Emergency Operation Center experiences dual activation 

Pictured: A volunteer from Team Rubicon at the Emergency Operations Center earlier this year.

Already activated in February for COVID-19, King County had a dual activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) from May 30 through June 7 in response to protests over the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

“Dual activations are very rare anywhere, and they’re tough,” said Brendan McCluskey, Emergency Management Director. “Staff rose to the challenge. We had to keep track of both situations, including resources and costs. We had more people in the EOC and had the need for physical distancing with COVID-19.” 

On a few occasions, the King County EOC has activated in response to more than one emergency at the same time, typically for weather-related events. A dual activation occurred during the Howard Hanson Dam emergency of 2009-2010, when the county was battling the compromised dam structure that threatened downstream communities of the Green River Valley, and severe weather events. 

During the most recent dual activation, staff at the EOC helped coordinate National Guard staffing throughout the county, beyond Seattle. In addition, the EOC supported county departments and local jurisdictions (fire departments, transit, cities, etc.) with public information, resource management, planning, and operational coordination. The EOC also helped collect information about the extent of financial losses from affected businesses, submitting this information to the Small Business Administration for potential funding.