Pictured on the right: GHNNC Vice President Keren Waters and President Oscar Jimenez
Mayor Garcetti launches initiative to strengthen emergency preparedness in L.A. Neighborhoods
Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched a new campaign to strengthen citywide emergency readiness, calling on Neighborhood Councils to appoint preparedness officers, bring resilience directly into their communities, and take part in the Ready Your L.A. Neighborhood (RYLAN) program.
“Los Angeles is a model of preparedness, yet we cannot wait for an earthquake, fire, or flood to jolt us into action — we have to empower neighborhoods to be ready before the next disaster strikes,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Resilience is everyone’s responsibility, and today’s announcement is a direct challenge to all Angelenos: to stay informed, remain alert, and ensure emergency preparation is woven into the fabric of our communities.”
The Mayor’s plan takes clear and concrete steps to help Neighborhood Councils better prepare their communities for any potential emergency. The initiative challenges each Council to name a Preparedness Officer to serve as a liaison with the City’s Emergency Management Department (EMD). After being trained by EMD, these Preparedness Officers will facilitate workshops in their area and develop RYLAN plans.
In an effort to bring preparedness to Angelenos’ doorsteps, this strategy also calls upon every Neighborhood Council to organize and host a local block party to encourage families to participate in the RYLAN program.
“We know a large earthquake will occur in Los Angeles,” said renowned seismologist, Dr. Lucy Jones. “Better to plan together with our neighbors now, rather than meet them for the first time after a disaster. We are all in this together.”
Mayor Garcetti joined city leaders and public safety officials in reminding all Angelenos to prepare their homes and families for an earthquake — or any other emergency — by downloading the ShakeAlertLA mobile app and signing up for NotifyLA emergency alerts.
“Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility,” Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez said. “The City of Los Angeles has the best first responders in the world, but when disaster strikes, we’ll need every Angeleno to help care for themselves, their families, and their neighbors.”
“The City of Los Angeles continues to build on its resiliency, preparedness, and public safety,” Councilmember David Ryu said. “But a City is only as prepared as its people. When the ‘Big One’ hits — whether it’s a fire, flood, or earthquake — every community in Los Angeles needs to be prepared. That’s why programs like RYLAN are so important — it gives our neighborhoods an emergency plan now, so they’re ready whenever disaster strikes.”
Mayor Garcetti has made resilience a key priority of his administration. In 2014, the Mayor partnered with Dr. Lucy Jones and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to create the Resilience By Design report, which led to the Mayor’s enactment of a historic mandatory building retrofit ordinance to fortify vulnerable structures and save lives in the event of a major earthquake. To date, more than 2,500 soft-story retrofits have been completed, and just over 10,200 more are in progress, set to be finished within the next five years. In 2018, the Mayor built upon this work with Resilient Los Angeles, a report aimed at making L.A. the world’s safest and strongest city.
In January 2019, the Mayor launched ShakeAlertLA, the nation’s first publicly available earthquake early warning mobile app. ShakeAlertLA is a collaboration with the USGS that provides critical seconds of warning that a major earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent — to help Angelenos take action to protect themselves.
As a pioneering pilot program, ShakeAlertLA is undergoing continuous updates and improvements. The app was initially designed to issue alerts to users within Los Angeles County for earthquakes of Magnitude 5.0 or greater and a Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) of 4. The City is currently working with USGS to lower the threshold to Magnitude 4.5 and an MMI of 3 by the end of July.