HSAC is developing initiatives to maximize community resilience in the event of a major disaster.
In large disasters, natural or man-made, community organizations and individual citizens cannot rely solely on public safety agencies for help. They must have both information and resources to enable them to effectively act independent of government. Existing public resources will only reach a certain percentage of the population.
While public safety agencies have the primary responsibility to protect the public, during an emergency nearly 85% of all resources and equipment utilized by first responders are owned and operated by the private sector. Most local governments have not effectively incorporated the private sector into their disaster preparedness, response and recovery plans. This has resulted in an ad-hoc, after the fact, outreach to the private sector. In fact, FEMA estimates that 25% of all businesses affected by a large-scale disaster, such an earthquake, never reopen. The picture is grimmer for small businesses where 40%-60% may never reopen. Economic and social disruptions can last for years impacting everything from schools and families to jobs and businesses.
Currently there is no effective system or established protocol to support collaboration within and across both the public and private sectors through the sharing of important situational awareness information. This causes decisions to be made with limited information which increases redundancy, reduces efficiency and results in a direct and lasting negative impact on the resilience of the community.
HSAC Los Angeles was established to help address the significant communications and information gap between businesses, community based organizations and the government sector in ensuring community resilience through an “All Hazards” approach to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
FEMA studies show that when community stakeholders embrace community resilience measures involving collaboration, education, information and resource sharing the results benefit/costs ratio of these actions exceeds 10.1 (FEMA 2005 study on the benefits investing in pre-disaster mitigation)
While HSAC’s overreaching mission is to serve the entire population not reached by existing public resources, a top priority of HSAC is to also close the gap of the underserved/marginalized population – children, seniors and lower income families - whose needs are not adequately served during and after a disaster. HSAC’s mission is to close this gap significantly – and eventually, completely.
HSAC’s leadership team includes the two top elected officials in greater Los Angeles: the Mayor and the Sheriff of Los Angeles County (covering 88 cities) as well as the LAPD Chief of Police. The current Chairman of the HSAC board and Chair of Executive Committee is Peter Lowy, CEO of Westfield LLC, Marc Nathanson, Chairman Emeritus, serves on the Executive Committee, and the President is Ira Reiner, former District Attorney. Private sector board members include several distinguished business, philanthropic and community leaders
Under the leadership of our Chairman, Peter Lowy, HSAC will be a national model for citizen disaster preparedness, response and accelerated recovery operations.