Yakima County Preparing for the Worst, Just in Case - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima County Preparing for the Worst, Just in Case

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- If a major disaster happens, Yakima County leaders want to make sure they're prepared.

The Office of Emergency Management is updating their emergency management plan to make sure everything is up to standard.

It's all an effort to make sure the region is prepared to handle large, overwhelming disasters like fires, floods and pandemics.

The emergency management plan will set the standards for making sure people are safe and everyone is taken care of when these situations happen.

"What this plan does is provide consistency throughout the valley."

Some events are  bad and some are unavoidable because as Emergency Management Manager Jim Hall puts it, "nobody can really foresee what will happen in an event."

Currently, Yakima County is getting ready to take on events like major fires, devastating floods and pandemics. County leaders are in the process of updating their comprehensive emergency management plan to make sure there are enough resources available to take care of those affected.

"The plan will be updated and modified if some significant even occurred that would cause us to change the way we do operations," the Emergency Management Planner Charles Erwin tells us.

The 400 page plan not only covers the City of Yakima, it covers the whole region. Every city will have their bases covered so they can identify the problem and assign the correct emergency management team to handle it.

"We should be addressing with the cities and towns, any changes, school districts, fire districts, and everything else," believes Erwin.

And it's not limited to just the region, large national events are also part of the plan to make sure we are prepared if they happen here.

"If something is new, they send it to me, we look at it, we incorporate it, we don't re-write the whole book, but we just modify," Erwin said.

But even with a long document touching on every worst-case scenario, the message is simple - "get the right resources to the right place at the right time."

Once the plan is complete, it will be submitted to the state for final review. Once approved, the new requirements will be put into place for the entire region.

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