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Department of Emergency Management

Grays Harbor PUD

Outage Hotline:

Toll Free:

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


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:



November 24, 2014

Sunday morning, during a long line of severe thunderstorms with hail moving along the coast from Northwest to Southeast, the National Weather Service in Portland issued a Tornado Warning for the South Washington Coast, specifically, Ilwaco, Seaview, Oceanside and Long Beach in Pacific County. A few minutes later after tracking the path by Doppler Radar they issued a Tornado Warning for Central Pacific County and NW Wahkiakum County. Was this an anomaly?

After calling the National Weather Service in Seattle for more information, it was offered they initiated their first Tornado Warning in 17 years this past October 13th in the Anderson Island region of Puget Sound. Also, this past year, water spouts appeared in Westport and other coastal areas of Western Washington.

According to Tyree Wilde, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Portland, who has jurisdiction South of the Grays Harbor and Pacific County border, “ I don’t recall we’ve ever issued a Tornado Warning for the coast (prior to yesterday). We have issued special marine warnings for waterspouts over the ocean. Most Tornadoes in the Northwest are very short lived, difficult to detect and difficult to warn for. Radar signatures are often quite weak compared to the large tornadoes that occur in the Midwest”.

Most of our All Hazards Disaster Preparation Plans don’t fully address Tornadoes because of their infrequency in Western Washington, however with the recent activity of this past year, time has come for all communities to take their threat seriously. What if you received a Tornado Warning? Do you know where to go? What would you do to protect yourself and your family?

I’ve included this link which provides very good information discussing the difference between a waterspout and a tornado. Both extremely dangerous, but very different.                                 


Tornado warnings mean that a tornado has been spotted, or that radar has indicated that one exists. When a warning is issued in your area:

If you are home, the best place to go is your basement or cellar. For homes without a basement or cellar, go to the lowest floor and take shelter in an interior room or under a stairwell in the center of your home, away from windows. Protect your head if you have a bicycle helmet, use it! If you don’t, use pillows or blankets to protect your head and body.

If you are caught outdoors, try to find a building with a basement, a cellar, a shelter or sturdy building. If you can’t do this, stay in your vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to a shelter. If flying debris hits your vehicle, it is best to pull over and park, but do not get out of your vehicle. Do not seek shelter under bridges or overpasses, because these offer little protection. Put your head down below the windows and cover yourself with a blanket or pillows.

In schools, office buildings, nursing homes or skyscrapers, go to an interior room or hallway away from windows. Crouch down and cover your head. Do not use elevators, because you could be trapped if power is lost. Stairwells without windows also are good places to take shelter.

In a shopping mall, church or theater, move to an interior room such as a bathroom or a storage room. Stay away from windows.

If you are in a mobile home, leave immediately and seek shelter in a sturdy building or shelter. Mobile homes offer no protection from a tornado.

A NOAA weather radio is a must, especially for all hazards, especially storms that may occur overnight, when you may not be monitoring television or radio. Know the name of the county or parish in which you live and keep road maps handy to assist in tracking the storms.


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.