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Lummi Island Fire Department
Lummi Island, Washington

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Disaster Preparedness

The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and 2005 Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the impact disasters have on remote and isolated communities. The level at which a community recovers from a disaster is directly proportional to the level in which they are prepared for both the initial blow and the recovery process.  This community is experienced in (and therefore resilient against) the occasional weather events (wind storms, cold weather, snow) that cause power outages and disruptions to our transportation service. 

The Disaster Preparedness Committee was formed to help the community prepare for the bigger events that affect a much larger area and significant population. These are the ones that deplete the normal available resources immediately at the local levels. The Fire Department will get to you eventually, but it could be hours or even days. State and Federal resources will take several days to mobilize and respond, even then the larger populated areas are their first priority. Do not expect them for a week or two, at best.

Our remote and isolated community will be on our own for quite some time and will need to help each other to improve our recovery.  Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) is a program to help communities respond to each other’s needs when the local emergency services are overwhelmed and response levels are diminished.

During a disaster the Fire Department becomes the Emergency Operations Center for the Island and is the point of contact for the County Emergency Operations Center (Whatcom Unified).  Major incidents cause disruptions of our everyday communications systems. There must be a coordinated plan to receive and distribute information to and from the community. Island Intercom has been started to provide a method of communications to and from the Fire Department when this occurs.

Disaster Preparedness Links

Public Alert Sign up

Whenever a significant incident occurs in Whatcom County, Whatcom Unified Emergency Management uses various methods to notify the media and the public. One of those methods is a messaging system called AlertSense provided by MyStateUSA. AlertSense allows us to send a message to an email address, as a text message to a phone, and/or as a voice message to a phone. We also have the ability to send a message to everyone registered in the system, or we can target the message to only those who have registered to receive messages for specific geographic areas (i.e. cities, towns or communities). This is the modern “reverse 9-1-1” system.

Whatcom Unified Public Alert Sign Up Link
Click Here

Map Your Neighborhood

This is a nation-wide, neighborhood-based disaster preparedness program we encourage everyone to become familiar with and participate in at some level.

Neighborhoods that are prepared for emergencies and disaster situations save lives, reduce the severity of injuries and trauma, and reduce property damage. Map Your Neighborhood provides a simple plan to help residents and their neighbors during the important first hours after a disaster until emergency services can reach them.

Interested groups receive packets full of preparation information. Included are nine important steps to take immediately following a disaster as well as instructions on how to select a neighborhood gathering site and care center, identify skills and equipment held by each neighbor, and draw a map of the neighborhood with important locations marked such as natural gas meters or propane tanks.

For more information about Map Your Neighborhood and how to get involved on Lummi Island, please contact Whatcom County Fire District at 360-758-2411 or admin@lummiislandfire.com.

MYN / Island Intercom Map

This Map shows the locations of both MYN contacts, MURS stations and pre-approved facilities that can serve as Red Cross shelters in the event they are needed.

Island Intercom

MURS (Multi Use Radio Service) is the Islands back up communications system for the fire department to distribute and receive information to and from the community.  This map shows the locations of each MURS station.

Other communication systems not requiring an operator’s license can be used for person to person communications are Citizen Band (CB) and Family Radio Service (FRS). This will allow you to communicate with others when you may not be able to physically do it face to face.


Lummi Island Tsunami Evacuation Brochure


Model Animation of Tsunami in Salish Sea


Whatcom Unified Disaster Preparedness


WA Emergency Management Emergency Preparedness Guide


FEMA Are You Ready Guide


Red Cross Disaster Preparedness


2016 Cascadia Rising Exercise


Lummi Island Fire District #11
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