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King County Executive unveils improved disaster response coordination plan

King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced a new approach to disaster response that will allow for better coordination among government agencies.

"We are better able to respond to disasters when we have a coordinated approach, follow the same protocols, and are able to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy," said Constantine. "This approach clears the path for emergency responders to share resources across boundaries."

The Regional Coordination Framework for Disasters and Planned Events is designed to better coordinate efforts when multiple agencies must respond to a major natural or man-made disaster. The framework clears the legal pathway to allow cooperation among governments and tribal nations, as well as private and non-profit organizations. Executive Constantine unveiled the new framework at an event in Bellevue attended by elected leaders and city managers, as well as federal, tribal, state and local emergency management professionals.

Originally adopted in 2002 as the Regional Disaster Plan, the current agreement has 145 signatories including cities, special purpose districts, private organizations, and non-profit agencies in King County. As with the current plan, the new framework is voluntary, meaning its use during an emergency is up to each organization. The Regional Coordination Framework for Disasters and Planned Events focuses on five key areas:

  • Direction and Coordination
  • Information Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination
  • Public Information
  • Communications
  • Resource Management

The framework was developed by the King County Regional Disaster Planning Work Group, formed by the King County Emergency Management Advisory Committee and made up of emergency professionals and stakeholders drawn from throughout our region.

"The new framework is a streamlined format that promotes cooperation and effective response on the ground," said Planning Work Group Chair Luke Meyers. "It's flexible and can be used by organizations of almost any size."

The framework's success relies upon widespread endorsement of cities, organizations, and businesses throughout King County. Interested organizations can join at any time.

"I urge every jurisdiction and organization with a role to play during an emergency in King County to adopt this new framework," said Executive Constantine.

For more information on the Regional Coordination Framework for Disasters and Planned Events, please visit www.kingcounty.gov/prepare.

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