A number of catastrophic disasters could affect our region. Most notably, Southern California is overdue for a major earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. Our residential infrastructure — houses, condominiums, apartments, and other structures — will be damaged, and a portion of it will be destroyed. Recent catastrophic events around the world, including earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, nuclear reactor crises, tornadoes, and terrorist acts, have heightened attention to the need for improved preparedness in our region.
To enhance catastrophic incident preparedness in 10 high risk regions of the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP) in 2007. The RCPGP is intended to support coordination of regional all-hazard planning for catastrophic events, including the development of integrated planning communities, plans, protocols, and procedures to manage a catastrophic event. Funding from the RCPGP has been awarded to the Los Angeles/Long Beach/Riverside region for a variety of planning efforts and is coordinated by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Homeland Security and Public Safety. Funds from the RCPGP 2009 and 2010 grants have been allocated to the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) for regional disaster housing planning, the results of which are described below and in following pages. The planning effort is ongoing and local participation in this project is welcomed.
The Regional Disaster Housing Planning Project focuses on residential recovery and reconstruction throughout our five counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura. This Project brings together public entities such as City and County departments dealing with housing, building code enforcement, land use planning, and emergency management; State, Federal, and other disaster and housing experts, and private entities including housing developers, lenders, apartment associations, insurance companies, housing advocates, and other interested parties in a Disaster Housing Working Group.
This Working Group is providing information, experience and perspectives that are expanding local knowledge and contributing to various reports that are being developed for this project:
These reports and guide will support jurisdictions throughout the region to develop local disaster housing plans that work for their particular needs, population and residential infrastructure.
In addition, utilizing Applied Technology Council (ATC) guidelines, the LAHD has created a computer software program to enable building inspectors/assessors to digitally collect safety assessment data “in the field” after a disaster and automatically transmit the data to a central office server. The centralized server module will be known as SAM and the software utilized by assessors in the field - on Windows-operated devices such as laptop computers – will be known as MobileSAM.