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VashonBePrepared: Island CERT teams to the rescue

Aug 16, 2023

About two dozen volunteers gathered recently at Island Center Forest for a search and rescue training exercise.

Vashon’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers gathered at Island Center Forest for a search and rescue training exercise on June 22.

About two dozen volunteers organized themselves for the search for a hypothetical missing and possibly injured person. Representatives from King County Sheriff’s Office and Vashon Island Fire & Rescue (VIFR) also participated.

The next basic CERT course is in the planning stages and we’ll publish the details here. You can also get the latest info on CERT training online.

Best tech for natural disaster

The Washington Post just published a helpful article about tech items to help you get through a natural disaster. The article also provided information on how to plan for an emergency and how various gadgets could be of use.

The article makes a point that it’s important to plan for the right disasters in your area. When evaluating and planning for risks, consider frequency and severity. For example, hardly a year goes by here without severe weather and major power outages. While major earthquakes may not happen often, the consequences could be catastrophic, so planning for a high-impact-infrequent event such as a quake also deserves your attention.

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

One year ago, Washington became one of the first states to implement the nationwide three-digit dialing code 988. Anyone calling the number in Washington will be connected directly with a counselor for mental health or substance use disorders. It’s for those seeking help for themselves, a friend, or a loved one. Get more information at

Vashon Risk Level: Still at Basic

The VashonBePrepared risk level tool aggregates hospitalization rates across our region of COVID exposure, including the three counties served by Vashon’s ferry routes — King, Kitsap, and Pierce. Hospitalization rates provide a good week-to-week indicator of changes in COVID rates because they are reliably reported to public health offices, unlike the incompletely reported home testing results. Some other factors are also evaluated, including COVID virus levels in wastewater in our region.

At the basic risk level, wear an N95 mask indoors in public if you have been exposed to COVID, are at risk for health or other reasons, or live or spend time with someone at high risk.

Keep vaccinations up to date, including boosters. Maintain good ventilation at home and at work. Avoid those with suspected or confirmed COVID. If exposed to COVID, wear a mask in public and avoid contact with those at high risk for 10 days.

Always home-test if you have symptoms. If you test positive, isolate for at least five days and until you test negative. If you are immunocompromised, discuss additional prevention actions with your healthcare provider.

Best tech for natural disaster 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Vashon Risk Level: Still at Basic