Water and Waste Management


Emergency Management

EM Council

Puget Sound Energy



A. Purpose

To provide for the effective utilization of available electric power, water resources, telecommunications, natural gas, and petroleum products to meet essential needs in Thurston County during an emergency or disaster, and to provide for the restoration of utilities affected by the emergency or disaster.

B. Scope

The scope of this ESF includes:

1. Assessing energy systems and utilities damage, supply, demand, and requirements to restore such systems.

2. Helping Thurston County departments and agencies obtain fuel for transportation, communications, emergency operations, and other critical facilities.

3. Helping energy suppliers and utilities obtain equipment, specialized labor, and transportation to repair or restore energy systems.


A. The Thurston County priority will be to protect lives, public property including critical energy and utility lifelines and the environment.


A. A severe natural disaster or other significant event can sever key energy and utility lifelines, constraining supply in impacted areas, or in areas with supply links to impacted areas, and also affect fire fighting, transportation, communication, and other lifelines needed for public health and safety.

B. There may be widespread and/or prolonged electric power failure. With no electric power, communications may be effected, and traffic signals may not operate, which could lead to transportation gridlock.

C. There may be extensive pipeline failure in water, wastewater, and gas utilities. These may take hours, days, or even weeks to repair.

D. There may be panic hoarding of fuel in areas by severed pipelines, or by individuals from neighboring jurisdictions where shortages have occurred.

E. Natural gas lines may break and may erupt in fire.

F. Water pressure may be low, hampering firefighting and impairing sewer system function.

G. Thurston County departments, under Emergency Proclamation, may need the authority to go on private property to evaluate and repair utilities that jeopardize public and private property or threaten public health or the environment.


A. The occurrence of a major disaster could destroy or disrupt all or a portion of the County's energy and utility systems.

1. The electrical power industry within Washington is organized into a network of public and private generation and distribution facilities which form the Northwest Power Pool. Through such networks, the electrical power industry has developed a capability to provide power under even the most extreme circumstances. (Reference: Washington State Electrical Contingency Plan, 1980.)

2. Water supply systems within the county are either publicly or privately owned and are organized at municipal or local private levels. Since these systems are not normally interconnected, emergency planning for water utilities is concerned with restoration efforts.

3. Natural gas within Washington is distributed by major natural gas companies through common pipelines originating in other states.

4. The Department of Transportation (DOT) can access local petroleum suppliers and major oil companies to facilitate the delivery of adequate amounts of emergency petroleum fuel supplies and may be requested through local emergency management channels. (Reference: Washington State Petroleum Products Contingency Plan, 1983.)

B. To the maximum extent possible during a disaster, utility and energy systems will continue to provide services through their normal means.

C. Energy and utility resources will be used to meet immediate local needs. If shortages exist, requests to meet needs will be submitted through normal emergency management channels. Actions may be taken to curtail use of energy, water or other utilities until normal levels of service can be restored or supplemented. These resources, when curtailed, will be used to meet immediate and essential emergency needs (e.g. hospitals, etc.).

D. Energy and utility information will be furnished to emergency government officials at all levels to inform the public on proper use of services.

E. As needed or requested, energy and utility representatives will compile post-emergency damage assessment reports and transmit them to Emergency Management.

F. The Governor may direct any state or local governmental agency to implement programs relating to the consumption of energy, as deemed necessary to preserve and protect public health, safety, and general welfare, and to minimize to the fullest extent possible the injurious economic, social and environmental consequences of such energy supply alert. (RCW 43.21G.040)

"To protect the public welfare during a condition of energy supply alert or energy emergency, the executive authority of each state or local agency is authorized and directed to take action to carry out the orders issued by the Governor......a local governmental agency shall not be held liable for any lawful actions consistent with RCW 43.21G.030.............in accordance with such orders issued by the Governor." (RCW 43.21G.050)


A. Local

1. Emergency Management

a. Maintain liaison with local utilities, including the ability to contact on a 24-hour a day basis.

b. Coordinate assistance to support local utility and energy providers, as requested.

2. Water and Waste Management, Municipal Utilities, and Private Purveyors

a. Maintain and control water, sewer, and solid waste systems within their jurisdictions.

b. Perform damage assessment on systems and identify problems or shortfalls in water supply. Report findings to the EOC.

c. Regulate water and utility usage in times of shortages, as appropriate, assuring priority use set to meet immediate and essential emergency needs.

d. Within available means, protect existing water supplies and restore damaged systems.

e. Identify potential areas for mitigation strategy.

f. Prepare appropriate disaster assistance forms for submittal to appropriate state and federal agencies.

3. Roads and Transportation

Coordinate fuel needs for transportation, communications, emergency operations, and other critical facilities.

4. Public Information

Coordinate all public information and instructions and media relations as defined in ESF #31 Public Information.

5. Other Utility Providers

a. Continue to operate in the tradition of self-help and interservice mutual aid before calling for area, regional, or state assistance.

b. Comply with the prevailing priority systems relating to curtailment of customer demands or loads, restoration of services, and provision of emergency services for other utilities and systems.

c. In conjunction with the EOC operations, determine priorities among users if adequate utility supply is not available to meet all essential needs.

d. Provide information necessary for compiling damage and operational capability reports.

B. State

1. State Emergency Management

a. Alerts appropriate state agencies of the possible requirement to supplement local energy and utility needs.

b. Coordinates with the Utilities and Transportation Commission to provide supplemental assistance to local government.

C. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Coordinates the activities of federal agencies having supplemental energy and utility resources capabilities during a presidential declared emergency or disaster.


A. The Federal Response Plan, ESF #12 - Energy

B. Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

C. Washington State Electrical Contingency Plan, 1980

D. Washington State Petroleum Products Contingency Plan, 1983