State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, has been appointed chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, a bipartisan committee that focuses on the state’s emergency preparedness and responses to natural or human-caused threats.
“California is unusually prone to natural disasters — earthquakes, fires, floods, landslides and drought. We also are home to ports and military bases, which can make us vulnerable to terrorism. We are facing the threat of climate change and potentially catastrophic weather events, like Superstorm Sandy,” Jackson said. “We need to anticipate challenges, do what we can to make California less vulnerable, and respond effectively when catastrophes happen. I look forward to doing that as chair of this committee.”
The 14-member committee is comprised of seven members from the State Senate and seven members from the Assembly.
Since 2004, the committee has held 19 hearings on issues including fire, terrorism, port security, pandemic flu, water reliability and seismic risk, flood, earthquakes, power outages, and mutual aid agreements.
The committee’s formation was a key recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Fire Commission established to review response efforts to the October 2003 fires.
— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.