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Grays Harbor PUD

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  Sheriff Rick Scott
Director of Emergency Management

Charles Wallace

Deputy Director

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July 26, 2016

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS - 3 Days, (72 Hours) is NOT Sufficient

Washington State Emergency Management has adopted 14 Days as the minimum time to be prepared to be self-sufficient following a natural disaster.

Last month, the Washington State Emergency Management Division with assistance from the Emergency Management Assistance Group, representing the various regions, cities and counties of the entire state, voted to change the disaster preparedness timeline previously at 3 days to 14 days or more.

The national “3 days/3 ways” campaign is not adequate nor realistic for any area of Washington State.  Natural disaster impacts from severe storm, earthquake, flooding, wildfire, tsunami and volcano create dynamics which far exceed the need for 3 days disaster preparedness for virtually every person living in Washington State.

On a yearly basis, severe storms have left communities without power for 7-14 days. The Cascadia Rising Exercise, held this past June in Washington State, immediately identified issues with transportation, evacuation, sheltering and significant time before regional response agencies and neighboring states could not only send assistance, but get it to those most in need. 

The previous 3 days or more preparedness timeline would leave many citizens and families who did prepare for the minimum 3 days, vulnerable to the possible inability of disaster response agencies to provide assistance during that 72 hour period.  

By setting a more realistic standard for citizens to follow, based upon previous natural disaster occurrences and projected response timelines and abilities of various groups including the National Guard and numerous response agencies in Washington and neighboring states, the hope is the new 14 days or more standard will help citizens and their families withstand the effects of natural disasters while enduring the possibility of waiting many days for assistance.

Build a Preparedness Kit on a Shoestring Budget


Waterproof backpack containing the following:

  • 2 Bottles of Water (minimum)                    
  • 2 or more disposable easy-open pouches/cans of food (Tuna, peanut butter, energy bars)
  • Spoon or Fork
  • Matches & Fire Starter Sticks or Block
  • Flashlight -plus 1 set of extra batteries
  • Small AM/FM Radio
  • Hooded Jacket or Sweatshirt
  • Laminated Copy of Emergency Contact Phone Numbers and Addresses of Family and Friends in Another State (if possible)
  • Pocket Sized Rain Parka
  • Pocket Sized Emergency Blanket
  • Small Pack of Sanitary Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • First Aid Kit with Band Aids, Gauze, Medical tape, antiseptic spray
  • Laminated Copy of Prescriptions

One (1) week supply of your prescription medication (in a waterproof container) and medical supplies (Check with your pharmacist. Exceptions can be made by insurance companies to allow you this supply)

GO KIT FOR PETS (for each pet)

Waterproof backpack containing the following:

  • 2 Bottles of Water (minimum)                    
  • 2 or more disposable easy-open pouches/cans of pet food
  • Towel
  • Laminated Copy of most recent pet vaccination record
  • Spoon or Fork
  • Pet Leash or Harness
  • Pocket Sized Emergency Blanket

Laminated Picture of You and your Pet (Shelters may not release lost pets without positive identification)          


 Tsunami Fact Sheets


 Sneaker Wave Video - Ocean Shores WA


Register for the Grays Harbor County Notification System


If you need assistance in obtaining the specific information you seek, please e-mail Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at:
or call (360)-249-3911 x 1575


Division of Emergency Management

Emergency Management Role in Grays Harbor County

The Division of Emergency Management (DEM) is responsible for developing and maintaining a Countywide infrastructure for emergency/disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery.

This is accomplished by means of a cooperative, multi-jurisdictional organization which includes the Cities of Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, Elma, Hoquiam, McCleary, Montesano, Oakville, Ocean Shores, Westport, the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, the Quinault Indian Nation, all 15 County Fire Districts and every Grays Harbor County Department.

Emergency Operations Center


DEM is responsible for maintaining the EOC in a constant state of readiness. During a countywide disaster, the EOC becomes the hub of information gathering and dissemination, strategic decision making, resource allocation and incident coordination. Representatives from law enforcement, fire services and public health, environmental health, EMS, as well as other organizations from throughout the county work together to coordinate the response.

Division Functions

The Division of Emergency Management actively prepares for and participates in the following functions:
Disaster Planning
Disaster/Emergency Response Planning
Disaster/Emergency Recovery Planning
Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
Emergency Preparedness
Exercises for Disaster & Emergency Response
Hazardous Materials Response Planning
Public Education & Outreach
Responder Training


The StormReady program helps community leaders prepare their communities for severe weather. Severe weather includes thunderstorms, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, high heat, high winds, and extreme cold weather. Although no community is storm proof, StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives through planning, education, and awareness.

TsunamiReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen their local operations by being sufficiently prepared to save lives in the event of a Tsunami through better planning, education and awareness. Although no community is tsunami proof, being TsunamiReady can help minimize loss to our community.

Grays Harbor County has received both designations of StormReady and TsunamiReady. DEM continues to work on planning, education and awareness.