Countywide Mitigation Initiatives

The plan contains 12 countywide initiatives that, if implemented, will enhance the region’s understanding of the hazards identified in the risk assessment and help reduce risks to people and property across the county. These initiatives will require continuous coordination among this plan’s existing and future partners over the next five years and beyond. 
Priority ID Activity Countywide Mitigation Initiatives
1 CW-MH 4 Hazard Damage Reduction Create a lifeline transportation route GIS map for the Thurston region and integrate the data into the Thurston County Emergency Operations Plan and other local planning needs.
2 CW-MH 7 Hazard Preparedness Strengthen interjurisdictional asset management capabilities.
3 CW-MH 6 Public Information Develop and maintain a hazards mitigation public outreach strategy.
4 CW-FH 1 Data Collection & Mapping Develop emergency evacuation routes and update Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans for potential catastrophic dam failure.
5 CW-SH 1 Hazard Preparedness Develop a disaster debris management strategy.
6 CW-WH 1 Data Collection & Mapping Map the region's high risk wildland urban interface communities.
7 CW-MH 1 Data Collection & Mapping Inventory essential facilities and assets to support hazard mitigation planning and emergency management.
8 CW-EH 2 Data Collection & Mapping Enhance earthquake modeling capacity and integrate into emergency management work programs.
9 CW-MH 11 Data Collection & Mapping Inventory and assess sheltering facilities.
10 CW-MH 9 Data Collection & Mapping Map transportation infrastucture that is subject to frequent flooding or is prone to landslide hazards.
11 CW-MH 10 Plan & Coordination Implementation Develop and adopt to a Climate Adaptation Plan.
12 CW-MH 8 Hazard Preparedness Strengthen the capabilities to establish and maintain situational awareness of health and medical system and resource coordination during an emergency.
Priority: 1 of 12
Status: Modified
Hazard Addressed: Multi-Hazard
Category: Hazard Damage Reduction

CW-MH 4: Create a lifeline transportation route GIS map for the Thurston Region and integrate the data into the Thurston County Emergency Operations Plan and other local planning needs.

Rationale: A “lifeline” transportation route database will assist inspectors with prioritization of post hazard-event transportation facility evaluation and hasten the restoration or redirection of emergency service routes. This effort will focus on essential corridors necessary for public safety. Route and asset information will be mapped in a GIS. Planning will identify key attributes to support field inspections and assessments. Long term maintenance of the database will be considered.

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives: 1C, 2A, 5C

Implementer: Thurston County Public Works and Emergency Management, cities, Intercity Transit, tribes, school districts, TRPC, and other regional transportation stakeholders

Estimated Cost: Unknown

Time Period: 2017-2021

Funding Source: Unknown

Source and Date: 2003 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan for the Thurston Region

Adopted Plan Number: CW-MH 4

Reference Page: V25

Initiative and Implementation Status: This was the top ranked initiative in 2009 and 7 of 10 in the 2003 plan. Thurston County transportation stakeholders worked together to develop a Transportation Recovery Annex for the Puget Sound Catastrophic Preparedness plan, but this effort focused on state routes. While Thurston County maintains a comprehensive database of the region’s road network, no work has been performed to develop a local network “lifeline” map that would prioritize post disaster recovery efforts. In 2016, TRPC solicited data from local agencies on road segments prone to flooding and landslides. This data was compiled into GIS and shared with public works departments.

Priority: 2 of 12

Status: Existing

Hazard Addressed: Multi-Hazard
Category: Hazard Preparedness

CW-MH 7: Strengthen interjurisdictional asset management capabilities. 

Rationale: During disasters, supplemental and/or specialized resources are often in demand by one or more affected communities. Understanding what resources are available and how to acquire them in a timely manner can minimize losses. This initiative proposes a coordinated phased approach to: 1) Convene partners to identify appropriate resources; 2) Establish an online inventory system and create a process to procure resources; and 4) Maintain the system. This tool will streamline resource requests, tracking, and allocation. Examples of shared assets include specialized teams, personnel, and equipment. 

