Seismic Safety Committee (SSC)


Prepare and submit to the Emergency Management Council (EMC) statewide strategies, policies, and recommendations that address the seismic threat through mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities. This will be established through a collaborative effort and consensus of committee members representing stakeholder organizations across the state.

Seismic Safety Committee Information

Charter of Seismic Safety Committee (PDF)

WWU Gap Analysis Report

Resilient Washington State (RWS) Initiative Project

RWS Resources:


The Washington State Seismic Safety Committee (SSC) initiated a project to study and prepare a policy paper with the purpose of providing a framework for improving Washington’s resilience when earthquakes occur. Such a framework includes more effective seismic mitigation policies and recommendations for legislation and policy changes to improve and enhance statewide seismic safety. The document will be used to facilitate long-term implementation of seismic risk reduction policies across the state with the goal of making the state resilient in a 50-year time frame. To complete this effort, the SSC formed a subcommittee called the Resilient Washington State (RWS) subcommittee.

The RWS subcommittee has been formulating a plan of action to complete this effort since the start of 2010. Beginning with a one-day workshop on September 17, the RWS subcommittee worked with key experts and stakeholders to:

  • Evaluate the current condition of infrastructure in the state relative to earthquake resilience.
  • Develop targets for the desired level of performance.
  • Develop target time frames for the restoration of services.
  • Prepare recommendations for statewide action to achieve desired targets and present those recommendations in a clear and concise document.

In January of 2017, the Resilient Washington Subcabinet convened to determine what progress had been made on the Resilient Washington State Report’s recommendations so far, and to identify current gaps, funding challenges, and strategies for how to approach the items in the 2012 report. State agencies were also given specific directions by the governor, which can be found in the governor’s Nov. 4, 2016 letter. You can learn more about the work of the Resilient Washington Subcabinet at:

This effort was inspired by a similar effort undertaken for the City of San Francisco by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR). The final SPUR documents for the Resilient City project in San Francisco can be found at Unlike the SPUR document, the RWS effort will be focused on statewide impacts.

Definition of Resilience:

The RWS subcommittee has defined a resilient state as one that maintains services and livelihoods after an earthquake. In the event that services and livelihoods are disrupted, recovery occurs rapidly, with minimal social disruption, and results in a new and better condition. In accordance with this definition, a number of values have been established for Washington State to achieve resilience. These include:

Property Protection: Public and private property within the State of Washington should be built, retrofitted, or rebuilt to minimize earthquake-induced damage. This includes proper design and construction of both structural and non-structural elements.

Economic Security: Residents and businesses within the State of Washington should have access to income opportunities to meet basic needs before and soon after an earthquake. This includes sufficient employment opportunities, market access, distribution capacity, and supplier access.

Environmental Protection: The natural resources and ecosystems of Washington State should be managed in such a way as to minimize earthquake-induced damage. This includes the use of proper growth management, accident response capacity, and industrial safety measures.

Life Safety and Human Health: Residents of the State of Washington should not suffer life-threatening injuries from earthquake-induced damage or develop serious illness from lack of emergency medical care after an earthquake. This includes enforcing and updating building codes, eliminating non-structural hazards, and ensuring continuity of emergency health care.

Community Continuity: All communities within the State of Washington should have the capacity to maintain their social networks and livelihoods after an earthquake disaster. This includes prevention of social-network disruption, social discrimination, and community bias.