Within a few days after this post, with the rains continuing, Humboldt County started slipping and sliding away.
Being a disaster junkie and wanting the latest up to the minute news on whether the road to town was open or not, I spent one Sunday morning, March 27, reading KymKemp.com blog and others, listening to KMUD.org and KHUM.com and checking their websites and twitter feeds, and reading Facebook pages trying to get the most current info.
Frustrated I contacted Kym Kemp, who seemed to have the steadiest flow of current info and asked if she thought a Facebook page where all this info could be compiled in one place was a good idea. She said Yes! And a few hours later I had the SoHum Awareness facebook page created, added both Kym Kemp and Estelle Fennell as admins to keep the content flowing and we were off and running. We had 300 people ‘liking’ the page within 24 hours, and over a 1000 a week later.
No sooner did Briceland Road get a temp repair to one lane, with full photo commentary on that, than the huge slide on Highway 101 happened. The inability to move around our rural area stresses people to the max. Kids at the high school were on one side of the slide and parents on the other..no way for buses to be able to travel the only other road, snowy muddy mountainous ‘local’ roads that unless you live on them, most people have never driven.
This launched the SoHum Awareness facebook page into full throttle, it was 10 days of constant updates and comments on how to get anywhere from here, the conditions of the roads that were available.
And then there was and still is the massive landslide at Dobbyn Creek threatening homes and roads, the landslide in Benbow taking away a persons land, and other slides throughout the county.
We were busy.
And then there were missing persons, accidents, other road closures.
Over the last several weeks I have been pulling the data from SoHum Awareness facebook page and Kym’s blog and other sources into a website that will act as the archive for SoHum Awareness facebook page, as well as a place for those to go who don’t want to go to Facebook for any reason (SoHum Awareness facebook page is a public page anyone can read the content.. you don’t need a facebook account) or don’t want to go to Kym’s blog either, as she has marijuana related articles on there as well as local info.
I have always been ‘into’ disaster preparedness, I look at SoHum Awareness facebook page as the beginning of gathering locals to pay more attention to how fragile our connection with the rest of the world is. We can be cut off in a hurry and for lengths of time. We need more organization around these issues, and I believe this page and website will help further that goal. We are already connected to county roads, CalTrans, Southern Humboldt Technical Response, CalFire, Briceland Volunteer Fire Department, and the list will keep growing. And as always it is the work of the few to benefit the good of the many. I hope to get more locals involved with the different tech systems available to map incidents, to help when things go terribly wrong.
The page is being used daily by local news broadcasters to gather info, (too bad they don’t acknowledge where they pull that info from in their reports).
I hope to have the website for SoHum Awareness facebook page up and live by the end of the month, it all depends on things slowing down so I can catch up to the current news.
So that is why I haven’t worked on this blog lately or my other websites that I am moving on the WordPress platform.
And then spring was finally here, which meant for me, getting the lettuce / herbs / salad greens beds happening.. and buying starts for everything. Planning the garden and getting it in. We also got a small greenhouse up (one of those steel pole poly types) to get some starts going and to house the early stuff till the weather in the garden is warm enough.
And tonight maybe Rapture !
Sounds like you’ve been busy doing some great work! Thanks for the nice youtube clips and thanks for all you do. Hope you’re enjoying this sunny Saturday in this garden!
I’m just getting my feet wet trying to learn how to build web sites on WP. Exciting to learn a new skill!
Hi Sarah, Loved your travel blogging!
I have used WP for several sites now, the thing with WP is that it’s so open source that it is constantly changing. Keeping up with it across several themes and sites is a bit of a pain, but I hope to figure out a way this summer to streamline a lot of it.
If you get stuck just drop me an email, some things i know, some i don’t!
The SoHumAwareness site is wonderful. I love how helpful it has been for the whole community. Thanks, Bobbi for getting it going (and for keeping it going.)
Thanks Kym, but really — geez Kym without you there wouldn’t be SoHum Awareness page! You are the news woman // I think you must be online or tethered to twitter 24/7.. as you always get the scoop before I am even awake it seems!
But that is the beauty of the SoHum Awareness Page.. everyone can be a reporter, everyone can contribute, but really my thanks go out to you, because without your timely updates, it wouldn’t be anything but old news.
Thank you, Bobbi, but the beauty is lots of folk contribute to make it useful. (Though Thank God for Twitter. It really helps stay up on news local or otherwise.)
Please don’t play down the fact that it was your desire to create something like SoHumAwareness that got this off the ground. I am honored and appreciate the opportunity to help out in emergencies. The key to really helping is to provide good, reliable, factual information at a time when concerns are high and rumors can take root in thin air. And sometimes our role will be to let people know the enormity of a situation so that they/we can plan and act accordingly.
It’s an invaluable tool. Let’s hope we don’t have to use it too often!
Thanks Kym and Estelle.. we rock don’t we? LOL.
And thanks go out to Diana Totten and Mikal Jakubal too, as they have been great sources of information and help as well, and so have many many others.
Personally, I think once I am caught up to the present with the website side of this I will feel a lot more in the ‘now’.
Let’s just hope we don’t ‘need’ it for a major disaster any time soon.
Some time down the road a bit I want to get us and a few others together (can be online together) for a web tech solutions brain storm.