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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.

  • Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest 2016

    Kiteboarders in action during the pro competition Friday at the 16th Annual Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest in Stevenson. All photos by Ben Mitchell.

  • Oil train car being transported by truck

    A damaged rail car from the June 3, 2016 oil train derailment and fire is transported from the crash site via truck on I84.

  • Aerial view of Mosier train fire

    A look from the air at the oil train derailment and fire in Mosier, June 3, 2016. Video courtesy of TacAero.

  • Oil train derails, burns

    Video of an oil train which derailed and caught fire in the town of Mosier, five miles east of Hood River.

  • Fire damages Heights home

    Fire heavily damaged a home on an alley just south of Hull Street, near 10th Street on the Heights Wednesday night, consuming the garage and a Volkswagen Transporter vehicle inside. No one was in the structure and police and fire reported no injuries.

  • Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

    The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department.

  • Sixth annual Tongue Twister Tournament for Hood River County SMART

    Wild words flew at a downtown meeting hall Saturday, but it was not a political debate. Everyone got along fine at the sixth annual Tongue Twister Tournament for the Hood River County Start Making A Reader Today program.

  • Life Flight helicopter taking off from the old Dee mill site

    A Life Flight helicopter takes off from the old Dee mill site. It was taking a man injured in a suspected logging accident to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center in Portland

  • Cascade Locks Water Rescue

  • A live hive

    A tree containing a live colony of bees blew down in a local family's front yard. Find out what happened next by reading the story here: bit.ly/1MJKdu2.

  • Members of Local Water Alliance gather signatures for anti-water bottling measure

    Members of Local Water Alliance, take to the streets October 29, 2015 after receiving approval to collect signatures for a measure which would ban large scale water bottling operations in Hood River County. Nestle has been attempting to gain approval to build a water bottling operation in the town of Cascade Locks in Hood River County.

  • Cascade Locks brush fire

    Video of a brush fire near downtown Cascade Locks which erupted Aug. 27, 2015.

  • Helicopter searches for hiker

    BLACKHAWK helicopter flies over Mt. Hood National Forest near Laurance Lake on Friday, Aug. 21. The military aircraft was called in to help police seek a missing hiker from The Dalles.

  • Cougar sighting in Hood River

    A cougar is sighted on the Heights in Hood River near Rosauers in the early morning of July 26, 2015.

  • Smudgepot slips into a groove

    Jam Band Smudgepot slips into a crunch groove to start its set at Volcanic Bottle Shoppe’s fifth anniversary party July 11; visual effects by Positive Lights Productions. Video shot by Kirby Neumann-Rea

  • "Read and Grow"

    Parkdale Principal Gus Hedberg transforms the hit from Frozen, "Let it Go" into "Read and Grow" as a celebration of reading.

  • HRVHS homecoming festivities 2014

    Enjoy these moments, some solemn, some silly, from HRVHS Homecoming Air Guitar, held Thursday, and Bonfire, held Wednesday. The freshmen mattress race team exults after winning the event, and junior Emelia Gendreau performs a graceful dance for Air Guitar, followed a few minutes later by the Staff’s tribute to the Class of 2015, to Coldplay’s current hit “A Sky Full of Stars”.

  • Coal trains presentation

    This lecture was presented at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson, Washington, on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014 by Dr. Duane Ray, of Gresham, Oregon. Dr. Ray retired after 30 years from Lucent Technologies (Bell Laboratories) and last year was the chair of the Senior Studies Institute associated with Portland Community College. He is a member of the Mazamas mountaineering club.

  • Green Neck Daredevils

    Green Neck Daredevils

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