Our Sheriff's Office has administrative oversight over emergency management in Pacific County. That means I get blamed when things go wrong. A tsunami can be overwhelming just to think about. We all have a duty, though, to confront our problems, face them square-on and deal with them as best we can.

The very real threat of a tsunami has driven many strategic planning sessions in our office. The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) has worked hard at the national, state and local level and is responsible for much of the funding that Pacific County has received. These dollars have enabled PCEMA to purchase a telephonic warning system and 10 of 33 needed tsunami sirens. In addition, PCEMA Director Stephanie Fritts has coordinated disaster preparedness presentations all over our county. Please call 875/642-9340 to schedule a presentation for your group.

PCEMA is always working toward the safety of our citizens. We are limited in this planning to resources available. Our best resource in preparation and survival of a tsunami - or any disaster - is you.

? Individual preparedness is the key. We have located and designated safe assembly areas in our county. Know where they are before an emergency. If you familiarize yourself and your family with the driving and walking route to a safe area near your home or workplace, you have a good chance of reaching it.

? If you are able to purchase a NOAA weather radio you will have the ability on your own to receive the earliest notice of impending danger and lifesaving information.

? If you can put together a portable seven-day food and water pack, you will have sustenance.

? Our officers will respond to assigned evacuation areas in the event of a tsunami. Their duties are to assist traffic flow into the evacuation site and provide communication and control until all is clear. We will do our best for you.

The sheer beauty and power of nature in Pacific County is awesome. Our only choice is to appreciate, respect and prepare as best we can as we enjoy living in the great Pacific Northwest.

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