Author: Robb Mayberry

Robb Mayberry is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. In 2015, he assisted in the response and recovery efforts of California’s disasters, including the San Refugio Oil Spill, the Valley and Butte Wildfires, as well as the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak. Prior to public service, he spent 25 years managing the public and media relations for some of Northern California’s largest healthcare organizations.

Preparing for Potentially Pesky Pests

Jul 16, 2017 6:51 pm

Mosquitoes can carry terrible diseases including malaria, dengue fever virus, Rift Valley fever virus, yellow fever, chikungunya virus, Zika virus, West Nile virus, Lymphatic filariasis, and Japanese encephalitis. While some of these viruses are treatable, some can be deadly.

So far this year there have been only three people who have tested positive for West Nile, in Kern, Kings, and Los Angeles counties. But mosquitoes carrying the disease have been detected in many California counties.

The heavy rains along with snowpack this past winter filled up our reservoirs, but brought flooding throughout California. All that wet weather also left behind standing water, which can result in havens for mosquito breeding.

Now that high temperatures are here, the stage is set for lots of mosquito activity. Mosquitoes thrive in warmer temperatures and are able to reproduce faster in these conditions. … continue reading »

No Comments | Join the Conversation!

Earthquakes Made History 25 Years Ago

Jun 28, 2017 5:06 pm

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Landers-Big Bear earthquakes. Still consider to be two of the strongest earthquakes ever to strike the southern California desert area and the biggest since the 1906 San Francisco quake. However, the quakes were not the deadliest.

The magnitude 7.3 Landers earthquake struck in the San Bernardino County desert east of Los Angeles shortly before 5 a.m. on June 28, 1992. Three hours later a magnitude-6.5 quake struck near Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Between the two quakes, 400 people were injured and $91 million in damages were suffered. The physical damage was also significant. The quakes triggered landslides that wiped out roads and opened a 44-mile-long rupture in the earth.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It is important to … continue reading »

1 Comment | Join the Conversation!

SBA Tops $10 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans

Jun 23, 2017 3:13 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Regional Administrator Michael Vallante of the U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that SBA has approved more than $10 million in federal disaster loans for California businesses and residents impacted by severe storms and flooding that occurred Feb. 1-25, 2017. According to Vallante, SBA has approved $4,738,800 for businesses and $5,283,300 for residents to help rebuild and recover from this disaster.

“Although the deadline to apply for property damage loans has expired, small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may continue to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business or nonprofit organization suffered any property damage,” Vallante said.

The interest rate is 3.15 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations … continue reading »

No Comments | Join the Conversation!

Inaugural Meeting for Earthquake Early Warning

Jun 22, 2017 7:39 pm

Today was the first meeting of the California Earthquake Early Warning Advisory Board at the State Capitol. The board consists of leaders from the state agencies, academia, private and public industry, as well as other subject matter experts. Watch the Cal OES Quick Look video below for more on how the inaugural meeting went.

The board was formed after the Governor approved $10 million last year to increase financial support to the state’s seismic network, which consists of researching when and where earthquakes occur in California.  This governance structure serves as a venue for public input on development of the system, as well as oversees implementation of California’s Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) program and provides insight.


Members of the board included representatives from Cal OES, California … continue reading »

No Comments | Join the Conversation!

Beware of Dangerous Rip Currents!

Jun 16, 2017 8:14 am

Rip currents are strong and often very localized currents can carry unsuspecting swimmers out to sea. The currents usually move at 1 to 2 feet per second, but stronger ones can pull at 8 feet per second.

Learn how to spot a rip current. Look for:

  • A channel of choppy water.


  • An area with a different color than the rest of the water, often gray or brownish in color.


  • A line of foam, seaweed or debris that’s moving out to sea.


  • A break in the incoming waves.


Always try to avoid rip currents by following these safety precautions: 


  • Swim at a lifeguard-protected beach.


  • Talk to the lifeguard on duty about ocean conditions for the day.


  • Learn how to float before you venture ankle-deep into the ocean.


If you find yourself caught in a rip … continue reading »

No Comments | Join the Conversation!

Don’t Forget Fido!

Jun 7, 2017 5:30 pm

When we think of emergency preparedness we usually make plans for ourselves, our family and our neighbors. However, being prepared for an emergency also means thinking about all the needs of your pets.

California has seen it shares of disasters in recent years, such as wildfires and flooding. Sadly, many pets were left behind to fend for themselves resulting in serious injuries, death or disappearance. Needless to say, the protection and safety of our animal friends is a critical piece of emergency planning.

“Pets are members of our families, yet too often their needs are not considered when we think about disasters,” said Tina Curry, Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness and Prevention. “Preparing for your pet’s needs before, during and after an emergency is very similar to preparing ourselves. One of the most important steps is to … continue reading »

1 Comment | Join the Conversation!

New Weather Tool Identifies Heat Risks

May 26, 2017 12:03 pm

Our friends at the National Weather Service (NWS) have developed a tool to help you understand what forecasted heat means to you. It is called the experimental HeatRisk. The tool provides a color and numeric value that places forecast heat for a specific location into an appropriate level of heat concern, along with identifying groups potentially most at risk at that level.

HeatRisk is a useful tool for planning and preparing for upcoming heat events. It shows potential risks associated with excessive heat and gives recommendations for heat protection.

Heat commonly affects certain groups, typically identified as heat sensitive or heat vulnerable, at lower thresholds than other populations. Some of these groups include:

Subscribe to Cal OES

Stay connected with the Cal OES Newsroom!