| || |
In coordination with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the County Office of Emergency Management has prepared a comprehensive guide to emergency preparedness intended to help the residents of Los Angeles County better prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. The Emergency Survival Guide has 100 color pages of helpful tips and information for residents to prepare for fires, floods, earthquakes, pandemic flu, terrorism, extreme weather, and tsunamis. There is space to record household emergency plans including out-of-state contacts, family evacuation gathering points, and the location of utility shutoffs. The Emergency Survival Guide also includes checklists for gathering emergency supplies that will help individuals, families, pet owners, businesses and communities survive and recover after a major disaster.
The Emergency Survival Guide is available online at http://lacounty.gov. Additional information on preparing for disasters is also available on-line at Residents and business owners, including persons with access and functional needs may also call 211 LA County for emergency preparedness information and other referral services. The toll-free 2-1-1 number is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. 211 LA County services can also be accessed by visiting click here.
Ron Morales, Office of Legislation and Intergovernmental Affairs
Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office
500 West Temple Street, Room 723
Los Angeles, CA 90012
How are threat conditions assessed?
The National Terrorism Threat Level is assigned by the Attorney General in consultation with the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, based on an ongoing analysis of the threat. There are several factors considered when assigning a specific Threat Condition. Among them:
- Is the threat credible?
- Is the threat corroborated?
- Is the threat specific and/or imminent?
- How grave is the threat?
What does the increased levels in the advisory system mean to various community sectors?
In March of 2002, a Presidential Directive created the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS), in an effort to improve coordination and cooperation among all levels of government and the general public in the fight against terrorism. The system was intended to create a common vocabulary -- a common understanding of the meaning behind the changes in threat conditions.
The office of Homeland Security publishes recommended actions for each community sector based each level or risk.
How and when is a determination made to open the Emergency Operations Center?
The EOC would normally be activated when: A) An incident occurring in West Covina may be expected to require outside resources for mitigation, or B) An incident has occurred outside of our jurisdiction that bears monitoring in anticipation of affecting our City. The EOC may be opened upon the recommendation of field personnel who determine an incident is sufficient to warrant it or by management personnel who want to stay ahead of a developing scenario.
Once open, what is the function of the EOC?
The EOC provides support for field operations by locating and allocating additional resource and by anticipating future needs as an incident unfolds while maintaining a continual "situation status". EOC personnel also provide a formal communications link with our community and emergency operations in other communities. EOC personnel also begin the documentation and coordination necessary to insure the recovery of eligible funding reimbursement from the State or FEMA.
What is the role of our Council during a disaster?
Council role during a disaster is much as it is during normal operations, that is, the Council establishes the policy that guides the rest of the organization. The Council is also the primary method of releasing information to the public as well as monitoring and addressing community concern.
Where and how do we get our information and updates?
Much of the information comes from the Los Angeles Terrorism Early Warning Center (TEW). The TEW is made up of FBI, Sheriff, LAPD and the Area Fire Service. The TEW is staffed 24 hours a day and monitors events world wide with an ear to how they may affect Southern California.
Information is also obtained from many other sources including the Office of Homeland Security and other emergency and non-emergency organizations local and nationwide.
How are we connected to the rest of the system, area wide, statewide and nationally?
Once the EOC is activated, we are in direct communication with the County EOC who has a nationwide communication capability. Additionally, the States mutual aid system operates independently from but in conjunction with the County EOC system. Virtually unlimited resource is available to our community in the event of a disaster by simply asking for it.