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives: 1D, 5D

Implementer: Thurston County Emergency Management, cities, fire districts, school districts, and other regional stakeholders

Estimated Cost: $50,000

Time Period: 2017-2021

Funding Source: Unknown 

Source and Date: 2009 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan for the Thurston Region 

Adopted Plan Number: CW-MH 7

Reference Page: 5-17

Initiative and Implementation Status: This initiative was introduced in the 2009 plan update process. It was amended during the 2014-2016 plan update to describe a phased implementation approach. Planning partners reiterated the importance and usefulness of this initiative.

Priority: 3 of 12

Status: Exisitng
Hazard Addressed: Multi-Hazard
Category: Public Information

CW-MH 6: Develop and maintain a hazards mitigation public outreach strategy.

Rationale: Ongoing public outreach and education for hazard mitigation activities is necessary to engage and inform all sectors of the community to become more disaster resilient. Messaging will focus on opportunities for households, businesses, and major employers to minimize losses from hazards that threaten the region. Information will be disseminated through a variety of electronic and printed resources, and provided at the annual Emergency Preparedness Expo and other community events.

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives:
5B, 8A, 8B

Implementer: Thurston County Emergency Management Council, school districts, colleges and universities, and other regional stakeholders

Estimated Cost: $100,000 (Note: $20,000 Annually)

Time Period:
2017-2021

Funding Source: Grants, Emergency Management Council funds, and other local funding 

Source and Date: 2009 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan for the Thurston Region 

Adopted Plan Number: CW-MH 6

Reference Page: 5-20

Initiative and Implementation Status: Thurston County Emergency Management regularly attends neighborhood meetings to share resources and information about hazards. TRPC created a GIS hazards story map for the 2016 Emergency Preparedness Expo and the Hazards Mitigation Plan Open House. TRPC staff hosted a hazard mitigation booth at all three expos in 2014-2016. Additional funding resources are required to develop a formal multi-hazards public education program. Other ongoing activities include Thurston County’s participation in the Community Ratings System. In 2016, Thurston County became a class II community for its flood mitigation activities, including public outreach.

Priority: 4 of 12

Status: Modified

Hazard Addressed: Flood Hazard
Category: Data Collection and Mapping

CW-FH 1: Develop emergency evacuation routes and update Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans for potential catastrophic dam failure. 

Rationale: Emergency Action Plans are available for the Skookumchuck and the Alder and La Grande Dams. Communication protocols between the dam operators and essential emergency management and public safety personnel exist, however there are no established protocols for notifying affected residents and property owners in Thurston County. This effort will develop evacuation plans to identify routes, signage, coordination with staging areas, alert and public information notification systems, and sheltering.

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives:
1A, 1C, 1D, 5C, 8B

Implementer: Thurston County Emergency Management and regional stakeholders

Estimated Cost: Unknown

Time Period: 2017-2021

Funding Source: Unknown

Source and Date: 2003 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan for the Thurston Region

Adopted Plan Number: CW-FH 1

Reference Page: V15

Initiative and Implementation Status:
This initiative was priority 4 of 9 in the 2009 plan. It was amended during the 2014-2016 plan update process to focus on developing evacuation routes and updating Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans. In 2016, communities in Thurston County subscribed to an alert and notification system, AlertSense. This system enables emergency managers and other authorities to push warnings with instructions to targeted areas in the community through land-line phones, cell phones, text messaging, email, and social media. Dam flood inundation data is available from the Emergency Action Plans. Additional resources are necessary to process this data in a GIS to conduct a vulnerability assessment. Upon completion of this task, this data will assist stakeholders with developing evacuation plans.

Priority: 5 of 12

Status: Modified

Hazard Addressed: Severe Storm Hazard
Category: Hazard Preparedness

CW-SH 1: Develop a disaster debris management strategy.

Rationale: Storms such as the January 2012 Winter Storm, the 1996 Ice Storm, and the 1993 Inaugural Day Wind Storm each generated significant vegetative and building damage debris. HAZUS estimates of earthquake and flood debris generation also highlight the need for a coordinated debris management plan. This plan will improve coordination between local agencies, utility providers, and affected individuals and organizations to manage clean-up efforts. 

