Disaster Assistance

Washington has experienced many presidentially-declared major disasters. This graphical presentation (PDF) from 1956 to 2010 shows that every county in our state has at some point suffered from a major disaster.

When the President declares a major disaster, government agencies – including state agencies, local governments (counties, cities, towns, special purpose districts), and federally-recognized tribal governments, as well as certain private non-profits may be eligible for disaster assistance.

Individuals and households may also be eligible for federal help following a disaster. The Emergency Management Division Individuals and Households Program and FEMA jointly administer programs so individuals and households may begin to apply for assistance immediately.

Additionally, the Small Business Administration makes it low interest loan programs available to qualifying businesses and private non-profit organizations that have suffered damages.

The Declaration Process

The Stafford Act (§401) requires that: "All requests for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State." A State also includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia are also eligible to request a declaration and receive assistance.

The Governor's request is made through the regional FEMA office. State and Federal officials conduct a preliminary damage assessment (PDA) to estimate the extent of the disaster and its impact on individuals and public facilities. This information is included in the Governor's request to show that the disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary. Normally, the PDA is completed prior to the submission of the Governor's request. However, when an obviously severe or catastrophic event occurs, the Governor's request may be submitted prior to the PDA. Nonetheless, the Governor must still make the request.

More information is available on disaster assistance provided for:

Recent Presidentially-declared disasters: 


August 11, 2014

Major 4188-DR-WA

Incident Period - July 9, 2014 - August 5, 2014


Colville Indian Reservation, Kittitas County and Okanogan County (PA only)

April 2, 2014

Major 4168-DR-WA

Incident Period - March 22 - April 28, 2014
Flooding and Mudslides

Sauk-Suiattle Indian Reservation, Snohomish County, Stillaguamish Indian Reservation and Tulalip Indian Reservation

September 25, 2012

Major 4083-DR-WA

Incident Period -
July 20-21, 2012
Severe Storm, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding

Ferry and Okanogan counties and the Confederated

Tribes of the Colville Reservation


March 5, 2012

Major 4056-DR-WA

Incident Period -
January 14-23, 2012
Severe Winter Storm, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides

Clallam County, Grays Harbor County, King County, Klickitat County, Lewis County, Mason County, Pierce County, Skamania County, Snohomish County, Thurston County and Wahkiakum County.


March 25, 2011

Major 1963-DR-WA

Incident period -
January 11-21, 2011

Severe Winter Storm, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides

Klickitat, Kittitas, King, Lewis, Skagit, Skamania, Wahkiakum (PA only)


March 2, 2009

Major 1825-DR-WA

Incident period - December 12, 2008 - January 5, 2009   

Severe Winter Storms and Snow and Near Record Snow Event

Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clark, Cowlitz, Columbia, Clallam, Ferry, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pacific, Pend Orielle, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Spokane, Snohomish, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman, Yakima (PA only)


January 30, 2009

Major 1817-DR-WA

Incident period - January 6-16, 2009

Severe Winter Storms, Floods, Freezing Rains, High Winds, Landslides, Mudslides Event

Benton, Chelan, Cowlitz, Columbia, Clallam, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Whatcom, Yakima


December 8, 2007

Major 1734-DR-WA

Incident period - December 1-17, 2007

Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides

IA:  Clallam, Grays Harbor, Kitsap, King, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Thurston, Snohomish, Wahkiakum

PA:  Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, King, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Thurston, Skagit, Snohomish, Wahkiakum


February 14, 2007

Major 1682-DR-WA

Incident period - December 14-15, 2006

Severe Winter Storm, Landslides, and Mudslides

Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Grant, Grays Harbor, Island, King, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum (PA Only)


December 12, 2006

Major 1671-DR-WA

Incident period - November 2-11, 2006

Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides

Chelan, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, King, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum