Washington is susceptible to a variety of natural disasters including fires, earthquakes, floods and landslides. Depending on the scope and magnitude of the incident, the emergency response may involve numerous local, state and federal agencies. The agencies have to work together to form an effective response. Establishing expectations for how coordination will work before disaster strikes is key for successful coordination during a disaster. This requires a common understanding of each agency’s role and responsibilities. Furthermore, all participants need clear protocols for accessing additional resources when necessary.
The state’s Emergency Management Division (EMD) plays a significant role in disaster response. We selected this audit topic to follow up on two recommendations issued after the Oso landslide by the SR 530 Landslide Commission. We examined two issues:
- Whether roles and responsibilities have been further defined
- Whether the resource management process could be further improved
The audit also assessed whether there were additional improvements EMD could make to strengthen communication and collaboration efforts with local partners.
Read a two-page summary.