JACKSON TO HOLD INFORMATIONAL HEARING TOMORROW ON PREPARING FOR MEGA-QUAkEs
Source: Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, will hold an informational hearing tomorrow titled: “California’s Next Mega-Quake: Assessing the State’s Preparedness and Response Strategy,” in the State Capitol, Room 3191, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The hearing is the first of a two-part series on mega-quakes – infrequent, large-magnitude earthquakes -- as well as state, regional, and local efforts to prepare and respond to such a quake.
In the next thirty years, it is expected that California will undergo a mega-quake. With a majority of California’s population living within a 20 mile radius of active earthquake faults, one major earthquake could strike at any moment, threatening the public safety of Californians and California’s infrastructure and economy.
“It is not a question of ‘if’ we will have another major earthquake in California, it is a question of ‘when.’ It is of utmost importance that we be as prepared as humanly possible when California’s mega-quake strikes. We must be prepared to effectively mobilize our communities and address the aftermath if such an event occurs,” said Jackson.
The informational hearing will consist of an overview of California’s seismic safety programs and policies that correspond to the three phases of earthquake response: checking known seismic hazards prior to an earthquake, providing timely and effective post-earthquake information to emergency responders after a disaster, and collecting and analyzing earthquake data during an event.
A panel of experts from across California will convene to discuss California’s seismic risk and response plan, what state and regional strategies are in place to address the mega-quake, and how to protect the state’s critical infrastructure, homes and families. There will also be a period of public comment.
The Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management is a 14-member permanent committee of both houses with the leadership of the committee rotating every two-year session between the Assembly and the Senate. The Joint Committee was originally established in 2004 by former Senator Christine Kehoe, following a key recommendation of the Governor’s 2004 Blue Ribbon Fire Commission, and has been in continuous existence since then. It was reauthorized and made a permanent joint committee by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 38 in 2011.