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  Sheriff Rick Scott
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Charles Wallace

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Emergency Management Message Board

All Press Releases from the 2015 Grays Harbor County Flooding/Landslide Event from the Region 3 IMT can be found in Press Releases
(Click the Press Releases Icon Above) 

Grays Harbor Storm Recovery INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM On behalf of the City of Aberdeen / City of Hoquiam / Grays Harbor County


Friday, January 30, 2015

LOCAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM: The Homeland Security Region 3 Incident Management Team has transitioned to a local Incident Management Team. Chief Leonard Johnson of GH Fire District #2 is the incident commander with Chief Tom Hubbard of the Aberdeen Fire Department as his deputy commander. The new IMT will continue to operate in conjunction with the Coastal Community Action Program (CCAP) on behalf of the City of Aberdeen, City of Hoquiam and Grays Harbor County.

HEALTH IMPACT OF MOLD: Citizens who have not yet taken steps to mitigate flood damage need to be aware of the danger of mold. Renters need to report the presence of mold to the landlord.

Anyone living in a home or apartment which has not already had significant flood mitigation and repair efforts could already be exposed to the growth of black mold. Mold may grow out-of-sight within closed areas such as under floors or inside of walls but will still contaminate air quality in the entire structure.

The presence of wet conditions within the structure may lead to the growth of mold, viruses and bacteria; these microorganisms can have a significant and possibly deadly impact on the health of persons- especially medically sensitive groups such as infants, the disabled or the elderly. Persons impacted may experience stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing or skin irritation; continued exposure or those allergic to microorganisms may have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

Citizens experiencing physical impact from mold exposure are encouraged to seek medical attention.

Additional information can be found at Homes or buildings which significant mold contamination should be reported to the city or county building department (according to where it is located) because the structure may become uninhabitable.

DANGER OF ASBESTOS: In addition to mold, citizens need to be aware of the health impact of asbestos when working on flood damage in homes or buildings. Many common household materials- including recently purchased materials- can contain asbestos, including drywall, flooring, carpet glue, wall texture, pipe insulation and ceiling tiles.

Asbestos regulations apply to ALL structures, including residential homes.

Asbestos is regulated by the Olympic Region Clean Air Authority (ORCAA) because airborne asbestos particles not only can pose a health risk to residents, but also anyone who unwittingly handles contaminated building materials, such as volunteers, contractors or garbage disposal workers.

Before beginning any asbestos project, you must notify ORCAA at 360-539-7610 or 1-800-422-5623. An asbestos removal permit is required for the removal or disturbance of more than 10 square feet of any asbestos containing material. ORCAA currently charges a nominal fee for this permit, but a request to temporarily waive this fee is under consideration.

If material is not tested for asbestos, it must be assumed to contain asbestos and handled as contaminated material. ORCAA maintains a list of asbestos contractors on its website at

Through the generosity of donations, the Grays Harbor Community Foundation is currently working with CCAP to possibly cover the cost of some asbestos testing or permit fees to help encourage repairs to local housing damaged in the flood.

Asbestos containing material must be properly removed, bagged and reported before dumping. Illegally dumping asbestos contaminated materials in the garbage or at the transfer station places garbage workers at risk. Failure to follow state and federal asbestos regulations can result in fines ranging from $200 to $15,000.

REPORTING DISASTER IMPACT: It is critical all disaster related loss and damage estimates are reported to the state and FEMA. The deadline for reporting all flood impact to the state is February 5th.

There are damage reporting forms available at Aberdeen City Hall, Hoquiam City Hall and Grays Harbor County Emergency Management. Homeowners, renters, landlords and businesses are strongly encouraged to report all damage or loss of property on a damage form or citizens can complete an on-line form at the Grays Harbor County Department of Emergency Management website: or by calling 360-249-3911.

