38.52.020  <<  38.52.030 >>   38.52.037

DirectorComprehensive emergency management planStatewide 911 emergency communications networkState coordinator of search and rescue operationsState program for emergency assistanceState coordinator for radioactive and hazardous waste emergency response programsInteragency coordination and prioritization of continuity of operations planningCatastrophic incidents, program to provide information and education.

(1) The director may employ such personnel and may make such expenditures within the appropriation therefor, or from other funds made available for purposes of emergency management, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(2) The director, subject to the direction and control of the governor, shall be responsible to the governor for carrying out the program for emergency management of this state. The director shall coordinate the activities of all organizations for emergency management within the state, and shall maintain liaison with and cooperate with emergency management agencies and organizations of other states and of the federal government, and shall have such additional authority, duties, and responsibilities authorized by this chapter, as may be prescribed by the governor.
(3) The director shall develop and maintain a comprehensive, all-hazard emergency plan for the state which shall include an analysis of the natural, technological, or human-caused hazards which could affect the state of Washington, and shall include the procedures to be used during emergencies for coordinating local resources, as necessary, and the resources of all state agencies, departments, commissions, and boards. The comprehensive emergency management plan shall direct the department in times of state emergency to administer and manage the state's emergency operations center. This will include representation from all appropriate state agencies and be available as a single point of contact for the authorizing of state resources or actions, including emergency permits. The comprehensive emergency management plan must specify the use of the incident command system for multiagency/multijurisdiction operations. The comprehensive, all-hazard emergency plan authorized under this subsection may not include preparation for emergency evacuation or relocation of residents in anticipation of nuclear attack. This plan shall be known as the comprehensive emergency management plan.
(4) In accordance with the comprehensive emergency management plans and the programs for the emergency management of this state, the director shall procure supplies and equipment, institute training programs and public information programs, and shall take all other preparatory steps, including the partial or full mobilization of emergency management organizations in advance of actual disaster, to insure the furnishing of adequately trained and equipped forces of emergency management personnel in time of need.
(5) The director shall make such studies and surveys of the industries, resources, and facilities in this state as may be necessary to ascertain the capabilities of the state for emergency management, and shall plan for the most efficient emergency use thereof.
(6) The emergency management council shall advise the director on all aspects of the communications and warning systems and facilities operated or controlled under the provisions of this chapter.
(7) The director, through the state 911 coordinator, shall coordinate and facilitate implementation and operation of a statewide 911 emergency communications network.
(8) The director shall appoint a state coordinator of search and rescue operations to coordinate those state resources, services and facilities (other than those for which the state director of aeronautics is directly responsible) requested by political subdivisions in support of search and rescue operations, and on request to maintain liaison with and coordinate the resources, services, and facilities of political subdivisions when more than one political subdivision is engaged in joint search and rescue operations.
(9) The director, subject to the direction and control of the governor, shall prepare and administer a state program for emergency assistance to individuals within the state who are victims of a natural, technological, or human-caused disaster, as defined by RCW 38.52.010(13). Such program may be integrated into and coordinated with disaster assistance plans and programs of the federal government which provide to the state, or through the state to any political subdivision thereof, services, equipment, supplies, materials, or funds by way of gift, grant, or loan for purposes of assistance to individuals affected by a disaster. Further, such program may include, but shall not be limited to, grants, loans, or gifts of services, equipment, supplies, materials, or funds of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, to individuals who, as a result of a disaster, are in need of assistance and who meet standards of eligibility for disaster assistance established by the department of social and health services: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That nothing herein shall be construed in any manner inconsistent with the provisions of Article VIII, section 5 or section 7 of the Washington state Constitution.
(10) The director shall appoint a state coordinator for radioactive and hazardous waste emergency response programs. The coordinator shall consult with the state radiation control officer in matters relating to radioactive materials. The duties of the state coordinator for radioactive and hazardous waste emergency response programs shall include:
(a) Assessing the current needs and capabilities of state and local radioactive and hazardous waste emergency response teams on an ongoing basis;
(b) Coordinating training programs for state and local officials for the purpose of updating skills relating to emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery;
(c) Utilizing appropriate training programs such as those offered by the federal emergency management agency, the department of transportation and the environmental protection agency; and
(d) Undertaking other duties in this area that are deemed appropriate by the director.
(11) The director is responsible to the governor to lead the development and management of a program for interagency coordination and prioritization of continuity of operations planning by state agencies. Each state agency is responsible for developing an organizational continuity of operations plan that is updated and exercised annually in compliance with the program for interagency coordination of continuity of operations planning.
(12) The director shall maintain a copy of the continuity of operations plan for election operations for each county that has a plan available.
(13) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the director is responsible to the governor to lead the development and management of a program to provide information and education to state and local government officials regarding catastrophic incidents and continuity of government planning to assist with statewide development of continuity of government plans by all levels and branches of state and local government that address how essential government functions and services will continue to be provided following a catastrophic incident.


Modernization of statewide 911 emergency communications system2022 c 203: See note following RCW 38.52.010.
FindingIntent2019 c 471: See note following RCW 38.52.010.
Finding2018 c 26: "The legislature finds that, in 2017, the federal department of homeland security designated election infrastructure as part of our nation's critical infrastructure. Elections play a vital role in our democracy, and it is important that election administrators are able to continue election operations during emergencies. Given the federal designation of election infrastructure as critical infrastructure, counties should maintain a continuity of operations plan for the continuity of elections and the full execution of essential election operations in emergencies." [ 2018 c 26 § 1.]
Effective datePart headings not lawSeverability1995 c 269: See notes following RCW 18.16.050.
FindingsIntent1991 c 322: See note following RCW 86.12.200.
Referral to electorate1991 c 54: "Sections 1 through 6 and 9 through 16 of this act shall be submitted to the people for their adoption and ratification, or rejection, at the next succeeding general election to be held in this state, in accordance with Article II, section 1 of the state Constitution, as amended, and the laws adopted to facilitate the operation thereof. The ballot title for this act shall be: "Shall enhanced 911 emergency telephone dialing be provided throughout the state and be funded by a tax on telephone lines?"" [ 1991 c 54 § 17.]
Reviser's note: "This act," chapter 54, Laws of 1991, was adopted and ratified by the people at the November 5, 1991, general election (Referendum Bill No. 42).
Severability1986 c 266: See note following RCW 38.52.005.
Severability1973 1st ex.s. c 154: See note following RCW 2.12.030.
Hazardous and radioactive wastes: Chapters 70.136, 70A.300, 70A.388, 70A.390 RCW.
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