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives: 5C, 5D, 6B, 7E

Implementer: Thurston County, cities, Port of Olympia, Washington State Department of Ecology, Olympic Region Clean Air Authority, Puget Sound Energy, and private contractors

Estimated Cost: Unknown

Time Period: 2017-2021

Funding Source: Unknown

Source and Date:
2003 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan for the Thurston Region

Adopted Plan Number:
CW-SH 1

Reference Page: V29

Initiative and Implementation Status: Thurston County Emergency Management successfully implemented debris management systems during the 2006 Winter Storm, the 2007 Winter Flood, and the January 2009 Flood. In 2016, Thurston County initiated the development of a debris management strategy. A draft plan is expected in 2017. 

Priority: 6 of 12

Status: Existing

Hazard Addressed: Wildland Fire Hazard
Category: Data Collection and Mapping

CW-WH 1: Map the region’s high risk wildland urban interface communities.

Rationale: The methodology for determining risk for wildfire relies on outdated analysis performed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that forms the basis of the wildland urban interface fire risk assessment in this plan. Local protection fire districts need updated data and maps that reflect areas of the community that are at risk for wildland fires. This information would assist communities in developing wildfire protection plans, community education, and mitigation activities.

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives: 1B, 3A, 7B

Implementer: Thurston County Association of Fire Chiefs, DNR, Emergency Management Council, and TRPC.

Estimated Cost: 50,000.

Time Period: 2017-2021

Funding Source: Grants and in-kind staff resources from local fire districts and community development and planning departments.

Source and Date: 2009 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan Adopted Plan Number: CW-WH 1 

Reference Page:
5-20

Initiative and Implementation Status:
Thurston County is not identified as a high wildfire priority area and is not presently eligible for DNR’s Community Assistance Grant Program. Regional partners will continue working with the Thurston County Fire Chiefs Association to explore additional data sources for mapping wildland urban interface communities. In 2016, TRPC prepared wildland fire urban interface maps for its Climate Adaptation Plan Vulnerability Assessment. This data will be evaluated for future updates to assess risk in the wildland fire hazard profile.

Priority: 7 of 12

Status: Existing

Hazard Addressed: Wildland Fire Hazard
Category: Data Collection and Mapping

CW-WH 1: Map the region’s high risk wildland urban interface communities.

Rationale: The methodology for determining risk for wildfire relies on outdated analysis performed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that forms the basis of the wildland urban interface fire risk assessment in this plan. Local protection fire districts need updated data and maps that reflect areas of the community that are at risk for wildland fires. This information would assist communities in developing wildfire protection plans, community education, and mitigation activities.

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives: 1B, 3A, 7B

Implementer: Thurston County Association of Fire Chiefs, DNR, Emergency Management Council, and TRPC.

Estimated Cost: 50,000.

Time Period: 2017-2021

Funding Source: Grants and in-kind staff resources from local fire districts and community development and planning departments.

Source and Date: 2009 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan Adopted Plan Number: CW-WH 1 

Reference Page: 5-20

Initiative and Implementation Status:
Thurston County is not identified as a high wildfire priority area and is not presently eligible for DNR’s Community Assistance Grant Program. Regional partners will continue working with the Thurston County Fire Chiefs Association to explore additional data sources for mapping wildland urban interface communities. In 2016, TRPC prepared wildland fire urban interface maps for its Climate Adaptation Plan Vulnerability Assessment. This data will be evaluated fr future updates to assess risk in the wildland fire hazard profile.

Priority: 8 of 12

Status: Modified

Hazard Addressed: Earthquake Hazard
Category: Data Collection and Mapping

CW-EH 2: Enhance earthquake modeling capacity and integrate into emergency management work programs. 

Rationale:
Very few tools and resources are available to communities to assess vulnerabilities from the effects of earthquakes. The region will continue efforts to use HAZUS multi-hazard modeling software to evaluate the impacts of earthquakes on population, infrastructure, and services. The region will partner with Washington State Emergency Management Division and FEMA Region X to explore opportunities to build local capacity to build, operate, and maintain a HAZUS model to support mitigation planning and other emergency support functions. 

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives: 1D, 1C, 7B, 7C, 7D, 8B

Implementer: Thurston County Emergency Management and other regional Stakeholders

Estimated Cost: Unknown

Time Period: 2017-2021

Funding Source: Unknown

Source and Date:
2003 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan for the Thurston Region

Adopted Plan Number: CW-EH 2

Reference Page:
V15

Initiative and Implementation Status:
This initiative was identified as priority 8 of 9 in the 2009 plan. Thurston County and TRPC worked with FEMA Region X and provided essential facility data to support the development of a series of HAZUS earthquake model scenarios. The results of these scenarios are included in the earthquake risk assessment. Additional support from FEMA and Washington State is necessary to support staff training to build, operate, and maintain local HAZUS models or to develop a statewide framework for building regional models in coordination with local governments. More research is necessary to determine the scope and cost of developing, running, and maintaining a HAZUS model for the Thurston Region.

Priority: 9 of 12

Status: New

Hazard Addressed: Multi-Hazard
Category: Data Collection and Mapping

CW-MH 11: Inventory and assess sheltering facilities.

Rationale: People are often temporarily displaced from their homes during and after disaster events. Communities in Thurston County have identified facilities such as schools that may serve as emergency shelters, however there is no comprehensive inventory of such facilities and their characteristics. A countywide assessment of sheltering facilities will collect information such as capacity, availability of restrooms, kitchens, backup generators, and other sheltering requirements. This information will assist emergency managers with planning and supporting sheltering asset management and operations during disaster events.

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives: 1B, 6B, 9B

Implementer: Thurston County Emergency Management, cities, school districts, and other regional stakeholders

Estimated Cost: $25,000

Time Period: 2017-2021

Funding Source: TBD

Source and Date: 2017 Hazards Mitigation Plan

Adopted Plan Number:
N/A 

Reference Page: N/A

Initiative and Implementation Status: The Hazards Mitigation Workgroup identified this initiative during the plan update process.

Priority: 10 of 12

Status: New

Hazard Addressed: Multi-Hazard
Category: Data Collection and Mapping

CW-MH 9: Map transportation infrastructure that is subject to frequent flooding or is prone to landslide hazards.


Rationale: Numerous road segments and culverts are subject to flooding or the effects of landslides during periods of above normal rainfall. These facilities are routinely closed for public safety, resulting in temporary or prolonged detours that delay travelers and the delivery of emergency services. Public Works maintenance crews have first-hand knowledge of these locations, but they are not systematically mapped. Developing a GIS database of these facilities would assist with planning transportation projects and mitigating potential hazardous situations. This data would also be used for assessing vulnerability and increased risks to transportation infrastructure from the effects of climate change. This initiative’s activities will consist of data collection, mapping, and vulnerability analysis.

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives: 2A, 2B, 8B

Implementer: TRPC and regional stakeholders

Estimated Cost: $12,000

Time Period: 2016-2017

Funding Source:
National Estuary Program and Watershed Protection and Restoration Grant and TRPC Regional Transportation Program Funding

Source and Date: 2017 Hazards Mitigation Plan

Adopted Plan Number: N/A 

Reference Page: N/A

Initiative and Implementation Status:
This is a new initiative and progress is already underway. This task is being completed under the development of a Thurston Climate Adaptation Plan. This plan will assess climate change vulnerabilities, risks, and impacts and identify adaptation strategies and actions for Thurston County communities in watersheds that drain to the Puget Sound. The Climate Adaptation Plan is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Likely, the vulnerability analysis and impacts will lead to the development of flood and landslide mitigation projects as part of future updates to this plan.

Priority: 11 of 12

Status: New

Hazard Addressed: Multi-Hazard
Category: Plan Coordination and Implementation

CW-MH 10: Develop and adopt a Climate Adaptation Plan.

Rationale: Preparing for and adjusting to the effects of a warming world — is now “unavoidable,” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the United Nations’ climate research arm — concluded in its 2007 climate assessment. Even the most stringent efforts to reduce greenhouse gases “cannot avoid further impacts of climate change in the next few decades,” the report explained. TRPC received a U.S. EPA National Estuary Program (NEP) grant administered by the Washington State Department of Commerce to draft a watershed-based climate adaptation plan that will recommend actions Thurston County stakeholders could take to prepare for and cope with floods, droughts, wildfires, and other climate change-exacerbated hazards in the decades ahead. The planning work — which began in late 2015 and will conclude in late 2017 — includes: researching and analyzing climate change projections; assessing regional climate change vulnerabilities and risks; developing adaptation strategies and conducting benefit-cost analyses; and, presenting TRPC policymakers a draft plan with adaptation recommendations. 