At this time, over 700 damage estimates have been reported to the state. Future state or federal assistance will depend on the number of homes and businesses impacted as well as the overall economic impact to our area. It is critical everyone reports damage not only to structures, but also to personal property (such as clothing, furniture or food) lost because of the rain storm and flooding.

VOLUNTEER COORDINATION: A function within the Incident Management Team is volunteer coordination; this is currently being handled by Ed McGowan from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department at 360-581-1182 or

Ed McGowan is in direct contact with the state Department of Emergency Management regarding state volunteer groups interested in helping with disaster recovery. There have also been several local and regional volunteer organizations and church groups willing to assist with flood mitigation.

All volunteers who are referred out into the community to conduct flood assistance or mitigation will be signed up as a State Emergency Worker. All volunteer state emergency workers will have a simple background check so residents have peace of mind about who is in their home.

All volunteers enrolled as a state emergency worker will also receive Labor and Industries insurance protection should they be hurt while volunteering, such as stepping on a rusty nail or other injury. Volunteer state emergency workers will have identification from the IMT or participate within a group assigned by the IMT.

Volunteers may choose to take on activities outside of this registration process with the Incident Management Team, but citizens need to understand these volunteers will not have background checks or L&I insurance coverage should they be injured on your property.

DEBRIS DUMPING VOUCHERS: There are free dumping vouchers available at Aberdeen City Hall, Hoquiam City Hall and Grays Harbor County Emergency Management for residents to dispose of items damaged in the flood.

Citizens may need to show proof of residency, but once the voucher is obtained, citizens can dump flood damaged property at the LeMay transfer station in Central Park at 4201 Olympic Highway- open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM and 8AM to 4PM on Saturday.

Some dump vouchers may soon expire, but a new round of paid vouchers will be provided for the duration of the recovery effort or until funding is exhausted.

CONTRACTOR SCAMS: Whenever a disaster strikes a community, there is an outpouring of help and support; with this up swell comes scammers looking to take advantage of desperate people in desperate times.

Citizens should check the legitimacy of all contractors who offer services or work. Contractors must be bonded, state licensed and have insurance. Always make sure you have a written contract and never pay in advance or pay in full until the job is done. Ask for and check contractor references for jobs they have completed in the past. If the offer or work sounds “too good to be true” it probably is!

Contractors can be verified on the state Labor and Industries website at: Fraudulent or unlicensed contractors can be reported by calling 1-888-811-5974.

LOW INTEREST FEDERAL LOANS: Starting on February 2nd, the United States Small Business Administration will be opening a Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the county’s Pearsall Building (where the county Health Department is located) at 2109 Sumner Avenue, Aberdeen.

Disaster loans are available for up to $200,000 to homeowners to replace or replace damaged real estate; homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

The outreach center will be open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4:30PM. The SBA offers low-interest federal disaster loans to businesses, homeowners, renters and most non-profit organizations that were affected by this disaster.

The loan outreach center will be staffed with SBA representatives to answer questions about the loans, explain the application process and help each individual complete a loan application. No appointment is necessary.

DISASTER INFORMATION, RESOURCES AND HOUSING: Citizens impacted by the January 4-5 rainstorm and flooding are encouraged to call or visit the Coastal Community Action Program (CCAP) to receive updated information or referral to resources and services related to the flood recovery effort.

The direct line for FLOOD ASSISTANCE INFORMATION is 360-500-4551 or 1-800-828-4883. CCAP is located at 117 East Third Street in Aberdeen with services located on the second floor and hours of Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. The CCAP office number is 360-533-5100.

CCAP is working with several resources to provide not only referral information, but they also can provide assistance with emergency shelter and housing. The American Red Cross is temporarily located at the CCAP offices and can offer housing assistance in conjunction with CCAP and other available funding.

The Grays Harbor Storm Recovery INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM will continue to work in conjunction with CCAP on behalf of the City of Aberdeen, City of Hoquiam and Grays Harbor County for the duration of the active period.




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

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



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.