LOOKBACK: Documentary Captures Sights, Sounds of Northridge Quake in 1994

Jan 17, 2017 2:45 pm

The 6.7 magnitude earthquake began around 4:30 a.m. with violent shaking that lasted 10 to 20 seconds. According to sensors in the area, it was among the strongest and fastest ground movement recorded in North America. In its wake, the shaking left 57 residents of Los Angeles County dead and more than 11,800 residents of Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties injured.

Below is a documentary commissioned by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in 1995 that captures that sometimes shocking and disastrous impacts of the Northridge earthquake of the prior year.

“This disaster helped shape the face of modern emergency management in California, a model that is replicated around the U.S. and in many countries around the globe,” said California Governor’s Office of Emergency … continue reading »

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Taylor-Made to Advocate for People with Access & Functional Needs

Jan 16, 2017 10:58 pm
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Vance Taylor in the Studio with Shawn Boyd

In this, the 23rd, episode we sit down with Luis “Vance” Taylor, who is the Chief of the Office of Access and Functional Needs at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He is a person who has not let his limited mobility slow him down in his personal or professional worlds. You will find out how his determination, experience and mom’s words of wisdom has helped him excel in the world of emergency management.

As chief of the OAFN Vance is responsible for ensuring the needs of individuals with disabilities and persons with access and functional needs are identified before, during and after a disaster and then integrated within the state’s emergency management systems.

Vance Taylor Pays Tribute to Richard Devylder at 2015 Oakland ShakeOut

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Vance was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy as a child and uses a power chair. He has worked in Washington, D.C. as an advisor for two different members of Congress, directed security policy at a national association and been a principal at a top-ranked homeland security and emergency management consulting firm, Catalyst Partners, LLC. Vance is a nationally recognized public speaker and advocate for individuals with disabilities.

Vance has a Master’s degree in homeland security from the University of Connecticut and an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in communications. He is married to his sweetheart, Casey, and they have two beautiful daughters, Isabelle and Sammy. Vance and his family live in Rancho Cordova, CA.


Access & Functional Needs

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Time is now to reassess flood preparedness before next storm

Jan 13, 2017 3:46 pm

The calm is here before yet another storm is upon us. After heavy rain and snow ushered in 2017 earlier this week, the National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting that an additional significant storm is on the horizon for California beginning as early as Tuesday.

“We’re looking at another atmospheric river storm for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Michelle Mead. “We have dry/sunny weather from now, Friday, January 13, through Tuesday, January 17. This will be time for high running river and creeks to recede and for the ground to soak up some of the standing water that is around.”

Some areas received heavy precipitation throughout a seven-day observation period. Soda Springs recorded between 21-22 inches of precipitation, followed by … continue reading »

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Flood Control Gets Weir’d

Jan 12, 2017 6:21 pm

It’s been quite some time since California got a good soaking and this last series of storms has definitely left its mark. Just this morning an additional 15 gates were opened on the Sacramento Weir.

“Excuse me? Sacramento Weir?”  We’ve been hearing this a lot the past few days at Cal OES. Even from residents in the Sacramento region. So, we thought it would be helpful or at least interesting to explain what all this “Weir” talk is about.

Sacramento Valley has a history of floods that goes back as long as people have populated the region. Prior to flood management, the Sacramento Valley would become an “inland sea,” nearly every year during the winter months.

In fact, in January 1850, a major flood devastated the new city of Sacramento, as well as other low lying towns in the … continue reading »

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Experts Warn About Significant Impacts From Impending Storms

Jan 6, 2017 3:32 pm

Heavy precipitation and high snow levels are expected to slam California this weekend with potential for significant flooding. Forecasts from the National Weather Service (NWS) indicate moderate precipitation is projected to arrive Saturday, but the brunt of the storm should hit Sunday.

Travel will be significantly impacted. Other concerns include debris flows in burn-scarred areas due to recent wildfires.

Additional storms are possible beginning Tuesday and into next weekend. This weekend’s storms may only be the start of a prolonged event lasting into next week and possibly longer.

“How these storms evolve, their intensity, duration, and time between storms will determine whether this event is merely memorable or more historic in nature,” said NWS meteorologist Dan Keeton.

Dry conditions through Friday offer an ideal opportunity to prepare ahead … continue reading »

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Add Emergency Preparedness to New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

Jan 5, 2017 10:34 am

With the calendar flipping to 2017, those pesky New Year’s Resolutions once again become a priority. Whether it’s making plans to regularly attend the gym, eat healthier or other timely concessions, there may be one resolution that is often overlooked.

The importance of being prepared for emergencies or natural disasters is always paramount.

Living in California provides unmatched accommodations and beauty, but it’s also prone to the constant threat of disasters, such as earthquakes, flooding and wildfires.

To assist in your New Year’s Resolutions, here are some emergency preparedness tips for these five specific disasters:



Floods of 1997 20 Years Removed, But Effects & Lessons Learned Remain

Jan 3, 2017 12:10 pm

This time 20 years ago, 1996 ended with great snow pack in the higher elevations of California; but that changed with the New Year. January of 1997, rain was not turning to snow like during the weeks prior, and existing snow pack was melting. That led to record flooding from NorCal to SoCal, which destroyed homes, took lives and caused more than $2 billion in property damage. It was also a tough reminder that each of us needs to prepare ourselves for the time when floodwaters come lapping at our own doorsteps. There are countless ways to do that, and Cal OES has resources dedicated to that topic below. Meanwhile, click the link to watch the video KCRA-TV in Sacramento put together of the devastating floods year of 1997. It’s an excellent retrospective, an overall … continue reading »

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