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OBSTRUCTION ISLAND updated August 2009
What should you do in case of emergency?
  1. Call the San Juan County 911
    From a landline dial 911
    From a cell phone dial 360-378-4141

  2. Provide the 911 operator with the emergency site (the 911 address of the lot) and a phone number where you can be reached by the Sheriff or other emergency responders.

  3. Stand-by your phone for directions from the emergency responder.  Once you have alerted 911, the emergency response will be managed by the Sheriff or other responders.  You will be kept informed as the response takes shape and directed by the responders as to the next steps you should take. Keep your phone clear to hear from the Sheriff or other authorities. 

  4. Work closely with the Sheriff or other responders and agree upon a plan. 

  5. If the emergency requires responders to come the Island, they will have a map with 911 addresses.  If you have others with you, send someone to the dock to meet the responders and guide them to the site, or if a night landing to provide light.

  6. You may want to call on a neighbor for help.  There are three permanent residences on the Island, others are here for extended stays, and there is a regular flow of members on and off the Island even in the winter. All island landline phone numbers are listed on the Emergency Access Map.  So in the spirit of emergency preparedness, be alert as to who is on the Island with you.

Key information about Obstruction Island for emergency responders (Sheriff etc.) 
  1. Obstruction Island does not have a helipad or airstrip. The most likely point of evacuation would be the West Dock for dock and beach landing.  Others would be the South Dock, North Dock, and the private dock on the South Point.  The South Dock and North Docks require substantial stair climbs for access to the island.  

  2. The nearest landing sites in the event of an evacuation would be the Obstruction Pass County Dock on Orcas or the Main Dock, Blakely Island. 

  3. Obstruction Island is 5-10 minutes from Orcas or Blakely depending upon the point of evacuation.

  4. A boat response from Friday Harbor or Eastsound will take approximately 30 minutes.

  5. Work closely with the initial caller and agree upon a plan. In most situations involving injury, immediate evacuation to Orcas or Blakely and transfer to paramedic care will be appropriate.  However, dependent upon the condition of the patient or other factors, it may be prudent to dispatch responders directly to the scene.

  6. For night landings on Obstruction, request lighting at the agreed-upon landing site.  It may also be useful to request that someone meet you at the dock or landing to help with directions or provide vehicle support.

  7. If responding to a fire, be alert that there are few tools or people on Obstruction with which to fight a large fire. 

  8. Should a fire be reported on Obstruction contact permanent residents to confirm the report and alert them.

  9. If the fire is in the forest, contact DNR, and consider evacuation of island residents.    


Evacuation sites and/or landing sites on-island for emergency responders (fire, medical)
Location Latitude/Longitude Notes
West Dock, westside community dock and beach
48° 35’ 35.18”N
122°49’ 04.28”W
Dock access without stairs; beach access for barge  or landing craft.
South Dock, community dock
48° 35’ 24.25”N
122° 49’ 02.85 W
Steep walk down stairs
North Dock, community dock
48° 35’ 58.11”N
122° 48’ 37.71”W
Steep walk down stairs
Kempton Dock, South Point (private)
48° 35’ 15”N
122° 49’ 20”W
Dock access without stairs

Landing sites off-island for access to airlift or ambulance
Location Latitude/Longitude Notes
Obstruction Pass County Dock, SE Orcas
48 ° 36’ 17.16”N
122° 48’ 59.54W
Transfer site for ambulance or helicopter airlift
Blakely Island Dock, near store and marina     48° 35’ 05.84”N
    122° 49’ 01.88”W
Vehicle to helicopter airlift


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