The Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA) has adopted a Washington State Port Mutual Aid Agreement that provides the legal framework for ports to request and provide assistance to other ports. “WPPA is pleased to be able to administer this mutual aid agreement on behalf of our member ports,” said Ginger Eagle, Assistant Director for WPPA. “By having the WPPA involved, we can administer the agreements and assist in the coordination of resources when there is a disaster.”
Disasters can happen at any time, and maritime industries and ports are especially vulnerable to disruptions caused by natural and technological disasters. Earthquakes are of special concern, as ports are located close to waterways and on soils that magnify ground shaking due to liquefaction.
To date, ten Washington State ports have agreed to participate in this agreement. The Port Commissions for the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle both acted in the last two weeks to join this mutual aid agreement.
The creation and adoption of the Inter-Port Mutual Aid Agreement was an outgrowth of a Regional Catastrophic Planning Grant administered by the Seattle Office of Emergency Management. Director Barb Graff said, “I am very pleased to see this positive outcome from our work on regional disaster preparedness. The maritime industry is critical to our economic wellbeing and it is heartening to see our larger ports taking advantage of this agreement to become better prepared to assist one another in times of disaster.”
The Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, part of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, was the organization responsible for the coordination and adoption of the agreement. Neil Clement, Emergency Management and Security Officer for the Port of Bellingham, was a key author in the development of the mutual aid agreement’s language.
Ports Participating in the Inter-Port Mutual Aid Agreement: