Los Angeles’ Emergency Management Department has fallen behind on many of its emergency preparedness programs, potentially leaving the city more vulnerable to disasters, according to a report released Thursday by City Controller Ron Galperin.
The report, titled “A Better Plan to Get L.A. Ready for Emergencies,” found that the department lacks dedicated plans to cover cybersecurity threats, climate change, drought, earthquakes and fires. Galperin’s report also claims that there is no regular assessment of supplies or equipment needed to ensure the Emergency Operations Center has enough resources to respond to disasters.
“Los Angeles is one of the most at-risk cities for potential catastrophe; we cannot afford to be among the least prepared,” Galperin said in a statement.
The controller recommended that the city collaborate with Los Angeles County on creating a joint organization for emergency management. Galperin also called for citywide response plans for specific risks, and hazard-specific training for city employees.
Galperin said that the COVID-19 pandemic has further depleted resources and staffing for emergency response.
“As we’ve seen in recent years, unexpected emergencies can strike at any moment and the city must be ready to protect residents and businesses no matter what challenges lie ahead,” Galperin said. “Until emergency preparedness programs are improved and there is better coordination with L.A. County, the safety and security of all Angelenos will remain a major concern.”