Yes We Are A Much More “Ready City”
April 19, 2013
Los Angeles - Today at a press conference held at the City of Los Angeles’ state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the awarding of $5 million in federal grants to the Los Angeles/Long Beach regions to expand the Earthquake Early Warning System (EEWS).
The EEWS provides up to a 50 second warning before strong shaking begins. Officials said that’s enough warning for doctors to stop surgery or for elevators to stop and open at the next floor, as an example.
The City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department along with the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department have participated in a pilot program of the EEWS for the past year.
James Featherstone, General Manager of the City’s Emergency Management Department was among the scheduled speakers at today’s press conference. A transcript of his remarks follows:
* * *
We’ve had many accomplishments under Mayor’s leadership and guidance including participating in the Earthquake Early Warning System. We actually have it in active use in the Emergency Management Department, LAPD Real-Time Analysis and Critical Response Division and in Metro Fire Communications.
The Mayor’s intent since 2007 was to move emergency management and emergency preparedness in this city to a world class state; to make the Emergency Management Department in Los Angeles an industry leader. Through the Mayor’s leadership and guidance and the corporate commitment the Mayor has shown for emergency management during his tenure, we have achieved a lot of accomplishments. We are Vice Chair of the Big Cities Emergency Management Group, which are the 15 most populous and most at risk jurisdictions in the nation. Big Cities represents 30% of the nation’s population. The Mayor insists that we be involved in issues like that.
I read a New Yorker article earlier today and it talked about what happened in Boston and it said “it is the cultural legacy of September 11th and all the things that have happened in the past decade since.” It’s the kind of orchestration that happened across their city; that same kind of orchestration can happen across this city. Those are the things that make us the ready city that we are today.
People ask about preparedness. Preparedness to us in the common lexicon denotes an end state - that you are prepared. We’d like to say we are a much more ready city. And thanks to the Mayor’s commitment and support of the Emergency Management Department during his time in office, we are a much more ready city. Are we as ready and as prepared as Boston was the other day when the bombing occurred? Yes we are a very ready city.
Carmageddon, the Space Shuttle Move and other planned events we coordinate are sets and reps; they are opportunities for us to practice as we will play before the balloon actually bursts.
So we are a much more ready city than we were September 10th. We are a much more ready city than we were yesterday. It’s about the corporate commitment from the Office of the Mayor and also the collaboration from the partners we have including City, County, local, private, non-profit and faith based organizations.
We all matter. The whole of government and the whole of community in Los Angeles are much better prepared, much more ready for something today than we were yesterday.