NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor contributes to the community conversation on housing issues through a weekly column in the Daily World titled "Nailing it Down."


 Since 1999, the "Nailing it Down"articles have been published in the Daily World and other countywide weekly newspapers. NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County has collaborated with local newspapers, elected officials and local experts to publish articles covering hundreds of topics.



Nailing It Down

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November 13, 2018

   Insurance is one of those things that can be hard to spend money on, but when you are in need you will find yourself so grateful that you did.

   Last week we talked about the need for – and the relatively inexpensive cost – of renters insurance. We also talked about some things – such as trampolines, swimming pools and certain breeds of dogs with a bad biting history – that are likely not covered under your homeowner’s insurance.

   And to reiterate – the average renter’s insurance costs about $125 to $300 for a year of coverage and protects your belongings and liability in case of a loss. We highly recommend it.

   Also, if you have a mortgage you almost certainly have home owners insurance.  We suggest you review it every year or so to make sure you understand what is covered.

   Today we will talk about a few more insurance-related topics, including a topic we unfortunately have a bit of experience on here on the Harbor – flood insurance.


Did you know we are approaching the 10-year anniversary of the Winter Storm of 2007?

Remember the hurricane force gusts and the howling winds that went on for days? (And peeled off roofs that sported blue tarps for months?)

With power outages that typically lasted five days or longer, we all learned something about being prepared – or what life is like when you’re not.

Or perhaps you better remember the Dec. 2015 storms and flooding in downtown Aberdeen and Hoquiam.

Sitting in our warm, dry, lighted houses remembering is a far cry from experiencing the actual disaster.

Today we’re going to give you some tips on caring for your house to lessen your risk of a windstorm leaving you out in the cold.


If you haven’t done it yet, there’s no time like the present to take a look at the area surrounding your house and secure any toys, tools or other paraphernalia that could be ruined or become missile-like during a storm.

Take a good look at the trees in your yard, especially those n...

Recently we’ve had a bit of stormy weather and some power outages around the Harbor.

One of the many things we can be grateful for around here is how reliable (and relatively cheap) our energy supply is compared to the rest of the world.

However, a powerful windstorm, as well as other weather conditions or natural disasters still occasionally interrupt the smooth power supply – and therefore our lives.

We’ve talked a lot recently about what to do to prepare for a power outage, but it’s been a while since we’ve passed along tips on what to do after it’s actually gone out.

Once again we looked to our local PUD as the power – and power out – experts. Here’s what they suggest to do when the power goes out.


  • If your power is out, check to see if other houses in your neighborhood are dark too. If it’s just your house, first check your service panel or breaker box for tripped breakers or blown fuses before calling the PUD.

  • If the power is out in your area, use your landlin...

Well, this past week threw a bunch of weather our way! Nothing like a windstorm with driving rain and plenty of power outages to get one’s attention!

After this series of storms it’s hard to know where to begin– we have so much to talk about!

Handing out kudos for a job well done is as good a place to start as any.


In Grays Harbor, we are so fortunate to have so many well trained and hard-working PUD employees, and city and county crews.

Thanks to all for the extra hours in the often miserable, dangerous conditions to make our houses, cities and county safer and more comfortable! It was a job well done this week, working hard to keep up with the aftermath of several storms!

City and county crews were busy clearing roads and streets, cleaning out storm drains to help prevent flooding, and helping out in a variety of ways.

On Monday alone some 10,000 households were without power in Grays Harbor, everywhere from South Beach to Moclips, Lake Quinault, Elma, Central...

Do you remember what Aberdeen and Hoquiam were going through a little more than two years ago? We’re talking about the severe flooding and landslides of January 2015.


Yes, it’s been two years since hundreds of homes and businesses and thousands of people were affected by flooding and landslides. (And we’re all still feeling the consequences to our community!)


The reason we ask is that after decades of dealing with the flooding issue we are encouraged that much progress has taken place in the past two years and we can now begin to glimpse that real relief will soon be on its way.


Last week we talked a bit about the more recent rains and the lack of flooding through some luck and some hard work by city crews to keep the storm drain system cleaned out. Hurray!


Today we want to update you a little more on the North Shore Levee project. The project is a proposed system of earthen dikes, floodwalls, raised roadways and new or improved pump stations. Its target area...

We may not be singing in the rain, but we are optimistic about this last week of downpours.

Yep, as the rain came down beginning Sunday, Jan. 15 our hopes came up as we noticed that flooding in Aberdeen was almost non-existent. And that’s with nearly 5 inches in just a few days!


After weeks of freezing weather, the icy ground could have made it especially difficult to swallow all that water. However, due to luck and diligence, we were spared a flooding incidence.


It’s easy to complain when things go wrong, but often even more fruitful to compliment when things go right.


So, we talked with Aberdeen’s Public Works Director Rick Sangder about our observation that this latest downfall didn’t seem to cause nearly the flooding issues that one might have expected.


We noticed that the Finch playfield, which serves as a retention pond, wasn’t all that full and that there were only one or two notable puddles in the streets.


“Overall, we went through it r...

The slippery snow and ice and frequent windy storms of winter put us at greater risk of power outages.


In last week’s column we talked a little bit how to think ahead to cope with a power outage. Today we’re going to emphasis the safety aspects, starting with how to behave near a downed wire.




As you know, the power can go out for a variety of reasons – weather issues including wind, ice and snow, trees falling on lines, a car hitting a pole, birds or small animals destroying equipment and even normal equipment failures from rusted or worn out parts.


Because of its sophisticated equipment, usually the PUD knows immediately that power is out and exactly where it is out. However, if you would like to call the outage hotline, the number is (360) 537-3721 or toll free at 1-888-541-5923.


Also, as we mentioned last week, the PUD has a couple relatively new systems able to notify you of power outages on your computer or cell phone. Fo...

January 14, 2017

So here it is in January and we’ve had plenty of cold temps and a little dusting of snow.


One thing we haven’t talked about for a while is what to do if the power goes out.

In the summer, if a car crash or old equipment takes power from an area for a time, it’s one thing.

But, during these freezing days, not having power for a time takes on a whole different significance.


So with no imminent storm but many weeks of potential cold ahead, we thought we’d discuss today what to do in case the power goes out at your house. Or rather, we will discuss what to do before the power goes out. That’s because it turns out, like so many other things, preparation is your best defense for disaster.


The storm of 2007 startled most of us away from the notion of a power outage being only a few hours of cozy inconvenience and made us realize how truly disrupting and potentially dangerous storms, power outages and people’s reactions to them can be.




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