memo

June 24, 1996 (Amended)

Honorable William L. Gordon

Presiding Judge, Santa Barbara County Superior Court

1100 Anacapa Street

Santa Barbara, California 93101

Dear Judge Gordon:

The following is my response to Finding 3 and Recommendation 3 as required in the Grand Jury Report titled "Preparedness for Disasters" dated April 8, 1996.

FINDING 3: "The County's Emergency Operations Center is constructed inadequately to withstand major disasters."

The existing structure was constructed before present seismic building codes. The existing structure has problems with communications equipment working in the basement (pagers, portable radios, etc.). A new EOC would additionally offer a more functional workspace for those assigned disaster management tasks. The present EOC is primarily a multi-functional room which was remodeled to fit EOC needs within the constraints of an existing structure.

RECOMMENDATION 3: We agree, subject to the above.

If a new EOC were constructed, it would be our expectation that existing OES staff would use much of the facility as office space, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the EOC (Existing phones, computers, FAX machines would be used both for normal day-to-day functions as well as for disaster management.).

Sincerely,

JIM THOMAS

FIRE CHIEF

JT:KS:cs

cc: Spencer Boise, Chairman, Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

Kent M. Taylor, County Administrator

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