Skip to main content

Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program

How we are preparing for the risk of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gave funds to our area for emergency preparations. It is called the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP). These funds will addresses the enormous risk the region faces in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake. The CSZ is a 1,000 kilometer long subduction zone stretching from British Columbia to Oregon. This area could generate a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) will bring together stakeholders across the region to identify how Puget Sound waterways can be used to transport key goods and personnel. A disastrous earthquake will likely leave air and ground transportation infrastructure significantly damaged. The project is divided into two phases over the course of three years.

Phase 1

In the first phase, a series of workshops helped us explore port area capabilities and opportunities. Especially for collaboration among private and public sector stakeholders in the response and recovery from a major earthquake.

The first three workshops:

  • Introduced emergency managers to the maritime industry
  • Explored earthquake risk
  • Identified specific maritime assets that could be used to resupply Community Points of Distribution (CPODs)
  • Began to map those assets and evaluate how they can be instrumental in resupplying Puget Sound communities

During these workshops, we brought together:

  • Tug and barge operators
  • Carriers
  • Fishing fleets
  • Trucking fleet owners and operators
  • Drayage services
  • Salvage and dive operations
  • Tribal maritime organizations
  • Yacht clubs
  • Marina operators
  • Marine industry labor organizations
  • Others interested in innovative emergency preparedness solutions


The regional Maritime Resilience workshops took place in September, October, and November 2021.

Learn more on the Puget Sound Maritime Transportation System Disaster Resilience Project webpage

Spring 2022 workshops

An additional series of workshops took place in Spring of 2022. These focused on each of the six port areas in more depth. Find videos and notes from the workshop series below.

For additional details, email Emily Rankin, Program Coordinator at

A final, regionwide workshop brought back all stakeholders together to review work accomplished. They also shared gaps and opportunities for the maritime sector to engage in emergency preparedness.

Phase 2

The second phase of this project will analyze the data collected in Phase 1 for a Maritime Resilience Framework. We will test this Framework in a tabletop exercise. Additional workshops will give us time to get used to the Framework. The final product will be a maritime annex added to the regional catastrophic plans. It identifies key opportunities to engage the maritime sector in response, recovery, and restoration.

For more information on Regional Maritime Resilience Planning, contact:

Sasha Rector, Regional Catastrophic Program Coordinator
King County Office of Emergency Management
Phone: 206-205-4071

To learn more about CPODs in the Puget Sound, contact:

Tara Edens, Community Resilience Program Manager
Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
Phone: 425-388-5129

Related Topics