Auditor's Office

Employee and Administrative Services (EAS)


Central Services

Emergency Management

Prosecuting Attorney


Other County Organizations


A. Purpose

To provide administrative and fiscal procedures to support emergency management operations at all levels during an emergency/disaster.

B. Scope

This ESF is applicable to all Thurston County departments and agencies with responsibilities in this plan.


A. Political subdivisions have the power to enter into contracts and incur obligations in carrying out the provisions of the Washington Emergency Management Act without regard to time consuming procedures and formalities prescribed by law (except mandatory constitutional requirements), including but not limited to budget law limitations and the appropriation and expenditures of public funds (RCW 38.52.070[2]).

B. Expenditures necessary for the immediate survival of persons endangered by an emergency or that may be incurred by a disaster may not exceed the legal limitations of the budget unless the Board, consistent with RCW 36.40.180 and 190, passes a resolution authorizing the budget extension.

C. The emergency/disaster response capabilities of Thurston County will be built upon the capabilities of existing departments/agencies of government, augmented, as required, by volunteers and reassignment of regular personnel to duties that are more urgent during an emergency.


A. A disaster may require the expenditure of large sums of money by Thurston County departments and agencies.

B. Financial operations will be carried out under compressed schedules and intense public pressures, necessitating expeditious (non-routine) procedures, but with no lessened requirement for sound financial management and accountability.

C. A Presidential major disaster or emergency declaration will permit funding from the Federal Disaster Relief Fund under the provisions of the Stafford Act, through the Public Assistance Program.

D. Actions, decisions, conditions, and expenses must be documented in a disaster to recover federal and state funds and to provide for legal documentation.

E. Sufficient administrative personnel will be available to perform support tasks.


A. Authorization of Emergency Expenditures

1. Emergency expenditures are not normally integrated into the budgeting process. Nevertheless, disasters occur on a periodic basis requiring substantial and necessary unanticipated obligations and expenditures.

2. Local political subdivisions will incur disaster related obligations and expenditures per the provisions of RCW 38.52.070(2) as follows:

".................in carrying out the provisions of this Chapter each political subdivision, in which any disaster as described in RCW 38.52.020 occurs, shall have the power to enter into contracts and incur obligations necessary to combat such disaster, protecting the health and safety of persons and property, and providing emergency assistance to the victims of such disaster. Each political subdivision is authorized to exercise the powers vested under this section in the light of the exigencies of an extreme emergency situation without regard to time-consuming procedures and formalities prescribed by law (excepting mandatory constitutional requirements), including but not limited to, budget law limitations, requirements of competitive bidding and publication of notices, provisions pertaining to the performance of public work, entering into contracts, the incurring of obligations, the employment of temporary workers, the rental of equipment, the purchase of supplies and materials, the levying of taxes and the appropriation and expenditures of public funds."

3. County

The Board of County Commissioners is authorized to declare emergencies and to make the expenditures necessary to meet such emergencies without further notice of hearing as provided by RCW 36.40.180:

"Upon the happening of any emergency caused by fire, flood, explosion, storm, earthquake, epidemic, riot, or insurrection, or for the immediate preservation of order or of public health or for the restoration to a condition of usefulness of any public property the usefulness of which has been destroyed by accident, or for the relief of a stricken community overtaken by a calamity, or in settlement of approved claims for personal injuries or property damages, exclusive of claims arising from the operation of any public utility owned by the county, or to meet mandatory expenditures required by any law, the board of county commissioners may, upon the adoption by the unanimous vote of the commissioners present at any meeting the time and place of which all of such commissioners have had reasonable notice, of a resolution stating the facts constituting the emergency and entering the same upon their minutes, make the expenditures necessary to meet such emergency without further notice or hearing."

The payment of emergency warrants is covered under RCW 36.40.190:

"All emergency expenditures shall be paid for by the issuance of emergency warrants which shall be paid from any moneys on hand in the County treasury in the fund properly chargeable therewith and the county treasurer shall pay such warrants out of any moneys in the treasury in such fund. If, at any time, there are insufficient moneys on hand in the treasury to pay any of such warrants, they shall be registered, bear interest and be called in the manner provided by law for other county warrants."

