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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
Phone Number (360) 249-3911
Monday, October 24, 2016


Here is an interesting article from Emergency Management Magazine on earthquake warnings. Earlier this month, California issued an alert that a large earthquake (Magnitude 7.0) had a 1 in 100 chance of occurring there due to the occurrence of smaller earthquake swarms around the Salton Sea.

The premise is interesting as long as the message conveyed is very clear and concise as to what actions you wish the citizens to take prior to the possible large earthquake event occurring.


October 18, 2016


The Importance of an All Hazard Weather Radio

One of the greatest fears of any emergency manager is not being able to warn the public about an event that is imminent – such as a tornado. The severe storm on Friday almost brought that fear to reality for me.  

At 4:26 am Friday morning October 14, 2016, the National Weather Service in Portland, sent the first of four (4), Tornado Warning Messages for Pacific County, Washington and the first of 10 Tornado Warning Messages for Southern Washington and parts of Oregon.

This particular message was for areas around Ilwaco, but I began to think how many people didn’t receive the message because they were asleep and had no All Hazard Weather Radio to alert them of a possible impending disaster event?

The second message at 6:37 am Friday really frightened me. The Tornado Warning included Tokeland, WA which is just a short distance from our county line, close to the City of Westport and the community of Grayland.  The warning provided a 20 minute parameter when a potential funnel cloud could impact the area.

How would we warn the public if the next message included our jurisdictions? We do not have tornado sirens and if we activated the All Hazard Alert Broadcast Sirens (AHAB’s) along the coast, it could prompt citizens to begin moving toward higher ground, (to escape a suspected Tsunami), exposing them to the wrath of the tornado without any protection from the winds and debris. Besides, the AHAB’s are for outdoor notification only. We have a robust notification system to call, text and e-mail citizens of an approaching hazard, but if they were sleeping, I doubt many would receive the text message or the e-mail message. Depending which jurisdictions were chosen to receive the warning message via phone call, there might not be time to complete the calls prior to a tornado impact.

According to a 2013 Survey conducted by Grays Harbor County Emergency Management, only 40% of our residents volunteered to sign up for the Grays Harbor County Emergency Notification System. The All Hazard Weather Radio, probably the fastest and most efficient notification device to warn of imminent danger, is only owned by 38% of our citizens. How do we alert the other 62% of our population of an approaching disaster? 

An All Hazard Weather Radio is the fastest and most efficient way to receive imminent emergency and disaster messages. Every government office, school, local business and home should have one to alert all of the possibility of an impending disaster event such as tornado, flash flood, distant tsunami, severe winds and weather. They can be purchased at local hardware stores, Walmart or on-line for between $20.00 - $50.00 – a small price to protect your family, friends and pets.

To Sign up for the Grays harbor County Notification System, go to:



The fall and winter severe storm season is nearly upon us. Stay informed about severe weather forecasts, flooding and possible wind damage specific to your community in Grays Harbor County as well as regional, state and worldwide disaster events by signing up for one or more of the various ways we provide information to citizens and visitors to our county.

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 THESE ALERTS IN ORDER TO RECEIVE THEM.

The notices using the Grays Harbor County Notification System are ONLY sent when conditions warrant emergency citizen notification due to possible flooding, wind damage or other disaster events which could result in injury or damage to people, pets, livestock, homes and property. 

Grays Harbor Emergency Management also offers an opportunity for you to obtain other information via e-mail, on a 2-3 day basis about world disaster events, impending storm events, citizen and community preparedness. (If filling out the Notification System registration form, just type in “SIGN ME UP” in the COMMENTS section of the form and we’ll add you to our regular e-mail list as well as the Grays Harbor County Notification List.)


•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:

•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:

•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 verified information from Grays Harbor Emergency Management.



**Fact Sheets for Grays Harbor County**



SIGN UP for the Grays Harbor Emergency Notification System to receive Emergency & Disaster information on winter storms, earthquakes and flooding.








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.