01.06.12

Media Advisory: Schiff to Host Windstorm Response Assessment Panel

Schiff to Host Windstorm Response Assessment Panel

Pasadena, CA – Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-29) will host a roundtable discussion with federal, state and local officials, representatives from local utilities, FEMA, the CPUC and others at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, focusing on the response to last month’s windstorm and how our region can be better prepared for a future emergency. The panel will also examine efforts to assist those whose homes and businesses were damaged in the storm.

The windstorm which hit the Los Angeles area on November 30 knocked out power to more than 340,000 homes and businesses and did tens of millions of dollars in damage to cities in the San Gabriel valley. Power restoration proved time-consuming and difficult, with thousands still without power almost a week after the storm hit. The panel will discuss what lessons can be applied in the event of a more serious natural disaster, like a large earthquake, that would disrupt power on a wider scale and may be coupled with other challenges like fire and collapsed buildings.

“We should look at this windstorm as if it were a massive, unplanned and unrehearsed drill for a more serious disaster,” Rep. Schiff said. “I know how hard utilities and their crews worked to turn the lights back on. But problems in communicating with residents and the prolonged period in which many lacked power, exposed potential gaps in our preparedness -- gaps that should be filled in case we have to confront an even more severe event in the future.”

Schiff convened a similar effort after the 2009 Station Fire, which culminated in major policy reviews by the U.S. Forest Service. Those reviews are ongoing.

The public is encouraged to attend.

WHO:             Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-29)

Members of the Panel:

Congressman Adam B. Schiff

Mayor Bill Bogaard, Pasadena

Mayor Tom Chavez, Temple City

Town Council Member Mike Claessens, Crescenta Valley

Town Council Member Dr. Sandra Thomas, Altadena

City of South Pasadena representative

City of San Gabriel representative

Speakers:

Phyllis Currie, General Manager, Pasadena Water & Power

Glenn Steiger, General Manager, Glendale Water & Power

Randy Howard, Director of Power System Planning and Development, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Ron Litzinger, President, Southern California Edison

Denise Tyrell, Southern California Representative

Ray Fugere, Consumer Protection and Safety Division, California Public Utilities Commission

Pat Dennen, Southern Regional Administrator, California Emergency Management Agency

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Kevin Wynne, Public Information Officer, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration

Victor Parker, District Director, Los Angeles, U.S. Small Business Administration

WHAT:          Roundtable discussion with federal, state and local officials, representatives from local utilities and others focusing on the response to last month’s windstorm and how our region can be better prepared for a future emergency. 

WHERE:       Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

                       Courtroom 3 - 125 S. Grand Ave, Pasadena 91103

WHEN:          Thursday, January 12 - 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PST