Pasadena's Emergency Management System Prepares for the Worst, Will Present Updated Planning Tonight

Published : Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | 5:52 AM

Pasadena’s public safety agencies are preparing for several possible disasters that could impact the City, both natural and man-made, as conditions around the world continue to remind us all that Mother Nature is anything but quiet.

As part of preparations, the Pasadena Fire Department and its emergency services partners are currently updating the City’s Local Hazard Mitigation Program (LHMP), an important requirement before the City could secure grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Deputy Fire Chief Jon Trautwein is expected to present the proposed updates on the LHMP before the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, which meets in a special meeting Wednesday at the City Council Chamber at City Hall.

The LHMP identifies local policies and actions intended to reduce the loss of life and property, human suffering, economic disruption, and disaster assistance costs resulting from natural disasters. According to the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, local HMPs must be updated every five years and submitted as a precondition to receiving FEMA hazard mitigation assistance grants.

Pasadena’s LHMP, last updated in 2013, compiles information from various departments correlated with known and projected hazards that face southern California.

The fire department and other partner agencies in the City started updating the LHMP in January.

“Our current plan expires in November 2018, and we’re on track to have our updates complete by then,” Acting City Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian said.

A preliminary list of possible hazards that may impact the City include such natural occurrences as earthquakes, wildfires, floods, landslides, drought or water shortages, extreme heat, hailstorms, windstorms, and man-made events including energy shortages, air pollution, oil spills, dam failure, and agricultural disasters.

Derderian said the fire department, which leads a multi-agency Hazard Mitigation Steering Committee, has also started an online survey to enable Pasadena residents to contribute ideas that may be included in the updating process. Public outreach meetings are also being scheduled to provide additional opportunities for public input.

Derderian said grants from FEMA will be used for hazard mitigation purposes, including retrofits for most critical public structures used in emergency response, emergency power generators, and other emergency response priorities in Pasadena for the next five years.

“All the applicable grants would benefit the city as a whole,” Derderian said.

Wednesday’s Public Safety Committee special meeting opens at 6:30 p.m.

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