L.A. County explores disaster preparedness

first_img“The probability of such an event is remote – one in 5,000 years,” Perett said. The second most likely threat is a multilocation “dirty bomb” attack by terrorists, resulting in mass casualties. To plug the gaps in the county’s disaster plans and be ready if these scenarios occurs, Perett recommended that the county establish emergency service coordinators to address gaps in unincorporated areas and work with volunteers to help the disabled in a disaster. She also suggested that the county develop alternative warning systems, including sirens, increase training for mass casualty and quarantine planning, develop medication supply and distribution plans, and work with utility companies to develop coordinated plans. Perett intends to submit a plan to the board in 60 days for its approval. [email protected] (213) 974-8985160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Los Angeles County might be one of the nation’s better-prepared places to handle a catastrophe the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina, but it has 11 major gaps in its disaster plans, officials said Tuesday. Constance Perett, director of the Office of Emergency Management, told the county Board of Supervisors there is a lack of preparation to help the 1 million residents who live in unincorporated areas and people with disabilities and other special needs. Perett also said officials need to develop plans on how to handle mass evacuations, create sirens or other warning systems in the event television and radio signals are knocked out, and provide medications to residents unable to obtain their medicines. “The good news is we are probably the best-prepared county anywhere in the nation,” Perett said. “We were the poster child for disasters in the 1990s. But that doesn’t mean we are perfect and there isn’t more work to do. Everyone watched the horrific chain of events after Hurricane Katrina.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remakePerett’s department conducted a self-examination with key departments, posing 138 questions asking about their readiness levels. Perett prepared the report in response to a request the supervisors made in September after devastation along the Gulf Coast on whether the county has a proper disaster-response plan. “This report pointed out some major gaps in our plans,” Supervisor Gloria Molina said. “Unincorporated areas is a major gap, and what our communications system will be when TV and radios don’t work. We also need to look at mental health access and how people will get their medications.” Perett said she consulted with Lucy Jones at the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena and sheriff’s Lt. J.R. Coffman at the county’s Terrorism Early Warning group to identify the most plausible threats facing the county. The most likely is a major earthquake on the Puente Hills blind-thrust fault beneath Los Angeles, which could cause up to $252 billion in damage and claim up to 18,000 lives. last_img read more

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