Jan 03

Message from our President and Executive Board

Good Evening Washington State Emergency Management Association Members,

On behalf of the 2014 Washington State Emergency Management Executive Board, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and thank you for your Membership to our organization and your dedication to the Emergency Management Profession across the State of Washington.

It is amazing how quickly 2013 has come and gone.  As your 2014 President I am excited for the upcoming year and what is planned for this year.

The 2014 Planning Committee for the Annual Conference is gearing up to bring you the best conference yet.  The dates for this year’s Conference are September 23-25, 2014 at the Northern Quest Resort in Spokane, Washington.  This year’s conference chair is Rick Anderson, Stevens County Emergency Management along with Jamye Wisecup, Clallam County Emergency Management and Joann Boggs, WSEMA president. If you have any comments about previous conferences or input on the 2014 conference please contact any of the WSEMA board members.

Many good things were accomplished in 2013 in the Emergency Management Community but there is much more to do in 2014 with changes in the  Emergency Management Council (EMC) and the new Senior Advisory Committee (SAC), as well as many other things. Legislation continues to be important for our organization. Our legislative committee has been and continues to work on the strategy’s for upcoming  and future sessions.  The committee is being chaired this year by Barnaby B. Dow, External Affairs Manager, for the King County Office of Emergency Management.

Our organization is growing and we will continue to strive to influence our future as Emergency Managers.  The 2014 Board looks forward to working with all of our partners this year.

♦ Please check out our WSEMA Web page at www.wsema.com .  Our Board members welcome any feedback or suggestions via the Association Webpage or to individual board members.

♦ Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/WAStateEMA and enjoy the pictures of the Capital Christmas Tree that was taken from Colville National Forest as well as other emergency management related information.  If you as a member of WSEMA have pictures of an event that you would like to share via our Facebook page please send with a caption that describes what is happening and who is shown to Darrell Ruby at [email protected].  Please make sure that you have the permission of the person(s) in the photograph prior to sending to Darrell for posting.

♦ Also please follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/WAStateEMA.

Don’t forget to mark Your Calendars for the 2014 WSEMA Conference at Northern Quest Resort in Spokane.   September 23-25, 2014.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of you, as without the time, effort and dedication of  our members our Association would not be where we are today. Together we strive to make positive impacts to enhance Emergency Management in Washington State for the benefit of our citizens.

Thank You All And Happy New Year,

JoAnn Boggs, President

Washington State Emergency Management Association


Dec 03

Senior Advisory Committee (SAC)

Sent on behalf of:

Robert Ezelle, Director, Washington Emergency Management Division

Jim Hall, Chair, Emergency Management Council

Dear Emergency Preparedness Partners,

Many are aware of the stipulation in the Federal Fiscal Year 2013 Homeland Security Grant Funding Opportunity Announcement to form a Senior Advisory Committee by December 31, 2013. The purpose of the Senior Advisory Committee (S.A.C.) is to integrate preparedness activities across disciplines, create a cohesive planning framework, and ensure resources are used in a manner that helps reduce duplication of effort.

We first heard of this requirement when the Funding Opportunity Announcement was released on May 24th, 2013. The following months were spent submitting grant applications and administering funding to stakeholders. In August, the Emergency Management Division (EMD), which serves as the State Administrative Agent (SAA) for Homeland Security grants, developed an informational paper that summarized the S.A.C. requirements. Homeland Security Coordinators and the Urban Area Security Initiatives Work Group were asked to review and provide feedback on the paper in September. The paper is merely a resource document summarizing requirements and is not intended to set policy.

The Emergency Management Council was provided the informational paper and a brief overview during a council meeting on October 3. At that point, it was unclear how best to proceed with establishing the S.A.C. It was shared that an ad hoc “committee to develop a committee” would be formed. Recognizing the challenge of forming a group, ensuring adequate representation and interest without being unwieldy, EMD sketched out a possible work group and engaged interested individuals. Unfortunately the outreach took longer than anticipated, and work did not begin until November, cutting into timelines to meet the December 31, 2013 deadline. In short order, the S.A.C. Development Work Group agreed to hold three outreach meetings with call-in options.

