Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill today that will help Washington prepare for the inevitable: natural disasters.

Senate Bill 5106, sponsored by Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), creates a work group to study and make recommendations regarding natural disaster resiliency activities. This work group would review how other states and the federal government prepare for natural disasters — in particular, the California Earthquake Authority.

“We’ve all heard that our next big earthquake, or ‘The Big One,’ is on the horizon,” said Das. “We must do everything we can to prepare, and make sure our state is resilient.”

The work group will consist of 24 members, from various state agencies, local public utility districts, tribes and stakeholders. A preliminary report from this group is due in November of 2019, and the final report is due in December of 2020.

The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

“Washington state is prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, landslides, and wildfires,” Das said. “We’ve seen an increase in these events because of climate change. We need to act now to ensure we’re fully prepared.”