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives: 4A, 4B, 4C, 5B, 7D, 8B

Implementer: TRPC and regional stakeholders

Estimated Cost: $270,000

Time Period: 2015-2017

Funding Source: National Estuary Program grant and TRPC Regional Transportation Program funding (funding secured)

Source and Date:
Creating Places Preserving Spaces, a Sustainable Development Plan for the Thurston Region

Adopted Plan Number: E-2.1 

Reference Page: 211

Initiative and Implementation Status:
The adaptation plan’s vulnerability analysis will lead to flood and landslide mitigation projects that will be included in future updates to this plan.

Evaluation of Mitigation Initiatives: This is a new initiative and progress will be reported in the next plan update cycle.

Priority: 12 of 12

Status: Modified​

Hazard Addressed: Multi-Hazard
Category: Hazard Preparedness

CW-MH 8: Strengthen the capabilities to establish and to maintain situational awareness of health and medical system and resource coordination during an emergency. 

Rationale: Prior to an emergency, the public health and health care system in Thurston County must work together to meet the needs of residents. The accurate coordination of information supports decision making processes of local, state, tribal, and private sector partners to carry out effective response measures to reduce harm and exposure to residents. 
Partner’s use of an information system will provide multi-agency coordination and better assessment of risk, so effective mitigation and response strategies can be implemented. Resources available include patient movement tools such as Region 3 Healthcare Preparedness Coalition Disaster Medical Coordination Center, National Disaster Medical System, and Washington State Disaster Medical Control Center. 

Relates to Plan Goal(s) and Objectives: 1D, 5B, 5D

Implementer: Thurston County Health and Social Services Department of Health 7 Region 3 Healthcare Preparedness Coalition 

Estimated Cost: Unknown

Time Period: 2017-2021

Funding Source: Grants and Local Match

Source and Date: 2009 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan for the Thurston Region

Adopted Plan Number:
CW-MH 8 

Reference Page: 5-24

Initiative and Implementation Status: This initiative was ranked 9 of 9 in the 2009 plan, and was revised to include additional partners that will be responsible for its implementation.



Mitigation Activities



This plan identifies seven categories of mitigation activities. These categories were created during the development of the original plan and were reviewed by the Hazards Mitigation Workgroup during the plan update process. Each initiative in this plan fulfills one or more of the following categories:
Public Outreach and Information: Information delivered in a variety of formats intended to inform and educate community members, elected officials, and property owners about the hazards and potential ways to mitigate them. Such actions include websites, outreach projects, real estate disclosure, fairs and expos, and school-age and adult education programs.

Plan Coordination and Implementation: Activities that support a jurisdiction’s hazards mitigation planning process and implementation strategy within their organization and in conjunction with neighboring jurisdictions and relevant stakeholders.

Data Collection and Mapping: Actions that relate to the process of gathering and analyzing new data and then mapping or utilizing the information in such a manner that it improves communities’ ability to make informed decisions about increasing their disaster resilience.

Development Regulations: Government administrative or regulatory actions or processes that influence the way land and buildings are developed and built. These actions also include public activities to reduce hazard losses. Examples include planning and zoning, building codes, capital improvement programs, open space preservation, and stormwater management regulations.
Hazard Preparedness: Advance actions that protect people and property during and immediately after a disaster or hazard event. These could include developing or improving warning systems, emergency response services, and the stockpiling of supplies and materials.

Hazard Damage Reduction:
Actions that involve the modification of existing buildings or structures to protect them from a hazard, or removal from the hazard area. Examples include acquisition, elevation, relocation, structural retrofits, storm shutters, and shatter-resistant glass.

Critical Facilities Replacement/Retrofit: Activities targeted specifically at protecting or replacing critical or essential facilities.