FEMA and Local Agencies Meet for Disaster Preparedness

FEMA Reviews Southern California Disaster Issues

Southern California faces the prospect of natural disasters every year, from wildfires to earthquakes, and the agencies responsible for responding to those events met Wednesday in Los Angeles to plan for the next major catastrophe.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency brought together local government department heads and academics as part of its twice yearly National Advisory Council, aimed at developing coordination between federal and local agencies during disasters.

The council reviewed proposals for the area’s preparation, disaster protection, response, recovery from a major incident and insurance issues, for natural catastrophes as well as other potential disasters including a pandemic flu outbreak, terrorism and cyber attacks.

Jim Featherstone, head of emergency management for LA and former interim chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department, said the city is as prepared as any other big city in the nation.

He said one key to getting the preparedness message across to Angelenos has been educational outreach. He said the city’s children have been very helpful in spreading the message to their parents.

“The kids take the message home, they take the significance of the message to… their parents and hopefully the parents take that to heart,” he said.

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