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Washington State University Hazard Mitigation

The purpose of this all-hazard mitigation plan is to assist Washington State University in reducing its risk from natural and man-made or technological hazards. This is done through identifying resources, information, and strategies for risk reduction at its campuses, research stations, and other key facilities, statewide. The plan will also help guide and coordinate mitigation activities for the university system.

Although it is impossible to predict exactly when disasters might occur, or to the extent they might affect the campuses and other WSU sites, the university can minimize losses from hazards. This can be done through deliberate planning and collaboration within the university community, in cooperation with the county and city governments where each of the WSU sites are located, as well as the State of Washington Emergency Management Division.

A natural disaster occurs when a natural hazard impacts people or property and creates adverse conditions within a community. Natural hazards include: floods, earthquakes, coastal erosion, tsunami, volcanic eruption, severe winter storm, windstorm, drought, and wildfire. This plan includes the natural hazards that have been identified that could directly affect key WSU-owned facilities in each of their locations, statewide. They are:

Additionally, this plan will include the man-made hazards that can affect WSU facilities. These man-made hazards can impact even those areas that are normally less vulnerable to natural hazards. For the purpose of this document, “man-made hazards” are technological hazards and terrorism.

The term, “technological hazards” refers to the origins of incidents that can arise from human activities such as the manufacture, transportation, storage, and use of hazardous materials. For the sake of simplicity, this document assumes that technological emergencies are accidental and that their consequences are unintended.

The term “terrorism” refers to intentional, criminal, and malicious acts. There is no single, universally accepted definition of terrorism, and it can be interpreted in many ways. For the purposes of this document, “terrorism” refers to the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), including biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological weapons; arson, incendiary, explosive, and armed attacks; industrial sabotage and intentional hazardous materials releases; and “cyber terrorism.”