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New emergency-operations center unveiled

Original post made on Dec 20, 2013

Palo Alto's Emergency Operations Center has gone from a dusty, closet-like space only staffed during emergencies to a fully functioning command center that is open every day. The upgraded center was unveiled by city officials on Thursday, Dec. 19.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 19, 2013, 4:13 PM

Comments (10)

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton
on Dec 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Great job Ken and team - thanks.

Posted by Disaster, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 20, 2013 at 10:32 am

Great, but it's still in City Hall instead of an earthquake safe location.

Posted by Great Improvement, Wrong location., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2013 at 11:12 am

This is a good improvement, but this is the same basement that was identified in the Blue Ribbon Task Force report on the public safety facility as seismically unsound (more than ten years ago, I think). When are we going to get a seismically "sound" public safety building? Could we at least move this center to someplace safer like, maybe, Cubberley?

Posted by Agreed, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 20, 2013 at 11:18 am

@Great Improvement, Wrong Location: you are so right! The last thing needed in a seismic emergency is for the emergency station to be disabled!

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton
on Dec 20, 2013 at 11:22 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Setting up an EOC like this is as much a preparedness mindset as it is a physical location.

Ideally an EOC would be in a quake proof, flood proof and fire proof location but I would much rather have a functional EOC where this one is than not have one at all. At present this EOC's proximity to police dispatch and the city's emergency response personnel is much more important to its functionality than the potential earthquake risks involved. All disaster preparedness involves balancing risks.

And I am sure that Dueker has well prepared alternate site protocol ready to implement if this location becomes unusable.

Posted by Lydia Kou, a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Awesome job Ken!

Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Got to wonder if this EOC will ever be used? We might get another flood in 20 to 30 years, and maybe some damage from an earthquake .. but what other kinds of emergencies should we be planning for?

Clearly this activity was necessary to justify the Emergency Services Manager's salary--but if it is never used, it's hard to justify it's expense.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton
on Dec 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

PLEASE read the story BEFORE commenting!!

"The center doesn't just prepare for "what ifs." Planning includes more immediate concerns, such as oncoming storms -- and even the holiday shopping season -- and current emergencies, such as a house fire, a call for medical aid or an accident."

Posted by george browning , a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 22, 2013 at 11:49 am

Thanks for your comments, Peter, - pertinent as always.

Thanks also to Ken and the people working on emergency preparedness. We hope we never need to activate them for the "Big One", but better to prepare and never use it than not to prepare.

Posted by Can't have it both ways, a resident of Professorville
on Dec 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

The siting -- in an allegedly seismically unsafe building -- is kinda like building a flood disaster coordination center on the riverbank.

Or maybe that "seismic" alarm was just a ruse to justify a spanking new police station.

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