Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Housing, Community Development & Veterans Committee

SSB 5247

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Addressing catastrophic incidents that are natural or human-caused emergencies.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Frockt, Zeiger, Hobbs, Bailey, Rolfes, Hunt, Conway, Das, Honeyford, Keiser and Mullet; by request of Military Department).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Adds a catastrophic incident emergency response plan to the required plans the Adjutant General must develop for the state.

  • Requires the Adjutant General to develop guidance that may be used by local school districts in developing, maintaining, training and exercising catastrophic incident plans, subject to appropriations.

  • Creates a Functional Recovery Task Force to determine criteria and implementation measures necessary for the adoption of a functional recovery standard to apply to all emergency services buildings and state-owned buildings.

Hearing Date: 3/27/19

Staff: Serena Dolly (786-7150).


Military Department.

The Washington Military Department, under the direction of the Adjutant General, administers the state's comprehensive program of emergency management. The Adjutant General is responsible for developing a comprehensive, all-hazard emergency plan for the state, known as the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, that includes an analysis of natural, technological, or human-caused hazards and procedures to coordinate state and local resources in responding to such hazards.

State Building Code.

The State Building Code (Code) establishes minimum performance standards and requirements for construction and construction materials in the state, consistent with accepted standards of engineering, fire, and life safety. The Code comprises a number of model codes and standards such as the International Building Code, which are adopted by reference in the Code.

Summary of Bill:

Military Department.

The Adjutant General must develop:

"Catastrophic incident" is defined as any natural or human-caused incident, including terrorism and enemy attack, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions. Catastrophic incident does not include an event resulting from individuals exercising their rights, under the First Amendment, of freedom of speech, and of the people to peaceably assemble.

Functional Recovery Task Force.

A Functional Recovery Task Force (Task Force) is established to determine criteria and implementation measures necessary for the adoption of a functional recovery standard to apply to all emergency services buildings and state-owned buildings.

The Task Force is comprised of legislative members, state agency and local government representatives, and other public and private sector entities. The Task Force must provide periodic progress reports and a final report of findings and recommendations to the Governor and the appropriate committees of the Legislature by December 1, 2021.

"Functional recovery standard" is defined as a set of enforceable building code provisions and regulations that provide specific design and construction requirements intended to result in a building for which post-earthquake structural and nonstructural capacity are maintained or can be restored to support the basic intended functions of the building's pre-earthquake use and occupancy within a maximum acceptable time, where the maximum acceptable time might differ for various uses or occupancies.

Emergency services building include any building used by a public agency as a fire station, police station, emergency operations center, Washington State Patrol office, sheriff's office, emergency communication dispatch center, or emergency shelter.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on March 26, 2019.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.