B. Record Keeping

Each municipal or county department expending resources in response to a declared emergency/disaster will maintain detailed records during such disasters to meet the financial and accounting requirements of the federal or state funding agency. (See Attachment 1, Federal Disaster Assistance Instruction Sheet for procedures.) Records will be kept in such a manner that disaster related expenditures and obligations of local departments and agencies can be broken out and identified, separate from regular or general programs and activities.

Complete and accurate records are necessary:

1. To document requests for assistance and ensure maximum eligible reimbursement.

2. To facilitate reimbursement under approved applications pertaining to declared emergencies or major disasters.

3. For audit reports and audit records. Detailed records will be kept from the onset of the disaster, including but not limited to:

a. Appropriate extracts from payrolls, with any cross-references needed to locate original documents. (See Attachment 1 Federal Disaster Assistance Instruction Sheet.)

b. A schedule of County equipment used or copies of invoices for rented equipment.

c. Invoices, warrants, and checks issued and paid for materials and supplies used on the job.

d. Copies of contracts for all work performed by an outside agency.

C. Federal and State Reimbursement

Disaster related expenditures and obligations of local political subdivisions may be reimbursed under a number of federal or state programs. Reimbursement of approved costs for work performed in the restoration of public facilities may be authorized by the federal or state government after a major disaster declaration by the President or under the statutory authority of certain federal agencies. (See Attachment 1 Federal Disaster Assistance Instruction Sheet for C to G categories.)

Other agencies besides FEMA Public Assistance include:

1. Before a Presidential Declaration

After an occurrence that may result in a declared major disaster or emergency, the county will assess the situation and prepare an estimate of labor and damage costs. These estimates will be forwarded to State Emergency Management. If local and state resources have been exceeded, the governor will request either a Presidential "Emergency Disaster Declaration" or a "Major Disaster Declaration."

2. After a Presidential Declaration

Once an emergency or major disaster is declared by the President, a Disaster Field Office (DFO) is opened to accommodate a FEMA financial management unit from which extensive federal and state assistance can be provided. Disaster Resource Assistance Centers (DRAC) are opened and private assistance monies are made available. Emergency telephone centers are also opened to assist in applications. Public agency assistance briefings are conducted and monies made available.

D. Audits of Disaster Related Expenditures and Obligations

Audits of local disaster related emergency expenditures will be conducted during the normal audit period. Federal disaster assistance projects will be audited after the completion of work.


A. Local

1. Board of County Commissioners

a. The Thurston County Board of Commissioners or designee may accept the necessary emergency funds, equipment, etc., offered to the County by the federal government (through the state). (RCW 38.52.100)

2. Auditor's Office/Financial Services

a. Establish a means of recording emergency purchases authorized by the County Commissioners.

b. Coordinate the compilation of disaster response and recovery related labor, equipment, material, and service costs for post-disaster reporting purposes.

c. Coordinate post-disaster activity with the County Treasurer, Employee and Administrative Services, the Assessor, and other departments as needed.

d. The Deputy Auditor for Finance or designee will act as County agent for recovering disaster funds and grants.

e. Provide for essential county services including payroll operations, purchasing, emergency contracts, and payments.

f. Provide essential services to the Fire Agencies including processing payroll and emergency vouchers and tracking the budget.

g. Provide Fixed Assets inventory as needed for damage assessment and equipment replacement in conjunction with Employee and Administrative Services.

3. Employee and Administrative Services

a. Identify emergency management staff and field support personnel.

b. Coordinate with other departments for the provision of emergency management staff and field support throughout the response and recovery phases.

c. Coordinate the hiring of emergency personnel.

d. Coordinate and assist in the development of county facility evacuation and emergency preparedness plans.

e. Provide for critical payroll information, coordinating with the Auditor's Office.

f. Provide for coordination of insurance documentation and requirements in conjunction with the Auditor's Office.

g. Handle Labor and Industry Worker's Compensation Claims.

4. Treasurer

a. Arrange for emergency cash management and banking services.

b. Receive and process disaster recovery funds.

5. Central Services

a. Provide mainframe, network, and PC computers to support Administrative and Finance responsibilities.

b. Provide damage assessment of critical county facilities.

c. Provide or coordinate emergency repairs to facilities.

d. Provide emergency replacement of computer and business equipment.

e. Locate or lease office space for critical functions if normal space is unusable.

