September 17, 2005


Southland Not Ready for Disaster: A major quake or act of terrorism could displace hundreds of thousands, officials say. Relief agencies concede they would be stretched thin. (Sharon Bernstein, September 17, 2005, LA Times)

Despite millions of dollars spent in crisis management drills and dozens of plans to deal with earthquakes and other calamities, Southern California emergency preparedness agencies have done little to plan for mass displacement and destruction across a broad swath of the region on the scale of Hurricane Katrina, according to interviews with state and local authorities.

Because the region is so huge and most damage from earthquakes and fires typically is relatively localized, most of the region's planning is based on the assumption that damage will be confined to one or two areas, several officials said.

Detailed plans to deal with a massive emergency — one that displaces more than 300,000 people — have not been developed since the end of the Cold War, said Stephen Sellers, head of Southern California operations for the state Office of Emergency Services.

Now that Katrina has given us all our wake-up call we should expect radical changes in Southern California so that it will be prepared to face such a disaster, right?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 17, 2005 8:05 AM

Bushes fault.

Posted by: Genecis at September 17, 2005 10:22 AM

They'll strengthen the overpasses again, since that's pretty much what TV gravitates to every time there is a California quake.

Posted by: John at September 17, 2005 11:15 AM