Benton County Emergency Management (BCEM) works with that mission in mind, while fulfilling the following responsibilities:
Disaster Planning - BCEM develops and updates comprehensive disaster preparedness plans for natural and man-made disasters that may occur in Benton County. Planning includes identifying hazards and risks in our community and assessing our vulnerability.
Education - BCEM trains and prepares elected and appointed public officials, paid and volunteer responders, private citizens and businesses for response to and recovery from disasters and other hazards.
Coordination - BCEM identifies and coordinates resources before, during and after a disaster for the protection and resilience of Benton County, its citizens and economy.
BCEM prepares for and responds to both natural and man-made disasters. Natural hazards in our area include floods, wildfires and ice storms. BCEM planners also prepare for emergencies at the Hanford Site, Energy Northwest's Columbia Generating Station and the Umatilla Chemical Depot.
BCEM maintains the Benton County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), located in Richland, to provide for a coordinated emergency response. The EOC provides workspace, communications and information systems, maps, displays and decision aids to support the direction and control of emergency response activities.
Inside the Emergency Operations Center during a disaster drill