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King County launches initiative to develop recovery strategy for a major catastrophe
King County Executive Dow Constantine today launched the "Resilient King County" initiative, a county-wide, two-year planning process for crafting a comprehensive long-term recovery strategy following a major earthquake or other catastrophe.
The effort kicked off this afternoon with a "Disaster Recovery – CEO Leadership Summit." Key representatives from the corporate and non-profit sectors gathered on the Microsoft campus in Redmond to discuss the impact a major disaster would have on the region. Numerous studies show the Pacific Northwest faces a high probability of a mega-earthquake in the next 50 years. Resilient King County is one of the first long-term regional recovery planning efforts in the nation.
"Local business and non-profit leaders have answered our call to start planning now to ensure the continuity of our economy and our diverse communities in the aftermath of catastrophe," said Constantine. "By working in partnership, we can make King County and our region more resilient and better able to preserve our cherished quality of life."
Recent disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, have increased awareness of the hazards facing King County and western Washington. Resilient King County seeks to develop a comprehensive long-term plan to guide recovery efforts after a large-scale disaster.
The King County initiative follows on the recently-published Resilient Washington State report, written by the Washington State Seismic Safety Committee. Committee member Scott Miles, director of the Resilience Institute at Western Washington University, helped facilitate today's summit.
"Resilient Washington State is the first state-led effort of its kind in the country," Miles said. "King County is setting itself apart from other local governments by taking up the state's effort as a model for community resilience."
Miles was a contributor to the report, Resilient Washington State: A Framework for Minimizing Loss and Improving Statewide Recovery after an Earthquake, outlining ten recommendations for improving statewide resilience. King County will use a similar approach in determining specific recommendations for the development of the long-term recovery plan.
Today's summit will be followed by a series of workshops where stakeholders from across King County will be invited to contribute to the development of a set of Recovery Support Functions to be used for reestablishing health and social services, rebuilding infrastructure systems
Promoting economic development, restoring the environment, providing long-term housing and restoring cultural resources.
For more information on the Resilient King County initiative, visit the website.
Go here for more information on Resilient Washington State.