BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 918
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 24, 2013

                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION
                                 Isadore Hall, Chair
                    AB 918 (Cooley) - As Amended:  April 17, 2013
           
          SUBJECT  :   Emergency services: preparedness

           SUMMARY  :   Requires the Office of Emergency Services (OES), on  
          or before July 31, 2015, to update the State Emergency Plan to  
          include proposed best practices for local governments and  
          nongovernmental entities to use to mobilize and evacuate senior  
          citizens and disabled persons during an emergency or natural  
          disaster.

           EXISTING LAW  

          1)Establishes the OES by the Governor's Reorganization Plan  
            No.2, operative July 1, 2013.

          2)Requires OES to perform a variety of duties with respect to  
            specified emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response  
            activities in the state, including emergency medical services.

          3)Specifies that the State Emergency Plan shall be in effect in  
            each political subdivision of the state, and the governing  
            body of each political subdivision shall take such action as  
            may be necessary to carry out the provisions thereof.

          4)Requires the Governor to coordinate the State Emergency Plan  
            and those programs necessary to mitigate the effects of an  
            emergency. 

          5)Requires the Governor to coordinate the preparation of plans  
            and programs for the mitigation of the effects of an emergency  
            by the political subdivisions of the State of California, such  
            plans and programs to be integrated into and coordinated with  
            the State Emergency Plan and the plans and programs of the  
            federal government and of other states to the fullest possible  
            extent. 

          6)Specifies that the Governor may, in accordance with the State  
            Emergency Plan and programs for the mitigation of the effects  
            of an emergency in this state:









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             a)   Ascertain the requirements of the state or its political  
               subdivisions for food, clothing, and other necessities of  
               life in an event of an emergency.

             b)   Plan for, procure, and pre-position supplies, medicines,  
               materials, and equipment.

             c)   Use and employ any of the property, services, and  
               resources of the state.

             d)   Provide for the approval of local emergency plans.

             e)   Provide for mobile support units.

             f)   Provide for use of public airports.
             g)   Institute training programs and public information  
               programs.

             h)   Make surveys of the industries, resources, and  
               facilities, both public and private, within the state.

             i)   Plan for the use of any private facilities, services,  
               and property and, when necessary, and when in fact used,  
               provide for payment for that use under the terms and  
               conditions as may be agreed upon.

             j)   Take all other preparatory steps, including the partial  
               or full mobilization of emergency organizations in advance  
               of an actual emergency; and order those test exercises  
               needed to insure the furnishing of adequately trained and  
               equipped personnel in time of need

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           Purpose of the bill  :  According to the author many disabled  
          persons and seniors live alone or in circumstances that require  
          special planning because many are physically unable to help  
          themselves in the event of an emergency.

          The California State Emergency Plan is coordinated through the  
          California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA).  The Cal EMA  
          will become the OES, effective July 1, 2013.  The plan was last  
          updated in 2009; it is scheduled to be updated in 2014.  








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          Currently, little of the plan is dedicated to senior citizens  
          and functional needs persons. 

          AB 918 increases local preparedness in the event of an emergency  
          or natural disaster by directing the OES to include in the State  
          Emergency Plan best practice procedures regarding emergency and  
          evacuation procedures for senior citizens and functional needs  
          persons.  These best practices may be used by local governmental  
          and nongovernmental entities in order to prepare for an  
          emergency or in the event of an emergency. 

           State Emergency Plan  :  The State of California Emergency Plan  
          addresses the state's response to extraordinary emergency  
          situations associated with natural disasters or human-caused  
          emergencies.  In accordance with the California Emergency  
          Services Act, the plan describes the methods for carrying out  
          emergency operations, the process for rendering mutual aid, the  
          emergency services of governmental agencies, how resources are  
          mobilized, how the public will be informed and the process to  
          ensure continuity of government during and emergency or  
          disaster.

          The plan is a management document intended to be read and  
          understood before an emergency occurs.  It is designed to  
          outline the activities of all California jurisdictions within a  
          statewide emergency management system and it embraces the  
          capabilities and resources in the broader emergency management  
          community that includes individuals, businesses,  
          non-governmental organizations, tribal governments, other  
          states, federal government and international assistance. 

           Background  :  Emergencies and natural disasters are especially  
          troubling for seniors or individuals with disabilities.  During  
          emergencies, these individuals may be cut off from their usual  
          resources and have additional difficulties or conditions that  
          result from the emergency situation, such as: lack of essential  
          medications; inability to access durable medical equipment or  
          consumable medical supplies, fatigue, hunger, respiratory  
          distress, or trauma.  During emergency situation seniors and  
          persons with disabilities may need assistance for tasks they  
          could normally accomplish without assistance. 

           Elderly/disability population in California  :  According to the  
          2010 Census, over 4.2 million people in California are over the  
          age of 65.  Of those, roughly 700,000 are over the age of 85.  








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          When compared to the 2000 census, that represents an increase of  
          18.1% in the 65 and older population and an increase of 41.2% of  
          individuals over the age of 85.  Taking into consideration that  
          the overall population in California increased by only 10%, it  
          is safe to say that the population in California will continue  
          to get older as life expectancy increases and baby boomers  
          continue to reach retirement age.  Therefore, it is no surprise  
          that in 2008, the Public Policy Institute of California  
          estimated that by 2030, the number of seniors will double and  
          one in every five Californians will be over the age of 65.    

          According to the Department of Health and Human Services, in  
          2009 there were roughly 4.8 million individuals 18 and older who  
          had some type of disability. Of those 1.4 million were between  
          the age of 18-44, 2 million between the age 45-65, and 1.4  
          million over the age of 65. 

           Arguments in support  :  According to the sponsor, the California  
          Senior Legislature, this bill would direct OES to include, in  
          their updated State Emergency Plan, language related to best  
          practice procedures regarding emergency and evacuation  
          procedures for possible use by local governmental and  
          non-governmental entities specific to senior citizens and  
          functional needs persons.  Supporters also claim this bill will  
          help to protect vulnerable groups during an emergency or  
          disaster. 

           Suggested amendment  :  The California Emergency Management Agency  
          has over the years worked to develop tools and planning in a  
          collaborative manner that engages stakeholders and reflects  
          community needs.  Some of that work has been focused on  
          providing consistent terminology throughout their various  
          plans/reports.  Therefore, the committee may wish to consider  
          the following amendment, beginning on page 2, line 10, to  
          continue that consistency. 

               8570.3. On or before July 31, 2015, the Office of Emergency  
               Services shall update the State Emergency Plan to include  
               proposed best practices for local governments and  
               nongovernmental entities to use to mobilize and evacuate  
                senior citizens and disabled persons  people with  
               disabilities and others with access and functional needs  
               during an emergency or natural disaster.

           Prior legislation  :  AB 2051 (Tran), 2009-2010 Legislative  








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          Session.  The bill would have authorized the California  
          Emergency Management Agency to prepare, in voluntary cooperation  
          with specific local governmental and nongovernmental entities, a  
          specialized plan to mobilize senior citizens and disabled  
          persons during an emergency or natural disaster.  (Held in  
          Senate Appropriations Committee)

           




          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          California Association for Health Services at Home
          California Senior Legislature (Sponsor)
          Consumer Federation of California

           Opposition 
           
          None on file
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Felipe Lopez / G. O. / (916) 319-2531