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 !