An Emergency Management Planning Committee was established to help facilitate and provide guidance to Emergency Management staff on emergency management issues in Grays Harbor County.
The Emergency Management Planning Committee shall consist of representatives from:
1. City of Aberdeen
2. City of Cosmopolis
3. City of Elma
4. City of Hoquiam
5. City of McCleary
6. City of Montesano
7. City of Oakville
8. City of Ocean Shores
9. City of Westport
10. Grays Harbor County Sheriff
11. Grays Harbor County Division of Emergency Management
12. Grays Harbor Fire Districts
13. Grays Harbor E 911 Communications
14. Quinault Indian Nation
15. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation
The Emergency Management Planning Committee meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 1:00 pm or as determined necessary to address pertinent issues.
Their duties shall include, but are not limited to, review and recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners for approval of emergency operations plans, mitigation plans, and the use of countywide funding provided for emergency management.
The purpose of the Grays Harbor County Local Emergency Planning Committee is to develop and support programs which are designed to improve emergency planning, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery capabilities with special emphasis associated with hazardous chemicals. The LEPC provides an opportunity for local businesses, response agencies, and citizens to share information about:
- Hazardous substances in the county
- Emergency planning measures
- Health and environmental risks due to hazardous substances
The LEPC meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 10:15 am at 310 W. Spruce St., Ste. 211, Montesano, WA
Community Right to Know
Every American has the right to know the chemicals to which they may be exposed in their daily living. Right-to-Know laws provide information about possible chemical exposures. Some of the information that EPA provides the public in the spirit of right to know is: Toxics Release Inventory, Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996, Air Pollution, Water Quality, Lead Program, and Hazardous Waste.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was created to help communities plan for emergencies involving hazardous substances. EPCRA has four major provisions: one deals with emergency planning and three deal with chemical reporting. EPCRA local emergency planning requirements (Sections 301 to 303) stipulate that every community in the United States must be part of a comprehensive emergency response plan. Facilities are required to participate in the planning process.
According to the EPCRA chemical reporting requirements, facilities must report the storage, use, and release of certain hazardous chemicals.
Emergency Support Function (ESF) #10– Oil and Hazardous Materials Response Plan was developed to provide a means of managing both major and minor hazardous material incidents, and in the event of such incidents, to carry out emergency operations designed to minimize loss of life, alleviate suffering and mitigate property and environmental damage.
Citizen Corps Following the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, state and local government officials have increased opportunities for citizens to become an integral part of protecting the homeland and supporting the local first responders. Officials agree that the formula for ensuring a more secure and safer homeland consists of preparedness, training, and citizen involvement in supporting first responders. In January 2002, President George W. Bush launched USA Freedom Corps, to capture the spirit of service that has emerged throughout our communities following the terrorist attacks.
Citizen Corps, a vital component of USA Freedom Corps, was created to help coordinate volunteer activities that will make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation. It provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from the threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds.
Citizen Corps programs build on the successful efforts that are in place in many communities around the country to prevent crime and respond to emergencies. Programs that started through local innovation are the foundation for Citizen Corps and this national approach to citizen participation in community safety.
Citizen Corps is coordinated nationally by the Department of Homeland Security. In this capacity, DHS works closely with other federal entities, state and local governments, first responders and emergency managers, the volunteer community, and the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps.
The Citizen Corps meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 9:00 am at 310 W. Spruce St., Ste. 211, Montesano, WA 98563 and is open to the public.
CERT Grays Harbor County CERT North Beach CERT Ocean Shores CERT
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)The community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as: fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
Department of Emergency Management Volunteers donate their time to the Emergency Management Office. They are also called EOC Volunteers or EOC Support. They do a number of activities with the department, including disbursement
of emergency preparedness materials, promoting emergency preparedness, working with emergency management staff at the County Fair, administrative assistance, and helping Search and Rescue teams or in the EOC in the event of a disaster.
Medical Reserve Corps
The Medical Reserve Corps is a group of volunteers prescreened and trained to augment Public Health staff during an emergency situation in Grays Harbor County. The Medical Reserve Corps plays a major role with:
- Dispensing medications and vaccinations
- Conducting health assessments
- Disease surveillance
Emergency Communications Grays Harbor Auxiliary Emergency Communications (AEC) provides communications support to all the emergency response agencies of Grays Harbor County including the Division of Emergency Management and other multi-jurisdictional Emergency Operations Centers/shelters. This includes using equipment and frequencies beyond the traditional boundaries of Amateur Radio on any authorized radio, which may be connected with the on-going emergency. This support may involve the use of telephone, cellular, computer, internet, email, packet/pactor systems and in-office support of those managing the event.
While AEC is rooted in the ARES and RACES Amateur Radio programs, changes in communication technology and the requirements needed by public safety organizations require operators to be trained in communication areas other than operations on a selected frequency of a single service.
The Grays Harbor County Division of Emergency Management (DEM) manages the AEC program and expects its personnel to be more than just operators of radios on a "call if you need me" basis. AEC members strive to be professional communicators, who work as non-paid staff with the DEM to respond to the Emergency Operations Center or to any location necessary to maintain or enhance communications for the duration of the emergency. AEC is dedicated to working in partnership with the public-safety community to excel in the ability to provide professional emergency communications resources and services.
Auxiliary Emergency Communications members may respond with their personal equipment to set up communications most anywhere in the county and support the DEM radio room in Montesano which has communications capabilities on all Amateur Radio bands as well as Law Enforcement, fire, marine, air, transportation, PUD and state emergency frequencies. AEC members test all of this equipment regularly to ensure familiarity with the equipment and equipment readiness.
AEC has structured four Amateur radio repeaters throughout the county, which are used to carry out its program. A check-in net is held the first Sunday of the month at 19:00 hours local on 146.580 MHz simplex and the remaining Sundays at the same time on any of the AEC repeaters.
AEC encourages its members to first take care of themselves, family and neighbors during an emergency, but then to think about the larger picture. We strive to recruit communicators who look beyond their hobby as Amateur radio operators and wish to serve their community by committing to AEC and its goals.
VIPs - Volunteer In Police Service
The Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program serves as a gateway to information for law enforcement agencies and citizens interested in law enforcement volunteer programs. The program's ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement agencies by incorporating the time and skills that volunteers can contribute to a community law enforcement agency. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) manages the VIPS Program in partnership with and on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
WCSD - West Coast Search Dogs
West Coast Search Dogs of Washington (WCSD) is a non-profit, all volunteer organization that was established in 1985. The purpose/mission of the unit is to furnish a rapid response search team to help locate lost subjects and offer aid within the limits of their training. They do this by establishing operational teams composed of trained scent discriminating Search dogs, dog handlers, and support personnel. The result is the ability to respond to mission requests from law enforcement, emergency management, fire safety officials, and parks services at local, state, and national levels.
Their dog teams respond to searches for missing, lost, or overdue persons in wilderness terrain or urban areas. Qualified WCSD teams also may assist local law enforcement, State Parks personnel, or other authorities in searching for crime scene evidence, known deceased persons, and for submerged drowning victims— provided environmental conditions are suitable for the dog and team members.
WCSD is dedicated to promoting public education regarding safety issues involved with outdoor recreation. We teach several classes each year to school and scouting groups. Another of our major objectives is to increase awareness of the effectiveness of trained SAR dogs in wilderness and urban environments.
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