At the August 24, 2021 City Council meeting, the Council unanimously adopted an Ojai Wildfire Resiliency Framework (PDF), which includes steps to create a fire-adapted community and to further develop the City's emergency communications.
The City has an existing Emergency Operations Plan that is literally hundreds of pages and focuses on emergency operations and Standardized Emergency Management Systems (SEMS) that are generally applicable across various emergency situations. The draft Ojai Wildfire Resiliency Framework will not replace that plan, but instead is 13 tasks that are focused specifically on helping the community be better prepared for the next wildfire. Many of these tasks have been in process by staff since the Thomas Fire, but the plan ties these items together. For example, some of the tasks already completed or in process by the City Council and staff include:
- The City Council has already assigned the Building Appeals Board to review home hardening building codes, and the review is in process
- The City held its first Emergency Preparedness Day this year.
- The City has been in ongoing discussions with the Ventura County Offices of Emergency Services regarding potential evacuation shelter options.
- The City has grown and improved the City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) functions with multiple trainings since 2019.
- The City has replaced and improved the AM radio station equipment
- The City has obtained new emergency notification software that is utilized in the City's "My Ojai" app, which launched earlier this year, and better utilized Facebook during the recent COVID emergency.
- The City has focused on developing the partnership between County OES/EOC, Fire and Police, by including these groups in trainings and Disaster Council meetings.