A new publication from the IBM Center for the Business of Government includes a report titled “Emergency Management Networks in California” that identifies a set of practices that public managers can use to successfully develop inter-organizational networks to more effectively address emergency management challenges.
The final report of the governor’s Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force was recently released. It recommends several immediate measures to protect the Delta and the Suisun Marsh areas and to prepare for potential natural disasters involving those areas. Some of the significant recommendations:
- The state should protect critical areas from further development by acquiring title or easements to floodplains and taking other action to actively discourage further development on “land that could provide flood protection.”
- The state should set appropriate standards for levee improvements and use available bond funds “to address strategic levee and floodplain improvements.”
- “State government should embark upon a comprehensive series of emergency management and preparation actions within a few months.”
The report warns, “A two-in-three chance of a major earthquake within the next few years in or near the Delta make its levees vulnerable to sudden collapse. In addition, increased urbanization poses an imminent threat to the Delta by placing more residents and their property in a floodplain.”
The full report is available here.
The New West Notes blog notes that snowpack levels are at their lowest in 20 years (the statewide average snowpack level is currently 26%). Meanwhile, the state’s fire season seems to have already begun in earnest (although fire declarations haven’t been formally issued yet, the fires aren’t waiting for them), with a 4000-acre blaze on Santa Catalina Island forcing the evacuation of nearly 4000 residents off the island, another fire burning up nearly a quarter of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, and a third set of fires in the Central Valley town of Clovis stretching the town’s firefighting resources to their limits.
New West Notes points to the recent tornado disaster in southern Kansas and observes that the outflow to Iraq of National Guard equipment and resulting shortage of that equipment for use in disasters is not limited to the Sunflower State.
Meanwhile, the governor proclaimed this week Wildfire Awareness Week, and Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R-Murrieta) is trying to move AB 791, which would put several state agencies, including CAL FIRE, under a coordinated umbrella agency to be called the California Public Safety Agency (CPSA).
Weekly Statewide Fire Statistics [California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection]