Planning done in Puget Sound could be model for other places 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray announces significant federal investments to strengthen disaster preparedness in the Puget Sound region.

A $1.4 million award is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant program, and it will support solutions and responses to disasters in western Washington.

Advocating for disaster preparedness in Washington state, Senator Murray wrote a letter in support of the region’s application after successfully fighting to restore funding for the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant program in the most recent funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, of which FEMA is a part. Last funding was in 2012.

Murray is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The grant will support local efforts to create a plan to provide vital resources like food, water, shelter and more to Puget Sound residents in the event of a catastrophic disaster.

“Puget Sound is one of the country’s fastest growing population centers and a national leader in disaster preparedness and response, so I’m glad to see FEMA acknowledge the importance of making these vital planning investments in Washington state,” Murray said. “I look forward to seeing how local leaders will put this investment to use to help save lives and enhance safety for Washingtonians in the aftermath of a catastrophic event, as well as how communities across the country will benefit from this critical planning.”

The Puget Sound region is no stranger to the threat of natural and catastrophic disasters. It is located on or near multiple active fault lines including the Cascadia Subduction Zone fault, which is capable of generating magnitude 9.0 earthquakes.

With more than 5 million residents in the region and growing, a major earthquake would leave more than 800,000 people in need of shelter and 2.5 million without adequate access to food and water.

The award will help Snohomish County and other local governments and agencies across Puget Sound develop a plan to provide vital resources to people in the region in the event of a catastrophic disaster. These same strategies would serve as a model for other population centers across the country.