State of California Emergency Plan 2009
On June 23, 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promulgated the 2009 edition of the State of California Emergency Plan. The plan outlines a state-level strategy to support local government efforts during a large-scale emergency. In accordance with the California Emergency Services Act, the State Emergency Plan describes:
• Methods for carrying out emergency operations;
• The process for rendering mutual aid;
• Emergency services of governmental agencies;
• How resources are mobilized;
• Emergency public information; and
• Continuity of government.
THREE MAIN PARTS
There are three parts to the Plan: The Basic Plan, Functional Annexes and Appendices. Part 1: Basic Plan:
The basic plan describes the fundamental systems, strategies, and policies that California will utilize to guide and support emergency management efforts. These elements culminate with a comprehensive emergency management concept of operations that outlines the relationships and responsibilities for state government and its political subdivisions. Part 2: Functional Annexes:
This plan establishes Emergency Function working groups to develop functional annexes that describe discipline-specific operational concepts, capabilities, and organizational structures. The functional annexes will be developed separately from the basic plan and will make reference to existing agency and department-specific plans and procedures. Part 3: Appendices:
Other plans and procedures that are developed in support of the State Emergency Plan will be incorporated by reference and maintained separate from the basic plan. Examples include mutual aid plans, hazard-specific plans, and catastrophic plans. Supporting plans may be appended to the end of the basic plan as deemed appropriate. SIXTEEN SECTIONS
The 2009 edition of the State Emergency Plan contains 16 sections within the basic plan:
The plan begins with a look at the history of emergency management in California and its progression in strengthening the state’s abilities to address disasters, emergencies and terrorist events.
2. Table of Contents
State agencies, local governments and others must be prepared to respond to emergencies that might occur within their areas of responsibility and must be able to assess whether their capabilities are sufficient to respond effectively.
4. Basic Plan:
Describes the fundamental systems, strategies, policies, assumptions, responsibilities and operational priorities that California will utilize to guide and support emergency management efforts.
5. Purpose and Scope:
The plan incorporates and complies with the principles and requirements found in federal and state laws, regulations and guidelines. It is intended to conform to the requirements of California’s Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS), the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and be consistent with federal emergency planning concepts such as the National Response Framework (NRF) and catastrophic concept of operations (CONOPS) documents developed jointly by FEMA Region IX and the state.
6. Situation and Assumptions:
A discussion of the population and geography points out that California is the most populous state in the nation with a large and varied geography. Fourteen natural and man-made hazards and their corresponding vulnerabilities are listed.
7. Emergency Management Organization:
Includes a discussion of the National Incident Management System and its relationship to California’s Standardized Emergency Management System. It outlines the role of the State Operations Center and the Regional Emergency Operations Centers, and the need for alternate emergency facilities. A broader emergency management community is described that includes tribal governments, other states and international resources. The private sector role is enhanced to include California residents, at-risk individuals and people with disabilities and older adults as primary stakeholders.
8. Mitigation Programs:
The State Emergency Plan references the State of California Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, which represents California’s official statement on hazard mitigation goals, strategies and priorities
9. Disaster Preparedness:
Focuses on preparedness planning, training, exercises and prevention programs. Standards are recommended for communications and information management and emphasis is placed on preparing resources before an emergency occurs.
10. Response Concept of Operations:
Describes a sequence of events that typically occurs during the response phase of an emergency, including the need for strong direction, control and coordination, bolstered alert and warning capabilities, forward-thinking intelligence gathering and situation reporting, and emergency public information that focuses on public outreach, providing effective information and using joint information systems.
11. Recovery Concept of Operations:
The recovery phase occurs as a gradual transition during the response phase with the consideration of short term and long term objectives. The use of Local Assistance Centers, Disaster Recovery Centers and a joint state-federal operations center are described, along with an overview of how individual assistance, public assistance and debris management programs are implemented.
12. Continuity of Government:
The Constitution of the State of California and the Government Code provide authority for the continuity and preservation of state and local government. The Emergency Services Act specifically provides for the preservation of government and its services. The State Emergency Plan promotes planning for succession of officers, designation of standby officers, administration of oaths of office and continuation of duties of the governing body.
13. California Emergency Functions:
The California Emergency Functions (CA-EFs) are intended for use by the State of California. Local governments and Operational Areas (OAs) are not required to implement the CA-EF concept unless they choose to do so. Instead, local governments and OAs should organize consistent with local resources and established SEMS Regulations and Guidelines.
14. State Roles and Responsibilities:
The plan calls for the emergency services functions of this state to be coordinated as far as possible with the comparable functions of its political subdivisions, of the federal government, of other states, and of private agencies of every type so the most effective use may be made of all manpower, resources, and facilities for dealing with an emergency. Each assigned agency is responsible for developing its own functional plans that outline how that agency will respond to an emergency.
15. Plan Administration:
The State Emergency Plan is intended to be used in conjunction with city, county, operational area and state agency plans and associated standard operating procedures. The California Emergency Management Agency is charged with keeping the plan up to date and develops revised drafts of the plan in coordination with state agencies, local governments and relevant stakeholders. Major revisions to the plan are presented to the California Emergency Council, which recommends approval of the plan to the Governor.
An emergency plan crosswalk is added to show how the plan complies with essential elements of the California Emergency Services Act, SEMS and NIMS. This is the same crosswalk we ask local governments to use to review their emergency plan. CONCLUSION
The State Emergency Plan is intended to be read and understood before an emergency occurs. The plan is designed to outline the activities of all California jurisdictions within a statewide emergency management system. It embraces the capabilities and resources in the broader emergency management community that includes individuals, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, tribal governments, other states, federal government and international assistance.