During October, Ron Baldwin, the recently-retired director of emergency services for San Joaquin County, has been holding meetings around the Delta region to get feedback on a new project he is facilitating for coordinating flood response in the Delta.
The project is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Regional Flood Response Project. Its purpose is to improve flood response and to create the basis for regional grant applications for funding under DWR’s new “Local Flood Emergency Planning, Preparedness, and Response Grant Program.” Funding for those grants will come from the Proposition 84 bond act passed in 2006.
The Delta Protection Commission has agreed to be the official applicant for any joint regional funding request, while Delta jurisdictions and other participating agencies would jointly implement funded projects.
The Regional Flood Response Project incorporates recommendations from the task force report developed under SB27, 2009 legislation that required the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) to look for ways to improve emergency response in the Delta. Key recommendations:
- Updated risk management for Delta floods
- A regional Multi-Agency Coordination system (Delta MACS) to improve resource management and information sharing during regional emergencies
- An interoperable communications plan for local and State responders
- A common regional unified command framework
- A regional evacuation plan
- Flood contingency maps for the entire Delta
- Flood response and flood fight resource stockpiles strategically placed in the Delta
- Emergency response exercises for all hazards in the Delta
- A training plan for officials who would implement the regional system
- A Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Flood Fight Emergency Fund separate from all agency or jurisdiction budgets to eliminate bureaucratic delays in responding to levee problems
SB27 is supported by the Delta Plan.
Agencies such as the Metropolitan Water District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as local governments in the Delta region, have worked on bits and pieces of emergency flood response in the past. But as one participant in a workshop last week pointed out, some of that work, like Corps of Engineer maps, is flawed.
This is the first attempt to approach the issue of flood response from this unified regional perspective.
Anyone interested in more information should contact Ron Baldwin at [email protected] He’s soliciting letters of community support and needs them by the end of November.