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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

*** Newsletter ***
What is Community Resilience and Can we get There?

COMMUNITY RESILIENCE - There isn't a community in the world that can state they meet the threshold to be considered truly "Resilient". Even New York City, the most funded, trained and prepared city in the U.S., was not able to handle the issues presented by Superstorm Sandy. Japan, considered to be the most disaster prepared country in the world, suffered severely from the Tohoku  earthquake and resulting tsunami in 2011 because of a belief they were "prepared enough".

If we recognize the need for continued work to help reduce the impacts of emergencies and disaster, we can begin to move forward to reduce their impact upon ourselves, our community, business and industry and upon government.

The cost of personal preparedness begins with a desire to become better educated about your risk and the potential impact of disaster to you and your family at home, work and during your daily routine.

For more information, please read this Emergency Management Magazine article at:


July 14, 2015


1. Here is an article from the New Yorker Magazine from the July 20, 2015 edition by Kathryn Schulz "The Really Big One - An Earthquake that Will Devastate Seattle:

2. When you finish the New Yorker article, please read the response from WA State Emergency Management at:

Remember, this event has occurred and impacted Washington State. It will occur again. The tectonic plates continue to ride along each other, one dipping below and the other raising ready to buckle or slip resulting in the next Cascadia Subduction Zone rupture. The impact will be significant throughout Washington State as well as the Pacific Northwest. Educating yourself and family on your specific risk to the different hazards we face in the Pacific Northwest will help you and your family when challenged with this type of enormous disaster. Preparation will reduce the impact of the event and allow you to make the necessary decisions which can assist your family and friends to safety and survival.  


July 9, 2015


The construction of the first vertical evacuation tsunami engineered, safe haven building in North America is moving along at a rabbits pace. The link to the demolition of the Ocosta Elementary School is below. From there you can view the weekly progress on you-tube videos of the construction.

This is an unprecedented project anywhere in North America and will provide a template for all communities to build safe haven structures for schools, hospitals, police, fire and other government buildings.

The Ocosta Elementary School Project was based upon concepts of "Project Safe Haven" presented by the University of Washington, WA State Emergency Management Division, FEMA, and the Department of Natural Resources.

The project was driven by a community determined to protect their children from the hazards of earthquake and tsunami, a superintendent, Paula Akerlund, who has refused to quit, especially during moments of what seemed to be extreme adversity, and her staff and faculty who have supported Paula and the project since day one.

The videos are educational and amazing. It proves the extreme power and resolve of people and community. Kudos to all as our excitement builds towards the ribbon cutting in early 2016.

 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.