Tumwater committee recommends new emergency management plan

The fire chief said that they worked with Olympia to align their new comprehensive emergency management plan with Olympia’s.


Tumwater Public Health and Safety Committee endorsed to its city council Tuesday, April 9, a resolution updating its comprehensive emergency management plan (CEMP).

Fire Chief Brian Hurley told the committee that the CEMP establishes the framework for how the city prepares for, responds to, and recovers from disasters. 

The fire chief said that they worked with Olympia to align their new CEMP with Olympia’s. Hurley highlighted certain new portions of the updated document such as a matrix that outlines what roles the various city department takes during disasters.

Tumwater does not use the Emergency Support Function (ESF) format, established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to organize the various roles for handling a disaster. The document stated that most staff were unfamiliar with the ESF format, so the city uses its typical departmental hierarchy during disasters.

The matrix shows the various roles prescribed by the ESF format and assigns them to the proper department.

Hurley also highlighted a new portion called “recovery planning,” which provides guidance for taking recovery measures after an incident has occurred. This portion of the document describes recovery as occurring in phases and subsets, and that measures towards recovery should be broken down into workable groups.

The “recovery planning” portion discusses the need for a recovery plan which covers short-, mid-, and long-term recovery measures, as well as describes the varied roles that city personnel will take in the implementation of the plan.

Roles described in the document include a “recovery manager,” which will act as the overall coordinator of the recovery process, and a “recovery champion,” which will act as liaison with residents, councilmembers, and other agencies during incidents.

The document also advises the need for a “recovery task force” made up of city personnel to review damage reports and assess necessary amendments to policies, regulations, and city plans in response to emergency incidents.

The city is required to update its comprehensive emergency management plan to remain eligible for FEMA grant funding. Hurley said that they already submitted the updated plan to the State Emergency Management Division in late 2023. The agency has reviewed the document and sent the city a compilation of further recommendations for the plan.

With the plan endorsed by the committee, it will now be forwarded to the city council as a consent item in its April 16 meeting.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here