Lowenthal Asks ‘Who You Gonna Call?’ in an Emergency

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Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal

As Chair of the Emergency Management Committee, Lowenthal will examine emergency communication strategy during public hearing in Lakewood August 12. Sheriff Lee Baca to participate.

The Legislature’s point-person on emergency management, Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, will ask state and local officials to explain how they plan to keep residents informed in a disaster, during a public hearing at Lakewood City Hall. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will be among the local officials discussing the challenge of keeping people informed in an emergency.

Among other things, Lowenthal will want to know whether years of steady budget cuts have diminished California’s ability to respond to a natural or man-made catastrophe.

“In a disaster, more information means less panic,” said Lowenthal. “Keeping people informed is an important part of keeping people safe.”

Lowenthal will examine the status of current systems, while also gathering information about planned upgrades and proposals that could make the phones in our pockets and the phones in our homes more useful in an emergency. She will also hear about Next Generation 9-1-1, systems that allow the authorities to call your home automatically, and other information tools and strategies.

“Smart phones are only as smart as the information coming to them,” said Lowenthal. “I think it’s our job as government to make sure that people get timely and reliable information during and after a disaster.”

The hearing also will feature expert testimony from Mike Dayton, acting secretary of CalEMA (California Emergency Management Agency) as well as regional and local leaders. The hearing will begin at 2 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at Lakewood City Hall, 5050 Clark Ave., Lakewood.

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