MONDAY: Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance to Host Informational Hearing “Emergency Alerts and Evacuations: Lives Saved or Lives Lost?”

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Hearing will analyze communications during emergencies and disasters

SACRAMENTO, CA — The Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, chaired by Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita), and the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance, chaired by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), will hold an informational hearing on Monday to take a closer look at communications equipment and services during disasters, particularly in the face of wildfires.

California communities affected by devastating wildfires the past two years have reported severe stopgaps in notification systems in times of emergency. These difficulties and failures have resulted in loss of lives and can be generally attributed to: faulty preparation; issues in planning and inability of communications providers to have needed equipment or services in rural communities; and failure of citizens to sign up for warnings or heed the warnings that they do receive.

Recovering from the deadliest and most destructive fire season in state history, California requires a reexamination and fortification of its communications systems. The informational hearing will look at how our state can instill structural redundancy in our alert systems and how to develop fail-safe methods to reach our first responders.

Where: California State Capitol, Room 4203

When: Monday, July 1, 2019, upon adjournment of Session

Who: Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management

  • Assemblywoman Christy Smith, Chair
  • Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry
  • Assemblyman Heath Flora
  • Assemblymember Adam Gray
  • Assemblyman Tom Lackey
  • Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez
  • Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez
  • Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Vice Chair
  • Senator Patricia Bates
  • Senator Bill Dodd
  • Senator Cathleen Galgiani
  • Senator Mike McGuire
  • Senator Richard Pan
  • Senator Jeff Stone

Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance

  • Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, Chair
  • Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, Vice Chair
  • Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath
  • Assemblymember Rob Bonta
  • Assemblyman William P. Brough
  • Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes
  • Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia
  • Assemblymember Chris Holden
  • Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove
  • Assemblymember Evan Low
  • Assemblyman Jim Patterson
  • Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva
  • Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez

STATEMENTS

Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita), Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management: “As a year-round fire season becomes a new normal, we have to update our antiquated communication methods, refurbish systems out of compliance and ensure everyone can get to safety during emergencies. It’s incredibly important we listen and learn from experts on what we can do to make sure we’re prepared when the next disaster strikes.”

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance:“California is no stranger to disaster and devastation, especially in recent years as our wildfire seasons have grown longer and more voracious. It is critical that the channels of communication between first responders are always open, to allow for efficient coordination to prevent the loss of life. As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance, I’m happy to examine California’s emergency infrastructure and capabilities so that when — not if — the next disaster strikes, we will maximize our chances for positive outcomes.”

CONTACT: Danni.Wang@asm.ca.gov, (661) 286-1565