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MRSC Insight Blog

Posts for Emergency Management

Wildfire under an electrical transmission line in a forested area

State-Based Efforts, Legislation Boost Local Risk Reduction, Resiliency to Wildfires

With wildfire season underway, local governments should be aware of bills passed during the 2023 Regular Legislative Session addressing wildfire events and proposed permanent rules to protect outdoor workers from wildfire smoke.

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A crowd is gathered and sitting on the grass while a band plays in a covered area at the Seattle Center

Summer Festivals and Risk Management

Summer festivals are a great way for local governments to bring people together but agencies should first undertake a variety of risk management steps to protect attendees, ensure smooth and efficient event operations, and make room for improvements for the following year.

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A red button on a yellow box labeled emergency

Emergency Powers in Washington State, Post COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic local governments operated under a series of emergency orders, some of which drew legal challenges. As these proclamations have ended, now is a good time to look at what happened to the challenges, and how (or if) they affected emergency powers.

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Integrating Best Available Science: New Tools for Land Use Planning & Emergency Management

The state's Washington Geological Survey is offering new and updated resources to help local governments integrate the best available science into their land use planning and emergency management efforts. 

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Natural Hazards Planning Expertise and Resources for Local Governments

Because local governments focus on safety and welfare of their communities, they are the first to be called on when a natural hazard strikes. Fortunately state agencies and nonprofits can offer assistance and expertise to better mitigate risk of hazards when regulating land use.

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Fire Season Brings Renewal of Certain Worker Protections, More Action, and Funding

Temporary rules are in place to protect outdoor workers from excessive heat or hazardous air quality. Meanwhile, some local governments are adopting provisions of the International Wildland Urban Interface Code, and state and federal governments are boosting firefighting efforts.

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Shake It Up: Local Governments and Earthquake Preparedness

We live in an earthquake-prone state. What can local governments do to better prepare their agency's response, as well as public resilience, for such an emergency? 

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Legislation Aimed at Counties Impacts Coroners, Operational Continuity

This blog offers an overview of two recent bills that affect county officers: ESHB 1326 and EHB 1271.

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Disaster Zone: Heat Waves in the Pacific Northwest

Heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest? This blog looks at a possible future where this is the norm, not the exception. 

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Historic Bill Focuses on Wildfire Prevention, Forest Reclamation

This blog looks at 2SHB 1168, which will increase spending on wildland fire prevention and response activities by $125 million over the next two years and up to $328 million by 2027.

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Disaster Zone: Emergency Operations Center Facilities

This blog reviews what an Emergency Operations Center should include to allow staff to function effectively during an emergency. 

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Disaster Zone: Lessons from Texas and Lebanon

This blog looks at the 2021 winter storm in Texas and the 2020 Beirut port explosion and asks how lessons learned from each might apply to earthquake preparedness in Washington. 

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Disaster Zone: COVID After-Action Reports

This blog looks at the role of the after-action response in disaster planning and offers shared after-action insights local governments are finding in their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Disaster Zone: Public Warning Systems

This blog post provides a brief overview of a variety of hazard warning systems available to local governments.

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Waiving Competitive Bidding Requirements in the Event of an Emergency

This blog post reviews the rules relating to waiving competitive bidding requirements during emergency situations.

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Disaster Zone: Unreinforced Masonry Buildings

This blog post looks at the dangers of unreinforced masonry buildings. 

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Preparing for and Responding to Emergencies: 2019 Legislation

This blog post looks at SB 5514, HB 1147, and SB 5012, three pieces of recent legislation that address how local governments and law enforcement should respond during active emergencies. 

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Firefighting in the Wildland Inter-Urban Interface

This blog post looks at the most challenging type of firefighting—where wild lands meet human development—and how some Washington local governments are attempting to mitigate risk in these areas.

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Lessons Learned from Snowmaggedon

This blog post will address a few of the frequently asked questions MRSC received during “Snowmageddon” this past February.

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Landslide Hazards: Regulating Them Can Be Hazardous

Landslides are common throughout the Pacific Northwest. Regulatory agencies and local governments must do their best to understand and document the hazard potential in their jurisdictions. Guest author Greg Wessel looks at the issue and the role of local government in hazard awareness and mitigation. 

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