Yesterday Governor Inslee introduced his 2019-21 biennial budget. It contains several items that are important to emergency management.
• ShakeAlert Monitoring Stations: $5M general fund-state for procurement and installation of 83 seismic monitoring stations and global navigation satellite systems that integrate with the early warning system known as ShakeAlert. We will coordinate with the University of Washington to implement this new system.
• Hazardous Materials Program: $1.04M of General Fund-State to continue assisting local emergency planning committees statewide with hazardous materials plans that meet minimum federal requirements. This continues the program mandated by the Legislature for the 15-17 and 17-19 biennia. The bad news is that the Governor’s budget only approves this funding for the 19-21 biennium; we will have to continue to negotiate the fund source for future biennia.
• School Catastrophic Preparedness: $1,000,000 to collaborate with schools and school districts statewide in the development, planning, and exercise of catastrophic preparedness and emergency response plans. Initial work shall be prioritized based on the risk level of known natural and other hazards. We had originally requested funding for 18 FTEs (for a total of $4,832,000) for a more comprehensive catastrophic preparedness effort, but the Governor requested we scale back and focus on catastrophic preparedness for schools. This $1,000,000 funds four FTEs who will coordinate with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). We will collaborate with you to determine how best to implement this program if it is funded by the legislature.
• Tsunami Sirens for Coastal Cities: $928,000 to procure and install 16 all-hazard alert broadcast (AHAB) sirens to increase inundation zone coverage. AHAB sirens will alert individuals of an impending tsunami or other disaster within a 1.5 mile radius.
• ShakeAlert Public Outreach: $240,000 for an education and public outreach program in advance of the new early earthquake warning system known as “ShakeAlert”. This is one FTE that can support ShakeAlert and the 2-Week-Ready message since they are so closely related.
• Disaster Response Account: $38,535,000 (full funding as requested) to recover from past disasters.
• Enhanced 9-1-1/ Next Generation: $9,975,000 (full funding as requested) to enable the agency to finish the transition to and operate the new network, which will be more resilient and provide advanced capabilities including text to 911, improved location accuracy, and the ability to transmit data and video.
Note: All totals are biennial totals.
If you have been monitoring our decision packages you will note that some of the items we requested were not funded.
• Resilient Emergency Communications. The good news is we were able to do the Alert and Warning Center database replacement this year with existing resources, but we’ll need to come up with a new strategy for the other items.
• Individual Assistance Program.
• Critical Infrastructure Program.
• FirstNet. The program will come to us without state funding. It can continue on federal grant funds until early 2020. We will need to ask again for funding in the supplemental budget.