Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 May Budget Revision continues the state’s efforts to prioritize investments to strengthen California’s emergency capacity and capabilities to respond to increasingly complex disasters, security threats, and emergencies.
Under the authority of the California Emergency Services Act, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) serves as the state’s leadership hub during all major emergencies and disasters.
At a time when disasters facing California have become more frequent, complicated, and often involve numerous counties and regions across the state, the May Revision includes a package of initiatives to strengthen the state’s ability to respond to increasingly complex disasters, security threats, and emergencies. It will enhance its ability to lead multi-faceted, long-term recovery efforts across California and strengthen equity and connections with vulnerable communities.
PERMANENT INCIDENT SUPPORT TEAM
To address the new normal, with increased complexities in activations, the May Revise establishes a permanent team – the Incident Support Team (IST) – dedicated to disaster and emergency response while the State Operations Center is activated. This support team helps strengthen California’s emergency capacity and capabilities to respond to increasingly challenging disasters, security threats, and emergencies going forward.
Whether it be coordinating management, logistics, planning, operations or finance, this team of trained and experienced emergency response staff would be the heartbeat of disaster response in California.
DEPLOYABLE INCIDENT MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE TEAM
In addition, the Governor’s Budget includes creating a new Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT), which would be composed of Cal OES staff that could go into the field quickly to jumpstart the state’s initial coordination and response to a disaster. As a key part of California’s readiness system, these dedicated staff will be able to deploy within two hours and arrive at the location of an emergency within 12. When not deployed, the IMAT will build and maintain a close working relationship with federal, state, local and Tribal Government officials.
EQUITY IN DISASTER-VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES
Cal OES knows that our most under-resourced communities are disproportionately impacted when a disaster strikes. Therefore, the Governor proposes creating a new Office of Equity at Cal OES and permanently funding the Listos grant program, building resiliency by strengthening connections between vulnerable Californians and the emergency response network. The Governor’s multi-million-dollar investment is key to improving disaster-planning for all-hazards, and meeting community needs before, during and after a disaster.