During the outreach meetings, information was shared on actions-to-date and membership of the S.A.C. Development Work Group. Also, feedback was solicited regarding how best to proceed. Adjustments were made and will continue to be made to the Work Group, as needed. Additionally, there was strong consensus that not only is Washington State already meeting the intention of grant guidance, but that in some ways we exceed the requirement because of the statutorily mandated Emergency Management Council.

The purpose of the S.A.C. Development Work Group will be to establish the committee’s mission; identify differences between grant requirements and the current EMC; develop a matrix to integrate new S.A.C. representation and additional requirements in the current EMC; conduct on-going outreach; and ensure the S.A.C. has a sustainable and quantifiable mission in emergency preparedness and is not just a group existing only to meet grant guidance.  The Work Group is not the S.A.C.; however, it has porous boundaries–please continue to share all suggestions. As the emergency preparedness community moves forward in further formation of the S.A.C., this is a great opportunity to reflect a commitment to the “whole community” and the rich diversity of the communities in our state.

At the December 5th Emergency Management Council meeting, Ziggy Dahl (EMD) will provide an in depth briefing on S.A.C. work to date and will validate that the current EMC meets the intention of the grant guidance. Additionally the Council will be asked to establish the S.A.C. Development Work Group as a work group of the EMC with the identified and discussed deliverables.

Thanks for all you do and we look forward to your assistance as we work to improve the emergency preparedness system in Washington.

Sep 28

Thank you from outgoing WSEMA President, Jim Hall.

On behalf of the WSEMA Executive Board and myself please take a minute and to reflect on the quality of the 2013 WSEMA Conference.  I think everyone there learned something!  I think Butch said there were 172 people in attendance.  The numbers are similar to last year which saw a significant increase.   The organization is growing and with any luck we will influence our future. 

There were MANY people reporting this is one of the best conferences they had come to.  The presentation were outstanding and the presenters deserve our gratitude for their efforts. 

And Finally Thank You,  It would not have been much of a conference without participants. 

See you next year at Northern Quest Resort in Spokane.   September 23-25, 2014. Mark your Calendars.

~ Jim Hall, Past President, Yakima Office of Emergency Management

Jun 01

2013 Conference Registration is Open!

skamania lodgeMark your calendars for September 17-19, 2013 because the Annual Washington State Emergency Management Association Conference will be held in Stevenson, Washington, at the Skamania Lodge.

You can register today for this wonderful 3-day conference which will bring emergency management professionals, students and volunteers together to focus on “Lessons Learned” from the crises that have occurred both inside and outside of Washington State.

To register for the conference, head to http://www.wsema.com/wsema-conference/ and follow the instructions on that page.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference!

May 14

Joel Aggergaard Scholarship Open for 2013

WSEMA is pleased to announce that it is now receiving applications for the $2500 Joel Aggergaard Memorial Scholarship.  WSEMA announces the winner of this scholarship at our annual Conference in September.

  • Eligible Applicants include students pursuing a certificate, diploma, baccalaureate, or graduate degree in emergency management or a closely related field. The scholarship award will be directly paid to the college.
  • All applicants must be residents of Washington State and attending a college or university in the State of Washington having completed one academic term (quarter or semester) prior to the scholarship application period.  Applicants living in Washington State, participating in a distance learning program, are also eligible to apply.

Joel Aggergaard began working for the Washington State Department of Emergency Management in 1970′s and served until his untimely death in 1996.  He thoroughly enjoyed his career with Emergency Management, and his “heart” was with supporting local Emergency Management Programs.

It may be necessary to be a local emergency manager to fully appreciate the enormous contribution Joel made to local programs during the years he worked with emergency management.  If you have been stressed to the point there is not one additional free minute in your day, but you need to get an issue clarified with State Department of Emergency Management and it must be taken care of today …then… you will begin to understand.   A phone call placed to Joel reached someone who was not only usually familiar with the issue but also very interested.  The issues either became resolved or a commitment was made from Joel to follow-up for resolution.

Joel was commended for his extraordinary work with emergency management and named the “most helpful” state official by local, county and city emergency managers across Washington State.  Joel assisted with countless floods, storms and local emergencies, and was a welcome addition to any activated Emergency Operating Center during a disaster.

