OLYMPIA—Devastating floods ravaged Whatcom County in the fall of 2021. The damage to roads, as well as the uprooting of families and businesses and the loss of life took an enormous toll in the communities of the 42nd legislative district.
Rep. Alicia Rule (D-Blaine) introduced House Bill 1978 that would help in times of crisis such as the one illustrated above. This piece of legislation concerns the use of mutual aid—a voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit, particular in times when emergency response is demanded.
“This piece of legislation is about making it easier for our helpers to work together in a natural disaster, both in planning and when the actual disaster occurs,” said Rule. “When the flood hit our communities, we saw everyone come together. This bill will support collaborative planning efforts for the next emergency and keep bureaucratic red tape out of way of the helpers in the next emergency.”
HB 1978 passed the House unanimously on Feb. 6 and is now under consideration in the Senate.