire, Hood River Fire and Rockford Grange present this annual BIG ONE safety event in honor of Earth Day.

Cascadia earthquakes are "Oregon's greatest natural threat," according to the Governor's Task Force on Resilience. Oregon and Washington have begun preparing for a magnitude 9.0 Cascadia quake here, comparable to the 2011 Tohoku, Japan earthquake. Getting prepared for quakes means our community is ready for other more common emergencies - winter storms, wildfires, evacuations and medical emergencies.

-- Details: THE BIG ONE Hood River -- April 20 hands-on safety fair, free food and great speakers --

* More than 15 hands-on safety activities. This year, we're welcoming families and kids -- tour Westside Fire Station #1, meet Sparky the fire dog, Smokey Bear, and enjoy free hot dogs and hamburgers cooked up by local firefighters.

* At 6pm, our riveting speaker with a new program - State geological expert Althea Rizzo, Ph.D. (Oregon Office of Emergency Management) - offering the latest update on Cascadia Subduction earthquakes

* Hood River County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Management - Barb Ayers and Sheriff Matt English - update on what we've accomplished since last year, and how to prepare our community, homes, families and businesses for disasters and emergencies

* Hors d' oeuvres catered by Fresh Start Culinary Arts Program and no-host wine and beverage bar

* Free event. Optional $10 suggested donation.

---- Get READY Gorge! -------

THE BIG ONE - Hood River April 20 - hands-on skill stations include:

What's in a "Go kit" - sample survival kits - talk to experts from OSU, Hood River County and 2nd Wind Sports

Hood River County Emergency Management -- Emergency Manager Barb Ayers, Sheriff Matt
English and the EOC (Emergency Operations center) team:

* What we learned from Winter Storm snow and ice storm (declared emergency) 2017 -- our
first County EOC (Emergency Operations Center) activation in 20 years. Meet the team.

* Learn how the County helps local agencies and businesses recover- state and federal
programs

* What we learned from statewide Cascadia Rising earthquake drills June 6-10, 2016

* What we learned from our Dec 2016 four-day grant-funded IEMC (Integrated Emergency
Management Community Course,) attended by 96 local leaders.

* Is your home or business quake-ready? Check out the FEMA building retrofit guide.
Beautiful historic brick buildings and those built before earthquake codes are a
concern

* Find out about Neighborhood Mapping and how to build neighbor-to-neighbor readiness

OSU extension - with Lauren Kramer, Asst. Professor:

* Preparedness, food safety - what
to do if your freezer or fridge stops working; storing Food for safety and quality;
water storage for emergencies

2nd Wind Sports - with Pepi and Erica Girard -- Recreation Ready!

* Hiking- watersports- camping - disasters -- here in the Gorge, we're recreation ready
and ready for emergencies -- same kit, same preparedness thinking

* How do you quickly/easily purify water if it's contaminated?

Bring the family! Westside Fire and Hood River Fire Department present:

* Meet the fire trucks! Tours at Westside Fire Station #1
* Go hands-on -- practice your fire extinguisher skills
* Free hot dogs and hamburgers- cooked up by local firefighters
* Ready, Set, Go -- how to prepare for evacuations
* Defensible Space -- prevent wildfires from damaging your home
* Hands-only CPR practice with Hood River Fire Department
* Hands-only CPR skill station -- practice on manikins with Kip Miller and Fire/EMS team
* The Amazing Ellen Dittebrandt (AED) program

HazMat and how to shelter in place with Oregon Fire Marshall's Office - Michael Heffner

* Interactive shelter-in-place activity and learn what HazMat placards mean

What to do when is the power is out. How do you shut off utilities? How to switch safely from electric to generator power?

* Learn to safely shut off your natural gas with NW Natural -- Tonya Brumley
* Hood River County Public Works -- solar power generator - alternative power displays
* Pacific Power's Hazard Hamlet -- the ever-popular 5-foot long interactive mini-city
activity

Crag Rats - Bill Pattison and team:

* Check out the backcountry emergency response rigs; learn about backcountry rescues and emergency field communications from the historic Crag Rats

When to call 911 -- sign up for Citizen Alerts - with 911 Commander Erica Stolhand:

* Sign up in person for the countywide Citizen Alert System (used for evacuations and emergency notices.) All local safety agencies use this phone/email system to reach you with important information. We can't reach you on your cell or email if you don't opt in.

Hood River County Sheriff's Office -- public safety, water sports safety, search and rescue

Hood River County Health Dept. -- vaccines -- info station

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A SECOND EVENT -- THE DALLES BIG ONE -- April 19

New this year, a second Big One event, serving a new Gorge market: THE BIG ONE, The Dalles -- Wed. April 19, 5-8pm The Dalles Readiness Center, sponsored by Columbia Gorge Community College, Wasco County Emergency Management and NW Natural.

