[Sonoma County] The Year in Review, Part 1: 2018 was a year to remember

Civil Grand Jury report focuses on disaster

Blog note: this piece was part of a larger year-in-review article.

As the year came to a close, the annual grand jury report focused on the firestorms and preparing for the next major disaster.

The multi-part report provides a postmortem on the communication systems, command center structures and levels of emergency preparedness.

The 2017-18 jury made seven specific findings and four written recommendations that require by law an official response later by the county board of supervisors and county administrator.

The recommendations include realigning the county’s Emergency Operations Center with a 24/7 entity such as the Sheriff’s Office and not the county administrator’s office. The jury also calls for updating all county and local city emergency response plans to incorporate “lessons learned from this emergency.”

In the section about animal evacuations and sheltering, the jury found “lacking” a comprehensive animal emergency response plan that identified a lead agency.

Among another seven recommendations to the board of supervisors, the jury urged the supervisors to reconsider or reassign Animal Services to another department and not the Department of Health Services where it currently is placed.

December 26, 2018

The Windsor Times

Complied by Heather Bailey

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