Joel was also an avid supporter of youth and their activities.  Because of his selfless support and commitment to local emergency management directors, WSEMA has chosen to provide an educational scholarship commemorating Joel in the hope that others who possess his worthy qualities and have a personal dedication to achievement may have expanded opportunities.

Joel’s life and dedication to emergency management in the State of Washington inspired this scholarship.  Please pass along this opportunity to any students who qualify.

Deadline for application is August 1, 2013.  Application Materials can be found at this link location.

Feb 10

Annual Conference Call for Presentations

Our annual WSEMA Conference is in its planning stages for 2013.  And this year, we’ll be at the beautiful Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington, from September 17-19th.

Please note that WSEMA has negotiated GSA rates for the hotel for conference attendees. We will share more information with you on how to register for lodging very soon.

skamania1The Conference Theme this year is “Lessons Learned” which means that we are looking for a variety of presentations that focus on emergency and disaster case studies which provide best practices that have emerged across the United States and throughout the world.

Call for Presentations Closes May 15, 2013!

Presentations will be selected by Conference Committee and Executive Board.

Those selected will be asked to complete a speaker information form with audio-visual needs and biography.

Important Guidelines:


Nov 03

EMAC Requests for Hurricane Sandy

With the recent devastation on the East Coast, the Washington State Emergency Management Division (EMD) has begun receiving resource requests from the East Coast through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

The list of specific resource requests have been sent to local emergency managers within Washington State. 

If you are reading this blog, but participate in emergency management outside of Washington State, you need to contact your own state emergency management offices to confirm your local deployment procedures.

Here are the steps that must be taken, if your jurisdiction, within Washington State, owns a resource (equipment or personnel) which meets the requirements of one of the requests and the resource would be available for deployment during the time period specified:

  • An Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) will need to be executed between the Washington Military Department (MIL) and your jurisdiction to establish terms and conditions and eligibility for allowable expenditure reimbursement, which is valid for 5 years.
  • State EMD will gather incident-specific information from your jurisdiction, such as a list of individuals and equipment that would be deployed as well as the anticipated cost.
  • State EMD will make an offer to the requesting state, which may or may not be accepted.
  • If the offer is accepted, the requesting state will send us an executed Request for Assistance (REQ-A).
  • State EMD will amend your IGA with the incident specific information.
  • State EMD will make travel arrangements for you, provide you with a Mission Order, and arrange a deployment briefing.

The Washington State EOC is currently activated at Phase II and hours of operation over the weekend will be 0700-1700 hours.

Please send any email traffic relating to this situation to [email protected].

Sep 26

2012 WSEMA Election Results

Today, the Washington State Emergency Management Association (WSEMA) held our Annual Business Meeting.

There were 7 issues on the ballot that were considered, discussed and amended as follows:

  1. Issue to expand WSEMA membership categories to include “Students”:  PASSED
  2. Add a Tribal Liaison to the WSEMA Executive Board:  PASSED
  3. Clarify the verbiage in the Constitution  By-Laws so that the Treasurer only needs to be a WSEMA member, not specifically a member of a RCW 38.52 organization:  PASSED
  4. Separation of the Constitution & Bylaws:  PASSED (but amended to ensure that the membership approves changes to both)
  5. Change the Secretary position to be an Elected Position rather than Appointed:  PASSED (will be implemented for 2013-2014 year)
  6. Lifetime Membership for Past WSEMA Presidents: PASSED (but amended to apply only after the Past President departs from service as an Emergency Manager)
  7. Expansion of the Joel Aggergaard Scholarship Eligibility to include Distance Learning Programs: PASSED

The 2012-2013 WSEMA Executive Board will now work on developing implementation plans based on this direction from the membership.

Election Results for the WSEMA Executive Board:

  • President-Elect:  Jody Woodcock, Pierce County
  • Treasurer:  Butch Aiken, Asotin County
  • Public Sector At-Large:  Darrell Ruby, Region 9 Homeland Security
  • Private Sector At-Large:  John Rupp, WRK Engineers

CONGRATULATIONS to the 2012-2013 WSEMA Executive Board.  And thank you to all of the members for your votes and great conversation today in the WSEMA Business Meeting.