In April 2019, Ventura, Butte and Sonoma counties were selected by the California State Auditor’s Office to participate in an assessment designed to evaluate each county’s ability to protect people with disability, access and functional needs before, during, and after a natural disaster. Specifically, Ventura County was evaluated on our response and recovery actions, in relation to the 2017 Thomas Fire and 2018 Woolsey Fire. Immediately following the Thomas Fire, the County of Ventura conducted an in-depth after-action review resulting in numerous areas of improvement. Several of these improvements had been implemented, prior to the start of this audit, and others are on-going. An after-action review of the Woolsey Fire is currently in progress.
Ventura County is among the best prepared counties in the nation to respond to and mitigate the impacts of natural and man-made disaster. This is not happenstance; rather it is the result of many years of practical experience, continuous process improvement, and highly skilled and dedicated men and women committed to emergency preparedness and response.
The State Auditor’s Office Report (Emergency Planning 2019-103) underscores the importance of planning and preparing to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable in our communities and we share in this understanding, as well as the goal of improving efforts in this area. We appreciate the State Auditor’s Office review of our County Emergency Plans for residents with disability, access and functional needs. Our history of successful planning, partnerships and community outreach has resulted in remarkably positive outcomes in some of the most demanding disasters of our time. Notwithstanding, we welcome the State Auditor’s review as it gives us an opportunity to further improve our planning and preparations for the future to the benefit of all in our communities.
Emergency preparedness is a dynamic and ever-changing discipline; one which the County of Ventura takes very seriously and is fully committed to. We look forward to innovating and adopting improvements to our emergency planning and response processes that will continue to place Ventura County at the forefront of being one of the safest and best prepared counties.
The full California State Auditor Report can be found online by clicking here.