Today, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) kicked off the California for All Emergency Management Preparedness Summit in downtown Sacramento. The Summit was a new call to action for emergency managers and first responders across all jurisdictions and disciplines to collectively plan and prepare for large-scale disasters, including new ways to integrate a whole-community approach to emergency management.
“We need to be prepared for the worst,” said Governor Newsom. “I hope we’ve seen the worst, but I’m not sure that we have. It takes a level of sophistication to be prepared and ready to respond.”
In the last decade Californians have seen record-setting drought, heat waves, rainfall, flooding and wildfires. Since 2013, 16 presidential declarations have been declared in California alone.
Also, Cal OES has been coordinating the statewide mutual aid response as well as the historic recovery effort for many of those disasters.
“We cannot wait until a disaster occurs to be ready to respond,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci, who was flanked on stage by California Highway Patrol Commissioner Warren Stanley, California National Guard Adj. Gen. David Baldwin and CAL FIRE Director Thom Porter. “We need to come together as counties, cities and state…to build resiliency.”
The one-day Summit included opening remarks from Director Ghilarducci and a keynote speech from Governor Newsom, followed by panel discussions from various emergency management specialists from throughout the state with subsequent breakout sessions.
“We want to share best practices, raise knowledge,” Director Ghilarducci told the nearly 500 attendees, “because there is a lot of misinformation out there about emergency management. It’s all about us coming together to work in a collaborative fashion.”
Among the topics discussed included: Enhancing emergency management capacity and individual preparedness; strategies and priorities for risk reduction; and understanding disaster recovery.