The Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan lays out the framework for the city's organizational activities during disaster operations. Specifically, the plan provides guidance for mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery operations including disaster and emergency responsibilities and procedures, and training and community education activities. The plan also establishes a mutual understanding of authority, responsibilities and functions of local government and provides a basis for incorporating essential non-governmental agencies and organizations into the Emergency Management Organization.
DEM coordinates with cities to prepare their respective disaster response plans, to conduct training, and to carry out exercises to validate the plans. During disaster situations, DEM activates their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at their headquarters office. The individual cities also operate their own EOCs, staffed by trained personnel, forming a local network for emergency response and resource allocation.
DEM and the city's Emergency Operations Center work together in a coordinated effort to direct and control a jurisdiction-wide disaster response. Together, they assess threats to life and property, allocate fire, police and EMS resources, maintain communications, and keep the Washington State Emergency Management Division and surrounding jurisdictions informed of the local disaster situation.