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A Disaster Recovery Roadmap

Posted on 03/06/2024
A graphic showing a winding road with numbers from 1-5, each astep in the process of recovery from a disaster, including EOC activation, service request tracking and filing of insurance claims, virtual local sssitance center and debris removal, in-person assistance and home inspections, and home repairs.

Now that you've completed the Los Angeles County Damage Assessment Survey?  What are your next steps in the recovery process?


Disaster recovery can be a lengthy process that does not tend to have a set end date. It requires the coordination of services and resources to restore critical lifelines to communities and maintain a continuity of government services. Currently residents and impacted business owners are in the process of completing home repairs and establishing new normal following impacts of recent rains. The graphic here,  "Recovery Roadmap," gives context to the tentative recovery process required for the 2024 February Storms.

Recovery Process Background

The City of Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activated at a Level II on Sunday, February 4, 2024 to respond to National Weather Service (NWS) reports of atmospheric-river fueled storms. Los Angeles Mayor of Los Angeles Karen Bass, signed the declaration of local emergency February 4. Governor Gavin Newsom also signed a declaration of state emergency regarding the storms February 4. Understanding the gravity of the situation and potential impacts, the City of Los Angeles EOC worked around the clock coordinating the emergency response of evacuation warnings, evacuation shelter sites, augmented weather shelters for people experiencing homelessness, and the tracking of more than 140 field reported incidents, including the City's Department of Building and Safety site-safety assessments to red and yellow tag properties. Residents and business owners began filing insurance claims and requesting geotechnical assessments of impacted properties.
During the Early February Storms, virtual Local Assistance Centers (LACs) were created in partnership with the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to share relevant disaster services available to residents. Debris removal from public throughways and properties began. Following the conclusion of the February Storms, LA City, County OEM, and the California's Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) staff conducted home inspections based on initial damage reports. 
Additionally, the City's Emergency Management Department (EMD) hosted three in-person LACs, February 15-17, at the Mid-Valley Senior Center, South LA Sports Center, and the Pan Pacific Senior Center. The LACs served as one-stop shops for relevant City, County, and State resources available to residents. Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) partners were also available at the LACs to offer services local government agencies are unable to provide. The EOC remained activated for several days after the storms passed to continue facilitating multi-agency coordination of outstanding and unresolved field-reported incidents. 
However, as the NWS anticipated the probability of further atmospheric river-fueled storms reaching the region, the EOC was reactivated at a Level II on February 18 for a Mid-February Storm. The significant soil saturation, impacts of the previous storm system, forecasted rainfall totals, and rates of rainfall per hour had the potential to cause flooding (including beach parking lots), debris flows and landslides in the canyons. The EOC monitored the impacts and coordinated resources needed to respond to the storm system that moved through the City from February 18-21. 
Following that storm, additional site-safety and damage assessments were completed to measure any additional impacts to known incidents from the initial storms. Fortunately, the Mid-February Storm provided less hazardous impacts. EMD then worked with the Emergency Network Los Angeles (ENLA) volunteers to connect residents with the most need and impact from the storms to services available by NGOs, such as Team Rubicon and Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE). 
Through a coordination of efforts these NGOs have been able to assess and begin the process of providing home repairs to residents with the most need in severely impacted areas. As the recovery process continues the City and County of Los Angeles await the possibility of a presidential disaster declaration regarding the February Storms -- based, in part, on information supplied by local residents who completed the LA County OEM Damage Assessment Survey detailing how their property was impacted by the storms.
Additional resources such as basic needs, mental health services, and other forms of recovery are linked at: Storm Recovery Assistance, here on EMD's website.