California group looks to organize response to disasters and earthquakes
| 12.14.2005 | 11:19:41 | Views: 2915 | ID:
December 14 '05: Two former homeland security and response officials have begun a new organization designed to help coordinate and assemble federal, state and local leaders and first responders to the threats to the population in California, according to the group's press release.
ProtectingCalifornia.org's mission is to "improve financial recovery systems to provide recovery and rebuilding funds in case of a major catastrophe, support efforts to improve building codes, augment homeowner education programs and strengthen first responders by enhancing existing emergency response protocols," the press release read.To head the organization the group hired former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Admiral James M. Loy, and the former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency James Lee Witt, a Clinton administration appointee. Witt said recently at a press conference his organization will help "save lives and make sure that adequate financial resources are available to better recover from the destruction of earthquakes." On the website, the group has outlined other environmental dangers facing Californians as well as the rest of the US through another website ProtectingAmerica.org. The group is a coalition of "first responders, emergency management professionals, building code experts and others" similar to the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness. Through a partnership with those in the coaltion, ProtectCalifornia.org hopes to accomplish seven stated goals: to raise earthquake and environmental disaster awareness; creating "catastrophe funds" to help with reconstruction; improve mitigation and prevention programs for building codes; create a stronger response network; improve consumer education about disasters; help improve communication and response on the federal, state and local level; help remove scam artists and conmen from taking advantage of those affected by a disaster; and "Assure the viability of the private market and its ability to provide coverage to all families, businesses and communities."
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