6. Emergency Management

a. Assist Financial Services in coordinating with departments/agencies in developing and carrying out of emergency fiscal plans and procedures.

b. Advise the Disaster Policy Advisory Group.

c. Coordinate damage assessment and record keeping.

d. Assist in the coordination of state and federal public and individual assistance programs.

7. Prosecuting Attorney

Provide legal advice and assistance to the County Commissioners, Department Directors and Emergency Management in the preparation of agreements, contracts, and other disaster related agreements.

8. Public Information

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

9. All Departments/Agencies

a. All department heads will prepare emergency fiscal procedures for the operations of their respective departments that meet the requirements specified in this plan by Auditor/Financial Services, Treasurer and/or requisite funding agency.

b. Department heads will protect essential fiscal records within their departments.

c. Provide essential records and documents to the Auditor's Office for disaster recovery funding.

B. State

1. State Emergency Management

Authorizes expenditures necessary to accomplish appropriate emergency response, including the settling of property loss or damage claims and liability resulting from injury or death of registered emergency personnel as defined in the Washington Emergency Management Act (RCW 38.52.020[d]).

2. Other responsibilities as defined in the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, Annex W - Emergency Fiscal Procedures.

C. Federal

Provides aid and assistance to any state which, during an emergency, has exhausted its own resources.


A. The Federal Response Plan, Financial Management

B. Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan,

Annex W


1. Federal Disaster Assistance Instruction Sheet




Categories - A. Debris Clearance & B. Protective Measures Work:

1) Due to the nature of the Emergency Work, a Disaster Survey Report (DSR) cannot be prepared in advance. Work is necessary and is started immediately following the onset of the disaster.

2) Reimbursement for category A. Debris Clearance & B. Protective Measures is done after the work is completed. County departments submit their category A & B costs to Financial Services. Financial Services reviews the information and prepares it for the FEMA inspectors.

3) FEMA inspectors review the documentation for all A & B costs and then prepares the DSR for federal and state reimbursement.

4) When reimbursement is received, Financial Services will deposit the monies into the appropriate funds and forward copies to the departments of the DSRs and deposit receipts.


Categories - C. Road System, D. Water Control Facilities, E. Buildings and Equipment, F. Public Utility Systems, and G. Other

Small Projects <$44,800

1) Departments meet with FEMA and state inspectors. A Disaster Survey Report (DSR) is prepared. The department begins work.

2) Approval of the DSR is received by Financial Services in the form of a Project Application Summary that states: the approved dollar amounts, project completion dates, project title, location, and any conditions of approval. The "approved" computer generated DSR is sent also. Copies of the approval are forwarded to the department.

3) When work is completed, the department notifies Auditor's Office/Financial Services in writing that the DSR No. ___ is complete and ready for reimbursement, noting the actual amount expended on the project.

4) Financial Services will prepare the A-19 and Letter of Certification of Completion for billing. The Deputy Auditor for Finance or designee will authorize the reimbursement as the county's designated agent, and it will be forwarded to the Washington State Emergency Management Division for payment.

5) When the payment is received, Financial Services will send the warrant to the department for deposit with coding information. Financial Services will record and track all payments.

Categories - C. Road System, D. Water Control Facilities, E. Buildings and Equipment, F. Public Utility Systems, and G. Other

Large Projects >$44,800

1) Same as for Small Projects 1).

2) Same as for Small Projects 2).

3) Monthly the department will notify Financial Services of the total expenditures to date for a specific DSR. Financial Services will bill for progress payments (75% of the eligible costs less 10% for retainage).

4) When the monthly payment is received, it will be forwarded to the department for deposit, unless the warrant is for multiple DSRs of different departments, in which case Financial Services will make the deposit and forward copies to the respective departments.

5) Quarterly Progress Reports are required on all Large Projects. Financial Services will notify the departments of the need to submit the quarterly progress information. Financial Services will combine the information and send in the report.

6) When the project is completed, the department will notify Financial Services and forward a statement of actual expenses incurred, separated into the same categories as the estimated costs listed in the DSR.

7) Financial Services will complete the "Statement of Documentation in Support of Amount Claimed for Financial Disaster Assistance", the Deputy Auditor for Finance will authorize and forward to the state Emergency Management Division.

8) Reimbursement of all final costs and the administrative allowance will be sent after all DSRs are completed and inspected. This deposit will be made by Financial Services with copies sent to the respective departments.