July 24, 1996
Honorable William L. Gordon
Santa Barbara County Superior Court
1100 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, California 93121
RE: City of Buellton Preparedness for Disasters
Dear Judge Gordon:
In regard to the attached requests from the Grand Jury as to responses to specific Findings and Recommendations relating to "Preparedness for Disasters," the following is submitted:
FINDING 1: Introduced in 1993, California's Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) is now being integrated into the governmental structure of Santa Barbara County and its cities.
RECOMMENDATION 1b: The County Administrator and each city administrator/manager should address aggressively the need to incorporate emergency-related functions into the job descriptions and performance evaluations of county and city employees.
RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION 1b: The City Manager and City Department Heads are currently reviewing job descriptions for each employee category and said job descriptions will be amended, where appropriate, to incorporate emergency-related functions. In addition, the City's Employee Performance Evaluation Form will be revised to include an evaluation of emergency-related functions as they pertain to the employee's classification and job duties.
FINDING 4: Emergency planning is essential for the cities in the county. The City of Santa Barbara has a well established emergency preparedness program. The City of Lompoc has developed a detailed program of response and evacuation if Bradbury Dam were to fail.
RECOMMENDATION 4a: All municipalities should review and update their needs and resources for improved disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION 4a: The City is taking the necessary steps to update our emergency preparedness through emergency planning; training of full-time, auxiliary and reserve personnel; and public awareness programs to assure the adequacy and availability of sufficient resources to cope with disasters and emergency situations.
RECOMMENDATION 4b: To improve protection for Santa Barbara County citizens, the seven city administrators/managers and also the county emergency officials on the Emergency Services Council should intensify mutual aid programs, coordinate resources within each city, and generate an increased awareness of each city's potential needs in times of disaster.
RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION 4b: City administrators/managers as well as county officials have been meeting on a regular basis to address mutual aid issues and coordination of resources in case of disasters. It is my understanding that planning sessions, mock disaster drills, and emergency preparedness workshops will continue on a regular basis.
It is hoped that the above comments address the issues at hand. Please do not hesitate to contact my office should there be any questions or if additional information is required.
CITY OF BUELLTON
Steven L. Thompson
cc: Mayor and City Council
City Department Heads