The 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.
The Washington Emergency Management Division (EMD) leads and coordinates mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery in Washington State to minimize the impact of disasters and emergencies on the people, property, environment and economy.
Subject to appropriations, EMD within the Military Department must develop and administer a disaster resilience program. This program should include methods for ongoing coordination of state and local disaster resilience and response activities, including:
The program should also include strategies for addressing the impacts of all hazards, both natural and human-caused, including:
Finally, the program should include participating and collaborating in interagency efforts to advance statewide climate resilience activities under integrated climate response strategy statutes, including collaborating on the development of a statewide strategy and identifying opportunities to leverage funding to advance solutions that improve the resilience of communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems.
Before July 1, 2025, EMD must provide a report to the Governor and the Legislature on the overall progress of disaster resilience efforts for the hazards and issues where there is not another lead agency for coordinating resilience activities. Each agency with responsibility for resilience activities, including but not limited to the Department of Ecology, Department of Health, Washington technology solutions, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Commerce, is encouraged to include an update on its efforts and any associated policy recommendations as an appendix to the report.
PRO: We learned from the pandemic that we as a state are not prepared for a disaster with such wide-reaching impacts. We live in a state that faces many hazards, both natural and human-caused. We have a number of resilience programs but they largely focus on climate change. It is also important and critical to focus on agency response to disasters. This bill requires our emergency management division to focus on what we need so that when we face a disaster, we can save lives. We as a state face fires, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions among many other potential disasters. This bill allows us to prepare for these events