Planning Paid Off

Planning paid off. Ten years after the (fictional) M7.2 Seattle Fault earthquake, completion of the many successful recovery initiatives across King County, WA has been largely attributed to pre-event long-term recovery planning conducted in the years before the disaster.

The planning process helped get a jump on developing a shared reconstruction and revitalization vision to improve resilience and sustainability after the catastrophic event. The framework that came out of the planning process facilitated local decision makers in locating resources, coordinating stakeholders, and identifying opportunities in the high stress environment after the quake. Overall, the greatest challenge overcome was the need to balance the time and money required for bouncing back better with the urgency needed to jump start peoples’ lives and the region’s economy as soon as possible.

Developing the Resilient King County vision at the first RKC workshop.

Developing the Resilient King County vision at the first RKC workshop.

The above story, like all the stories on this website, is a work of fiction. WWU undergraduate students in Huxley College of the Environment’s disaster risk reduction minor wrote the majority of the stories. The website was conceived and designed by Dr. Scott Miles for the purposes of illustrating the potential for opportunities during disaster recovery, as well as highlighting the benefits of pre-event long-term recovery planning.

The fictional stories about recovery after a possible M7.2 Seattle Fault earthquake are based on public information developed as part of the Resilient King County initiative (RKC). King County Office of Emergency Management conducted RKC across five meetings and workshops. One of the outcomes of the RKC was a set of vision statements describing opportunities and successes that might arise during a future recovery process. Students took these vision statements and articulate them as news stories in a fictional 10-year anniversary news site.

More information about Resilient King County can be found here. From the RKC white paper:

The purpose of the Resilient King County initiative is to obtain collective insights and feedback from stakeholders within King County to further the development of King County’s Regional Long-Term Recovery Plan. The insights and feedback uncovered by the Resilient King County initiative will be synthesized into a stand-alone report, the purpose of which is to develop a framework for conducting future principles-based tradeoffs before and during the recovery process in coordination with other King County jurisdictions and key stakeholders.

The intent of the Resilient King County initiative is to take into consideration and be compatible with a number of existing and developing frameworks including:

  1. FEMA National Disaster Recovery Framework
  2. Resilient Washington State
  3. Washington Restoration Framework
  4. Local recovery plans (City of Seattle, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Regional Catastrophic
  5. Planning Group, etc.)

The objectives of the Resilient King County initiative are based on information from King County staff and officials, attendees of the CEO Leadership Summit, and existing recovery frameworks.

  • Identify critical stakeholders of catastrophic recovery that can assist in facilitating effective recovery.
  • Identify the needs, resources, and roles of stakeholders and partners.
  • Understand how stakeholders and partners can work together before and after a catastrophe to achieve a shared vision of recovery.
  • Identify obstacles and opportunities for catastrophic recovery, including legal, political, coordination, physical, and cultural elements.
  • Gain feedback on how the public can and wants to participate in recovery from a future catastrophe.
Attendees of the RKC kickoff summit.

Attendees of the RKC kickoff summit.

No King County government representative or agency has officially endorsed or approved the content of this website. Nor has any other local, state, or federal representative or agency. All images are either creative commons, labeled for re-use, or public information. Work on the website is entirely volunteer. No government resources were used to fund or facilitate its development. The website is hosted privately using donated funds. Any concerns or questions about content or conflict of interest can be addressed to Dr. Scott Miles.