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Department of Emergency Management

Grays Harbor PUD

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Department of Emergency Management

  Sheriff Rick Scott
Director of Emergency Management

Charles Wallace

Deputy Director

Road Closures, Press Releases, All Hazards Guide and other pertinent information.

Emergency Management Message Board



May 18, 2015


Mount St Helens erupted at 8:32am on May 18, 1980 showing the power and presence of Mother Nature. Residents of the Pacific Northwest must be ready for virtually any natural disaster hazard from earthquake and severe storms, to flooding to volcanic eruptions. Each of us must accept responsibility to prepare every household, business, industry and government for each event.

Studies show no matter severe the disaster, such as the ...Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami, only a small percentage of the people in the impacted areas perish in the event. Preparation is what saves the lives of your friends and family. There is never a better time to become educated on disaster hazards and to begin planning for your site specific risks.


May 15, 2015

El Nino Becoming Stronger

The Impacts on Washington State Weather

Ted Buehner from the National Weather Service in Seattle, has advised that the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has released information that El Nino is gaining strength over the Pacific. What does that mean?

El Niño Conditions

An "El Niño Advisory" was released on March 5 in response to continued warmer than normal sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and a weak coupling of the atmosphere. This is rather late in the season for an advisory to be released and the weak El Niño is not expected to have many impacts as we enter spring. It is worth noting that spring periods during past El Niño events, many of them much stronger than this year's, have been dry in western WA and warm statewide. Model predictions are now showing increased chances that the El Niño will persist through the calendar year. Chances that the El Niño will persist through spring and summer are at about 70%.

What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?

The CPC three-class May-June-July (MJJ) temperature outlook has increased chances of above normal temperatures for the entire state, with chances of warmer than normal temperatures highest in the western half of the state. For MJJ precipitation, there are equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal precipitation statewide.

The outlook for summer June-July-August is also calling for increased chances of above normal temperatures statewide. The western two-thirds of the state have increased chances of below normal summer precipitation, while the rest of the state has equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal precipitation.


Similarities between Nepal Earthquake & Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake in Pacific Northwest

The Nepal Earthquake is very similar to how the Cascadia Earthquake could occur. In the Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake scenario, the Plate of Juan de Fuca is pushing beneath the North American Plate causing uplift along the coast of the Pacific Northwest (one of the reasons sea level rise is not as impactful here as most other areas of the world). The explanation by Michio Kaku from the City College of New York, at the 50 second mark in the video, explains how the earthquake in Nepal occurred by discussing the actions of the tectonic plates. Another issue we have, but not near what Nepal has, are how our buildings are constructed. There are many buildings in the Pacific Northwest which were not built to current earthquake engineering standards. Also, aftershocks (hundreds over many months), can continue degrading buildings which remained standing following the initial quake. Liquefaction and subsidence will also play a major role in the issues of devastation in our communities during a major earthquake event in the region.  This video is very educational and brings to light how more efforts, including personal preparedness by individuals and families, need to be in place to protect all from a large earthquake.



Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Offers a Variety of Ways to Receive Severe Weather and Emergency and Disaster Information.

During emergency and disaster events, social media becomes a frenzy of information and tends to obtain a life of its own.  A tremendous amount of great information is relayed through social media.  At times rumor, misinformation and old information is communicated through different social media outlets, which in turn can be passed on to others by unsuspecting users of the various social media outlets.

Grays Harbor Emergency Management posts the most up to date and verified information available anywhere through all of the outlets described below. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO VERIFY INFORMATION BEFORE PASSING IT ON TO OTHERS.

•The quickest way to receive emergency and disaster information from Grays Harbor County Emergency Management is to follow us on Facebook and Twitter

•Twitter at:

•Facebook at:

•You can follow the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Website at:

•We recommend all citizens sign up for the Grays Harbor County Notification System for emergency and disaster alerts from Grays Harbor County Emergency Management via phone call, text and e-mail. You must voluntarily sign up for the notification system to receive the alerts at:

•All Grays Harbor County citizens are urged to obtain an All Hazard ALERT Weather Radio for immediate alerts for severe weather and disaster information.

•Remember, television usually DOES NOT broadcast the correct emergency information for your site specific location in Grays Harbor County.

•All local AM/FM radio stations will transmit the most up to date information from Grays Harbor Emergency Management.

•You can also receive an informational e-mail from Emergency Management on a one to two day basis with information on world disaster events, new information on natural hazards and general preparedness issues. To be added to our e-mail list, send your name and e-mail address to:


CREW   Cascadia Subduction
Zone Earthquakes:
A Magnitude 9.0 Earthquake Scenario 

3.5meg PDF
Tornadoes and water spouts in Western Washington? How about in Westport?
Take a look at Scott Sistek’s Weather Blog!
 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.