Continuing to serve as a model for other states and nations on emergency management, today, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) hosted an international delegation of representatives from the Australian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). NEMA Coordinator General Brendan Moon, Deputy Coordinator General Joe Buffone, and Director of Scientific and International Policy Alexandra Nichols joined Cal OES Director Nancy Ward and other representatives from Cal OES and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).
The main topic of conversation during the international visit was the practices surrounding wildfires, called brushfires in Australia, including how California mitigates, plans for, responds to, and recovers from natural disasters, using technology to detect emergencies through the state’s aviation division at CAL FIRE and California’s work in keeping Californians informed of natural disasters, such as the Early Earthquake Warning system and the Wireless Emergency Alerts system.
Australia experiences natural disasters such as flooding, tropical cyclones, and brushfires. As California’s emergency management coordinating agency, Cal OES is well positioned and well experienced in responding to a similar set of hazards and shares lessons learned throughout the world.
California and Australia have a long history of mutual aid including multiple instances of sending and receiving resources during times of crisis. Most recently, in 2020, Australia sent 55 firefighters to help battle multiple large fires across the state. And in 2019, 20 California firefighters deployed to Australia to assist in fighting the historic wildfires.