Episode 159: Wildfire Preparedness and Emergency Management

While the top disaster threat in California is still earthquakes, wildfires have gotten a lot of attention over the last few years. We’re seeing wildfires affect more of North America recently, so in this episode, Leslie Luke, the deputy director of the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office at the Office of Emergency Management, is here to share his expertise. Leslie covers the training and exercise objectives, communication skills, and community education that are all needed to prepare for and fight wildfires.

Some key takeaways from this episode include:

  • One of the biggest parts of wildfire preparedness is educating residents and the community about evacuation preparedness, which includes telling people to have their important documents and belongings ready to go as soon as they’re told to evacuate.
  • Many of the natural disasters hitting California are “no notice” events, so emergency management teams are reacting to them. That means training and exercises will revolve around evaluating the disaster and making decisions as quickly as possible.
  • From an emergency management standpoint, the jurisdiction wherever the fire originates is responsible for mitigating the fire. Teams should be ready to step in and help a smaller jurisdiction if asked.

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Vanessa Mathews, host

Vanessa Mathews is the founder and chief resilience officer of Asfalis Advisors, where they are focused on protecting the legacy of the leaders they serve through business resilience. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Mathews developed global crisis management and business continuity programs for government and private sector organizations to include Lowe’s Companies, Gulfstream Aerospace, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Jon Seals, producer

Jon Seals is the editor in chief at Disaster Recovery Journal, the leading magazine/event in business continuity. Seals is an award-winning journalist with a background in publication design, business media, content management, sports journalism, social media, and podcasting.

KEYWORDS: wildfires, emergency management, disaster preparedness, California wildfires, climate change, environmental justice

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