Emergency Management in Washington State: Our Capabilities, Our Challenges
When It Comes to Emergencies… We know what first responders do….. but what about Emergency Managers?
Today’s Objectives • Who Are We? • What Do We Do? • Washington’s Recent Disaster History & Hazards? • How You Can Help?
Where Are Emergency Managers? Counties, Cities, Special Districts & Tribal Nations Ports, Utilities, Transportation & Public/Private-Sector Critical Infrastructure Owners K-12 & Higher Ed throughout Washington in Camp Murray, WA Region 10 office in Bothell & Lynnwood
What Do Emergency Managers Do? During Emergencies? Collaborate, Coordinate & Communicate • Collaborate & Coordinate • Support First Responders with Resources • Operate Emergency Operations Centers • Develop Common Operating Picture • Encourage & Connect Community-Based Recovery Efforts • Communicate • Provide Alert, Warning & Community Notification • Manage Public Information Across Multiple Incidents • Advise & Inform Policy/Elected Officials
What Do Emergency Managers Do? Outside of Emergencies? Build Partnerships Throughout our Communities Ensure Readiness of Emergency Operations Centers Provide Public Education on Hazards & Preparedness Facilitate & Develop Mitigation, Response & Recovery Plans Exercise & Drill Plans Train Emergency Responders & Volunteers
Who Does What? Directly support incident with resources Alert, Warning & Public Information Address Local Policy issues & Proclaim Local State of Emergency Coordinate with Community Organizations, Non-Profits & Businesses Coordinate state assets & overhead teams Mutual aid coordination across states Conduct damage assessment Declaration of Emergency to the President Coordinate federal assets Provide overhead teams & specialized help Manage Assistance & Recovery Programs Local Emergency Managers
Washington’s Wildfires • 2012 = Set New Records for Devastation • U.S. Wildfires: Burn Area Expected To Double By 2050 according to Climatologists Study in Sept 2012
Washington’s “Common” Disasters • Flooding, Landslides, High Winds, Snow/Ice • Average = 1x year since 1950 • Severe Storms Declared in 2012 (2x), 2011, 2009 (2x), 2007 (2x), 2006 (2x), 2003
Washington’s Catastrophic Future? Earthquake & Tsunami Threat ~ CascadiaSubduction Zone
Washington Challenges • Emergency Management Lacks Sustainable Funding Sources. • Many Emergency Management Programs are staffed part-time or in name only. • We need a consistent Emergency Management System across the state. • Without support, local jurisdictions will lose emergency managers & direct connectivity to their communities. • Difficult to sustain programs which are less “visible” in emergencies to the general public.
How Can You Help? • Be a Role Model of Personal Preparedness • Encourage Business Continuity for long-term economic health of our state • Support efforts to seek sustainable funding for local emergency management • Make Washington State Disaster Ready & Resilient. Washington State Emergency Management Association (WSEMA) Website: www.wsema.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Jim Hall, WSEMA President (Yakima) Cheryl Bledsoe, Legislative Chair (Vancouver)