County Emergency Preparedness Assessment (CEPA)

CEPA Pilot

The Emergency Management Division (EMD) will be conducting a pilot of the CEPA process in 2024. This pilot will include volunteer county participants. The pilot sessions will be used to refine and enhance the process, solicit participant feedback and gather quality data concerning each county’s unique situation and capabilities. Tribal Nations interested in the CEPA are encouraged to contact the program manager, listed below.

What Does CEPA Involve?

The key components of the CEPA include an in-person meeting between state and local subject matter experts (SMEs) to discuss and analyze a county’s risk and capabilities using a standardized methodology. Elements of a CEPA session include:

  • Threat and Hazard Risk Assessment
  • Core Capability Assessment
  • Grant Funding Reliance Assessment
  • Response Capacity Assessment
  • Key Resource Inventory
  • Strengths and Strategies to Enhance Preparedness

EMD staff work with the County Emergency Manager to schedule the CEPA and to ensure appropriate state and local representation. It takes approximately six hours to complete an initial session. EMD provides the facilitator and scribe for the session and shares participant guides and other resources in advance to ensure all parties understand the process. The session is completed once every three years.

Participation in CEPA

County participation in the CEPA meets the state eligibility requirements for grant programs previously met by completion of Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR) surveys.

Who Attends CEPA Sessions?

County Emergency Managers invite local SMEs to participate across disciplines including but not limited to emergency management, fire, 911 communications, emergency medical services, public health, public works, IT/cyber and law enforcement. Tribal Nations and major metropolitan areas within the county are encouraged to participate in the county session.

How is CEPA Information Used?

After a CEPA session, the county will receive an initial draft report to review and provide feedback. EMD will then provide a detailed final draft report based on participant feedback. As subsequent sessions are completed, the report will include trend data for the county. There are various ways counties may use CEPA data, including but not limited to, informing elected officials, justifying budget requests, guiding grant applications, tailoring programs, and informing future planning, training, and exercises. Counties can also use the CEPA results to provide a framework for more detailed discussions with EMD and other state agencies regarding what resources or support the State can offer to assist the local government during emergencies.

Information documented during the CEPA enables the State to better understand county-level capabilities and gaps in preparedness. Enhancing our understanding of these capabilities and gaps allows EMD to develop or modify existing programs and initiatives to better support the agency’s mission to protect, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. CEPA also supports eligibility for federal grants and risk and capability assessment requirements such as the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and SPR.

Download our flyer here. (PDF)

What CEPA Isn’t

The CEPA is not:

  • A scorecard, stratification or ranking system
  • An inspection or compliance evaluation
  • A report card

Upcoming 2024 CEPA Sessions

Adams County
Benton County
Spokane County


Clark County
Grays Harbor County
Okanogan County

Contact Information

For more information on CEPA, please contact David Broussard at