Local governments and special districts throughout California are responsible for providing emergency operations and response in the event of natural or man-made disasters. This includes protecting the health and safety of citizens and the preservation of lives, property and the environment from the effects of natural, man-made, or war-caused emergencies. Local government agencies in the Lamorinda area have developed plans and are maintaining appropriate levels of readiness for disaster preparedness. Successful planning for and implementation of these individual programs depends upon the ability of the Lamorinda agencies to coordinate their efforts.
The mission of the Lamorinda Emergency Preparedness Program is to collaboratively plan and coordinate community disaster preparedness and training efforts to preserve the life, health and welfare of all who reside or work within the Lamorinda area.
The Program Staff consists of the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The PAC consists of the Chief Executive Officer from each of the following Lamorinda agencies:
- The Town of Moraga
- The City of Lafayette
- The City of Orinda and
- The Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District
The PAC is assisted by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The TAC consists of the Chiefs of Police from each Lamorinda agency, the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator from Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District and a Chief Officer from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. The TAC meets as needed to address specific issues and PAC assignments.
Purpose of the Program
The purpose of the Lamorinda Emergency Preparedness Program is to promote interagency collaboration with respect to disaster preparedness. As emergency preparedness and disaster response issues continue to evolve mandates are increasing at both the state and federal levels. Collaborative efforts are intended to focus on advancing and coordinating systems and programs currently in place. Numerous opportunities exist where collaboration can occur among the member agencies. These include, but are not limited to, sharing Emergency Operations Center personnel and facilities, interagency communications, preparedness training, developing shared emergency preparedness resource inventories, and public education. The goal of the program is to identify areas of weakness or redundancy related to emergency preparedness in the Lamorinda area and work to develop strategies that strengthen and improve coordination between the agencies. The Program is not intended to supplant the legal roles and responsibilities that vest with each of the member agencies.
Community Emergency Preparation- The Community Emergency Preparation component of the program provides coordination, support and direction for the Lafayette Citizen Corps Council and it’s L.E.A.R.N. (Lafayette Emergency Action Response Network) program, the Orinda Citizen Corps Council and the town of Moraga’s Citizen Corps Council and the Moraga Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness (MNEP) group. The mission of all of these groups is to increase our community’s awareness of the need to be prepared for emergencies. They provide training to individuals, groups and neighborhoods on how to better prepare for and organize themselves during an emergency. The motivation and information this program component provides is a critical link to preserving lives and property when disaster strikes.
Community Emergency Response- The Community Emergency Response component of the program allows citizens to take action in a safe and organized manner during a disaster. When disaster strikes, agency public safety responders are likely to initially be overwhelmed. The role of the Community Emergency Response component of the program is to supplement and support agency public safety personnel during the initial stages of disaster response. These citizens will become the eyes and ears of the agencies as they observe, report, and work within the limits of their training and physical capabilities. As the disaster continues these volunteers may be called to assist with critical logistical support needs of the agencies. This component consists of the Lamorinda Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District’s Communications Support 245 unit, and the Orinda Ham Radio Group (K6ORI).
Agency Emergency Management- Opportunities to coordinate response, share resources and develop common emergency management strategies between the agencies will be critical in our ability to manage a major disaster. All of the participating agencies have expresses a willingness to work together on emergency preparedness issues. Developing similar Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs), staff training and pursuing similarly equipped Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) will facilitate this cooperation and collaboration. Agency emergency management elements include creating the potential for redundant EOCs between the cities that can be cross-staffed by personnel from any agency. Training potential EOC staff to the current SEMS and NIMS standards. Maintaining a coordinated drill and exercise program to improve coordination, expertise and cooperation. Coordinated grant-funding applications, utilizing a regional approach when possible to leverage funding opportunities to support emergency preparedness.
Coordination with Others- The “Coordinating with Others” component of the program provides contact for other elements of our community to participate in the emergency preparedness program. It enhances our ability to communicate with more residents, students and businesses. Other organizations may include (but are not limited to), Faith-based Organizations, Non-governmental Organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, service clubs, local businesses, philanthropists, 4-H clubs, and any interested School Organizations and clubs. It also includes the area school districts, St. Mary’s College, and our local special needs populations (elderly, etc.).