SPOTLIGHT – Emergency Management | Clatsop County, Oregon


The Clatsop County Emergency Management Department is responsible for a wide range of planning efforts, facilitating various appointed and volunteer committees, public outreach and education with an emphasis on a all-hazards approach, grant management and emergency communications oversight.

It’s a long list of responsibilities for Director Tiffany Brown and her two-person team, and one that has only grown longer with the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department manages the county’s ClatsopALERTS! emergency notification and community information system, coordinates training events for local volunteers, promotes emergency preparedness and oversees advisory committees such as the Ambulance Service Area Advisory Committee. It also operates the Camp Rilea Emergency Operations Center, built adjacent to the facility’s Warrior Hall to serve as a central command and communication center during local and regional emergencies.

But planning is also a key goal of the department – not only for responding to emergencies when they occur, but for reducing the impacts of those events before they happen.

The threat of the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami draws attention in discussions of natural hazards on the Oregon coast, but the region is also threatened by other potential events such as wildfires, windstorms and landslides. All of these hazards are detailed in the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP), a comprehensive document that assesses the vulnerabilities of our communities to these events and outlines strategies to reduce or eliminate the risks they pose – to “create a Clatsop County Disaster Resilient “according to the plan’s mission statement.

The plan identifies a range of measures ranging from modernization of infrastructure to education campaigns.

“We have identified over the past few years that we can save $ 6 in disasters for every $ 1 we spend up front, on mitigation projects,” Brown said.

The department recently completed an update to the NHMP, which not only incorporated new data, but also added 10 jurisdictions, including the Seaside School District, the Port of Astoria, and several service districts. “Now these people are eligible for funding streams that they would not otherwise have been,” including risk mitigation funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brown said.

In 2017, the Emergency Management Department assumed responsibility for the County’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program, which serves to advance six key areas of preparedness so that state and local systems are better prepared for emergencies with impact. on public health.

Public health became a top priority last year with the COVID-19 pandemic, and emergency management played a central role in the county’s response. The department handled much of the logistics for testing, immunization, and treatment events at various locations, set up online registration for immunization clinics, and put the emergency operations center in available to the county public information call center.

The department has also served as a clearinghouse for local agencies, businesses and nonprofits to access Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies through one contact.

Go to the county website for a full description of emergency management services and programs.