Tuesday, December 02, 2008

LA Re-thinks Emergency Management

The Mayor's office in Los Angeles has released a new emergency management initiative.

This initiative ... involves several components to enhance the City’s planning and preparedness efforts, train city employees in disaster response, better prepare the community in disaster preparedness, and modernize the City’s antiquated emergency management structure.
Here's one thing I find interesting. To describe the current state of preparedness, the city uses measures such as staffing levels, training exercises, programs and strategies. For example:
[T]he City Council recently approved the Mayor’s request to add three new positions to EMD to work on planning and preparedness activities, emergency operations, and public information. In addition, through the leadership of General Manager Jim Featherstone, a former Captain in the LAFD’s Planning and Tactical Training Division, EMD is modernizing its operations, procedures, and principles to reflect a contemporary emergency management approach to the numerous dangers the City faces.
But that's not the best measure of preparedness. Real preparedness has to be measured in terms of capabilities. It's not just how many training exercises you have, the size of your staff, or the strategies and tactics you employ. Those are necessary, yes. But they're not sufficient. If you're going to assess your state of preparedness, you need to be able to declare with some confidence what your capabilities are.

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