Emergency officials from throughout the San Gabriel Valley gathered on Aug. 6 at Pacific Palms Resort in Industry to explore this scenario, a table top exercise that they hoped would help them prepare their cities for such mass evacuations.
“More than 100 people showed up for this exercise. This will give us a huge start in planning for such a large disaster,” said Ken Kondo, spokesman for Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office’s Office of Emergency Management.
Wes Elder, a battalion chief with L.A. County Fire, said the Los Angeles Operational Area Alliance received a FEMA grant to begin working on large-scale exercises. Elder noted that coordinating the area’s 88 cities required lots of planning and cooperation.
He pointed to the many problems that occurred in the mass evacuation of New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina. Los Angeles hopes to avoid such a disaster by pre-planning emergency response.