Emergency management is critical to city preparedness in the case of emergencies, such as earth quakes or severe storms. However, emergency management is also an important part of the city's planning for the effects of climate change. As noted in the Comprehensive Plan's Community Sustainability Element, emergency planning is not just about emergency response, it is also about risk assessment and pro-active preparation:
"Climate Change Goal C. Assess the risks and potential impacts on both city government operations and on the larger Edmonds community due to climate change. The assessment of risk and potential responses – both in terms of mitigation and adaptation – should evaluate the full range of issues, paying particular attention to those arising from the city’s location on Puget Sound.
C.1 Develop a climate change risk assessment and impact analysis for city government facilities and operations.
C.2 Develop a climate change risk assessment and impact analysis for the Edmonds community which considers the potential long-term impacts to economic, land use, and other community patterns as well as the risks associated with periodic weather or climate events."
The City of Edmonds has adopted a Hazard Mitigation Plan in cooperation with other jurisdictions in Snohomish County. Portions of the plan pertaining to Edmonds can be viewed here (2.8MB )
Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and the losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families and individuals should know what to do, where to seek shelter, be prepared to evacuate their home and know how to care for their basic medical needs.
As an Individual - You have a responsibility to protect yourself and your family by knowing what to do before, during and after an event. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. Disaster supply kits should be prepared for your home, work and vehicles. Your supply kit should contain essential food, water and supplies for at least three days.
As a Community - Most emergencies are handled at the local level, which puts a tremendous responsibility on the community for taking care of it's citizens. The local level team is made up of paid employees and volunteers from the private and public sectors. During a disaster, the City Public Works Department becomes the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC is a central command and control facility established to identify damage and hazards, assess potential risk to the community, identify needs, provide shelter, etc.