USA OAKLAND, Calif. This week marks the 27th anniversary of the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake that took place on October 17, 1989. Two days later, on October 19th, marks the 25th anniversary of the Oakland-Berkeley Hills Fire that killed 25 people, destroyed more than 3,000 homes, and did an estimated $1.5 billion in damage.
Since then, the U.S. Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has leveraged $866 million dollars to support the state of Californias efforts to reduce the risks of catastrophic earthquake and fire. Federal dollars are leveraged with state funds to provide typically 75% of a projects cost. In the Bay Area, $201 million has gone to various projects with $448 Million awarded in Los Angeles County. These funds have been used for seismic retrofit projects, fire risk reduction and flood elevation projects to protect various types of critical infrastructure, including homes, local city governments and public schools and infrastructure.
In the City of Oakland, FEMA recently approved a $3 million dollar grant for the Safer Housing for Oakland: Soft Story Apartment Retrofit Program that will retrofit 35-50 Oakland apartment buildings. Also in Oakland, FEMA has approved $3 million for the Earthquake- Safe Homes Program that will retrofit and install seismic safety measures in up to 300 1-4 unit homes located within the City of Oakland. This year, FEMA also has awarded $6 million dollars in seismic retrofits to the Los Angeles Unified School District and another $4 million in flood mitigation elevations in Sonoma County.
Examples of some of the types of projects that have been have funded include:
$40 million in federal grants has been awarded for city hall seismic retrofits.
$171 million in federal grants has been awarded in seismic retrofits of schools.
$7 million in federal grants has been awarded for fire-resistant roofing.
$83 million in federal grants has been awarded for at risk buildings in the floodplain that were elevated or purchased and converted to open space.
FEMA is only one part of the community that is engaging and developing national, regional, public, and private sector risk reduction. Several partners throughout the state have taken the call to action through advanced preparedness methods.
The City of Los Angeles is committed to addressing resilience by strengthening the citys physical, social, and economic foundations. The City has adopted far-reaching strategies to develop the tools needed to rebound from disasters. Programs like Soft-Story Retrofitting, the new JUMP START 5 Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness emergency planning tool and NotifyLA making individuals and neighborhoods more resilient against earthquakes for a stronger Los Angeles.
Following the 27th and 25th Anniversaries of the Loma Prieta Earthquake and Oakland Hills Firestorm, respectively; October 20, 2016 is International ShakeOut Day when millions of people worldwide participate in local Great Shakeout Earthquake Drills, at 10:20 a.m local time. Participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. To take part in The Great ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to register to participate at www.ShakeOut.org. Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.
FEMAs mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.