About Cowlitz DEM

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office Department of Emergency Management coordinates and facilitates emergency management activities for the Cities of Longview, Kelso, Castle Rock, Woodland and Kalama and for all unincorporated areas of Cowlitz County. In addition, DEM works directly with the Washington State Emergency Management Division (EMD) and the State Homeland Security Region IV which includes Cowlitz, Clark, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties.

The department has a staff of three full-time paid personnel, which is augmented by a large cadre of trained, dedicated volunteers.


The mission of the Cowlitz County Department of Emergency Management is to execute the Cowlitz County Board of Commissioner's responsibility to maintain an emergency management system as defined and authorized in RCW 38.52 and Chapter 118.30 of the WAC by planning, preparing and providing for the prevention, mitigation and/or management of emergencies or disasters that present a threat to the lives and property of the citizens of, and visitors to, Cowlitz County.


Department of Emergency Management uses an all-hazard, county-wide approach to minimize the impact of natural and human-caused incidents. The goal is to safeguard life and property by making maximum use of available manpower, equipment and other resources. This is accomplished by:

  • Coordinating the development of plans and procedures for response to, and recovery from, major emergencies such as floods, earthquakes and hazardous materials incidents.
  • Coordinating training for emergency response organizations.
  • Promoting community disaster preparedness for the citizens of Cowlitz County.
  • Developing and conducting exercises to test emergency response plans and procedures.
  • Facilitating warning and notification activities during times of emergency.
  • Equipping, maintaining and managing the County Emergency Operations Center and acting as the County's representative and liaison for all levels of government, the private sector and the citizens of Cowlitz County for all emergency management activities.