DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Recent events make clear that Butte County can and will experience a variety of natural disasters: pandemics, fires, and floods. Our recent history also makes it clear that many governmental agencies’ preparedness for these events has been deficient. Going forward, the Butte County Democratic Party believes that local governmental agencies should complete sufficient planning work before disaster strikes to limit the adverse impacts of disasters when they occur. 
 

On PANDEMICS, Butte County Democrats…

  • Support the County Health Department—an independent, science-based health agency that advises local governments, schools, and the public of the best practices to reduce the spread of pandemic infections. 

  • Support local governments in promulgating public health standards, including escalating levels of enforcement, to gain full compliance from shoppers, business owners and school administrators in whatever practices are required given the nature of the disease at issue. 

  • Support local government efforts to meet or exceed state and federal standards so that Butte County does not thwart or impede larger disease control efforts. 

  • Call for County Public Health to work with the county and municipal governments, local health care providers and members of the public in a “lessons learned” exercise regarding COVID-19 to better prepare for the next pandemic.  
     

On FIRES, Butte County Democrats… 

  • Call for all Butte County public safety agencies to coordinate in developing and promoting public awareness of fire evacuation plans for areas facing wildfire risks.

  • Support the efforts of the Butte County Fire Safe Council to undertake sustainable management practices (e.g., hand-crew thinning, mastication, prescribed fire) and assist  local community fire safe councils (such as in Berry Creek and Paradise) through chipping and backstopping local efforts. 

  • Support the creation of California Conservation Corps jobs focused on disaster aversion.

  • Call for the county and municipal governments to develop and continuously monitor vegetation abatement/fuel removal plans that are calibrated to reflect the risk of fire and potential fire damage.

  • Encourage property owner responsibility and early notification to property owners of their need and responsibility to abate fire risk, such as by clearing brush.

  • Support work programs for abatement assistance to elderly, infirm, and low-income residents.
     

On FLOODS, Butte County Democrats…

  • Call for all Butte County public safety agencies to coordinate in developing and promoting public awareness of flood evacuation plans for areas facing flood risks.  

  • Request the Butte County Sheriff to conduct a catastrophic risk assessment of the Oroville Dam, independent of DWR, and report his findings to the County Board of Supervisors and the municipal governments in locations potentially affected by a dam breach. 

  • Support the Paradise Irrigation District in securing funding to repair, reconstruct, and upgrade infrastructure within its entire system (e.g., the hundred-year-old earthen Magalia Dam).

  • Call for citizen oversight of the annual inspection of dams, reservoirs, and ponds to ensure public safety.

  • Encourage local neighborhood efforts to clear drainage ditches and culverts to reduce perennial flooding.