Editorial: Cleaning up from the storm

February 11, 2012

Storm cleanup and repairs will be, for some folks, a long-term project. With the snow melting, we all get a much better view of just how many of our neighbors lost branches and whole trees. We'll really miss those trees when the budding and leafing happens this spring. But now in sight are opportunities for both cleanup and revival.

Home and business owners have more time to dispose, at no charge, of woody debris. Hood River County, the City of Hood River and Hood River Garbage Service established free drop-off sites for woody debris at several area locations in the wake of last week's winter storm; Feb. 24 is the final day to do so at no charge at the City of Hood River Public Works Yard, at 18th and May streets, and at the Hood River County materials yard on Dee Highway, one mile south of Lost Lake Road intersection. Hood River Garbage free brush drop-off occurs every Wednesday. Disposal at these locations will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Maximum size is 12 inches in diameter; no other types of waste such as appliances, household garbage, etc., will be accepted. In Cascade Locks, drop-off will be at the community burn pile on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where nature tore down trees, Hood River Soil & Water Conservation District may have a way to fill the gap.

The SWCD is taking orders now for its annual native tree and plant sale. The SWCD offers a variety of native conifers, deciduous trees and shrubs. These bare-root seedlings are 1-2 years old and will be delivered to the SWCD in early April.

Check hoodrivernews.com for details on how to order, and for signing up for the free hazardous waste collection events this month for local agricultural producers, courtesy of the Tri-County Hazardous Waste & Recycling Program .

(Pre-registration is required and there are restrictions on what is accepted.) The first will be held In Hood River on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hood River Garbage Service.

It's not too late to count winter out, but you could say all these add up to opportunities for some early spring cleaning.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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