OES has been assigned these hazardous materials programs because they are founded in emergency response planning, coordinated with other types of emergency planning (such as that for catastrophic earthquakes), and require coordi- nated multi-disciplinary responses.
In addition to specific response plans for state/federal agency coordination at these incidents, OES provides assistance to local jurisdictions. Federally funded radiologi- cal training focuses not only on civil defense related issues but also on peace time applications, such as response to transportation accidents involving radiological materials.
Earthquake simulation exercises in 1987 and 1989, and the response to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, highlighted the need for a manageable and effective system for compil- ing disaster intelligence and resource requests. In pursuing solutions, OES identified several issues. One problem was that a number of jurisdictions were discussing the same information or resource needs. Another was the need for a high capacity, failsafe communications system. To address these, OES proposed expanded use of the operational area concept in emergencies, and development of an alternate network of communications hardware. These proposals became the focus of the Operational Area Satellite Information System (OASIS). It was funded under the Federal Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of l986 and provided a means of exchanging disaster intelligence and resource requests between special districts, cities, counties, operational areas, and the state.
Various boards, committees and commissions supported by state OES include:
- California Emergency Council - the official advisory Board to the Governor on matters pertaining to statewide emergency preparedness. It meets periodically to review plans and accredit local Disaster Councils.
- Governor's Emergency Operations Executive Council - which in times of emergencies may advise the Governor on policy issues and application of state resources. The GEOFC was created by Governor George Deukmejian for input from the directors of emergency response-oriented state agencies.
- California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council - which was established in 1974 as an advisory committee to OES, was officially appointed in 1976. It acts as an advisory body to the Director relating to earthquake predictions, meets quarterly or as required to evaluate predictions."
Continues next week.