Same great speaker at both Hood River and The Dalles event -- and different booths for hands-on activities at the two locations. Please contact Suzanne Burd at CGCC for more details on this event, 541-506-6123.

Missing Skier on Mount Hood Found - 03/16/17

HOOD RIVER, ORE - On Wednesday March 15th, 2017 searchers located the body of Steve Leavitt at Mt. Hood Meadows late in the afternoon. This came eight days after Leavitt was reported missing by his family. On Thursday morning a recovery team was able to retrieve Leavitt from the mountain. The preliminary investigation into Leavitt's death by the Hood River County Sheriff's Office suggests that Leavitt died after impact with a tree. He was then buried in the deep snow and in a shallow tree well. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

What a January we had in Hood River
What a January we had in Hood River
Are you a Hood River County business owner with economic losses from the January winter storm? Help may be available (Photo) - 03/15/17

Hood River County declared a winter storm emergency for January 2017, and the state declared a statewide emergency January 8-20, 2017. As a result, local businesses may be eligible for low-interest long term SBA loans to help them recover from economic impacts of lost revenue.

If you are interested in applying, please email Hood River County Emergency Manager Barbara Ayers by March 23.

At least five Hood River County businesses need to show interest in pursuing this loan program and send a form or letter to Hood River County to request this state program be activated.

If you are interested but need more time to complete the form, or research the program, please let us know about your interest by March 23.

EMAIL YOUR FORM / "I AM INTERESTED" LETTER TO: Barbara.ayers@co.hood-river.or.us by March 23, 2017 or call 541-386-1213

You can opt out later if you chose not to apply. We may be able to seek an extension if that is needed and there is enough local businesses interest.

Details on the program are attached.

Search for Missing Skier on Mt Hood - 03/11/17

HOOD RIVER, ORE - The Hood River County Sheriff's Office is scaling back a search on Mt. Hood for missing Skier, Steve Leavitt, and are now considering this a recovery mission. Leavitt was reported missing on Tuesday, March 7th at about 7:30pm by his family. Leavitt was last seen at 11:20am on March 7th when his ski pass was scanned at Mt. Hood Meadows' Heather Chair Lift. The search was started that night by the Sheriff's Office and Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Patrol. Mt. Hood Meadows had received five and a half feet of powder snow in the five days prior to the search beginning and Leavitt had been enjoying the deep powder prior to going missing. The deep snow can create hazardous conditions such as tree wells and hidden creek holes. The area in which Leavitt went missing is double black diamond and recommended for expert skiers only. Leavitt was very familiar with this area and was an avid skier.

On Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning conditions warmed on Mt. Hood and it began raining. The rain created severe avalanche hazards and was followed by another foot of wet snow. These conditions greatly hampered search and rescue efforts. On Thursday, March 9th the search area received one and half inches of rain, further adding to the avalanche danger. Weather cleared on March 10th and afforded the search teams their best conditions to find Mr. Leavitt, but efforts were not successful.

On Saturday, March 11th the search again ended with no sign of Mr. Leavitt. After consulting with search teams and an expert Physician, we believe that Leavitt could not have survived in the weather conditions with what gear he had. Our hearts go out to his family. The search to find Mr. Leavitt will continue in limited capacity and as danger levels allow.

Search for Missing Skier on Mt. Hood - 03/08/17

HOOD RIVER, ORE - Search operations for a missing skier have concluded for the day at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort. Steve Leavitt, a 57 year old man from The Dalles, was reported missing on Tuesday, March 7th when he did not return home from skiing. Leavitt was last seen when his ski pass was scanned at 11:20am on the Heather Chair Lift. Searchers worked till 2:00am this morning and then resumed at 7:00am. Searchers from Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Patrol, The Crag Rats and Portland Mountain Rescue found no sign of Leavitt today. Search operations will continue tomorrow morning.

Search for Missing Skier at Mt. Hood Meadows - 03/08/17

HOOD RIVER ORE. - The Hood River County Sheriff's Office is coordinating a search at Mt Hood Meadows for a missing skier. The search began yesterday, March 7th after Steve Leavitt was reported missing by family members at about 7:30pm. Leavitt, 57 years old from The Dalles, Oregon, was last seen at about 11:20am when his ski pass was scanned on a chair lift. Search efforts continued into the earlier morning hours. This morning search teams, including the Crag Rats, Portland Mountain Rescue and Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Patrol are conducting search operations. Weather overnight was treacherous with high winds and rain that developed for about 3 hours, followed by snow. About a foot of snow has fallen since 11:00am yesterday.