I recently talked about landside emergency response procedures for the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Washington Chapter Emerging Professionals Committee. The original request was to focus on the Whidbey Island landslide that occurred this spring. However, considering the audience, I thought it would be more helpful to incorporate discussions of other emergency-response scenarios I’ve encountered over the years. This includes what public works officials and consultants have to think about when under those sometimes-challenging conditions
As professional engineers, our first and foremost responsibility in responding to an emergency is protecting life safety. That is often easier said than done, however, when you throw politics, breaking news, active and unstable landslides and people’s homes into the mix. From managing communications, knowing when to declare a state of emergency, shutting down roads, and yellow- and red-tagging houses, there’s a lot both engineers and public works officials need to consider when it comes to emergency response.
You can see a slideshow of my presentation exploring these different considerations and what you might want to think about ahead of time when it comes to emergency response services.