Recently the Board of Supervisors adopted a Disaster Recovery Plan which will be incorporated into the County’s overall disaster plans to provide for an efficient recovery process following a major incident. The recovery plan was developed under the direction of the County Executive Office.
Following the Thomas Fire, after-action reviews highlighted the need for a comprehensive plan which could be used to guide recovery efforts following extraordinary emergency situations and natural, human-caused or technological disasters. Lessons learned during the Hill and Woolsey fires helped to further refine the plan and its requirements.
“The plan is designed to be used as a tool following an emergency, not just as a reference on a shelf,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers. “When a disaster occurs, it is our duty to create order out of chaos. The plan includes a series of checklists that allow for the prompt formation of a recovery team. The checklists and the remainder of the plan provide a ‘roadmap’ for establishing a recovery team, integrating with other jurisdictions and working with incident teams and state and federal recovery teams.”
The plan designates the Board of Supervisors and the County Executive Officer to serve in the primary leadership roles for disaster recovery and focuses on activities whose goals are to bring about recovery as rapidly as possible. The plan is designed to be adaptable for recovering from potential large-scale disasters that can create unique situations.
The plan also designates supporting roles for the County Office of Emergency Services, recovery task forces, state disaster recovery coordinators, local disaster recovery managers, private sector and non-governmental organization leaders and, when needed, the federal disaster recovery coordinator.
“The Disaster Recovery Plan outlines the mission, purpose and scope of our recovery activities,” said Powers. “It also calls for an evaluation of recovery activities through an after-action review to ensure we are continually refining our recovery processes to better serve the public.”
The plan deals with topics such as hazardous materials; debris removal; housing, financial and mental health assistance, and is intended to be a resource that can be shared with cities involved in the same disaster, or other jurisdictions experiencing a disaster needing a recovery plan.