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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




Friday, April 22, 2016



Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP), formerly known as red tide, has now been detected at concentrations above the closure level in shellfish (mussels) samples collected from Westport. As a result, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has closed all of Grays Harbor to the recreational harvest of shellfish.

The closure area boundary is inside Grays Harbor only and does not affect ocean beaches. Commercial beaches are sampled separately and commercial products should be safe to eat. The closure includes clams, oysters, mussels, scallops and other species of mollusks. Crabs are not included in the closure.

PSP poisoning can be life-threatening and is caused by eating shellfish containing a potent toxin. A naturally occurring organism produces the toxin. The toxin is not destroyed by cooking or freezing.

A person cannot determine if the toxin is present by visual inspection. PSP can only be detected by laboratory testing. Therefore, recreational shellfish harvesters are advised to call the DOH Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 or access the Shellfish Safety website at before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Grays Harbor. 

Before harvesting, also remember to check harvest seasons and licensing requirements. Contact the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife for information about licensing and fishing regulations at


Beachgoers should avoid razor clam dig near grounded vessel, Apr 25-26

OLYMPIA –Washington State Department of Health advises beachgoers to avoid digging for razor clams at the southern end of Copalis Beach Apr 25-26 due to potential water pollution.

The area that could be impacted, by a potential fuel or oil spill, is along the 3-mile section of coast from Taurus Road to the end of Copalis Beach. 

On Apr 15, a fishing boat grounded just north of the north jetty at the entrance to Grays Harbor. The boat contains more than 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel and oil. 

“We continue to evaluate the potential impact to the razor clams in the area,” said Scott Berbells, manager of the Shellfish Growing Area Section. “We encourage beachgoers to consider digging for clams at a different location.”

This section of Copalis Beach is rarely used for clam digging. Beachgoers should always avoid digging for clams in areas where oil can be seen or smelled.

If oil makes contact with your skin, it should be washed off immediately with soap and water. 

If anyone observes oil in the water or on the beach report it to the Department of Ecology or call 800-424-8802 or 800-258-5990.

The department is responsible for the safety of all harvested shellfish in the state. Information on shellfish harvesting areas is available on the department’s shellfish program website.

The department’s website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. 


Friday, April 16, 2016


Japan has been hit with 3 very serious earthquakes in the past 2 days. It raises many questions about what could actually happen along our West Coast during an earthquake.

The USGS (United States Geologic Survey) has a very insightful Article - Earthquake Fact and Earthquake Fantasy. It will help provide better information about earthquakes in the U.S.…/topics/megaqk_facts_fantasy.php


 Tsunami Fact Sheets


 Sneaker Wave Video - Ocean Shores WA


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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.