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New State Report Critical Of Ventura County's Disaster Response Planning

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A just released state report says Ventura County, and two other counties studied are lacking when it comes to disaster preparedness for vulnerable populations like the elderly. The State Auditor’s Office was asked by the State Legislature to look at the issue. In Ventura County’s case, it meant looking at the county’s response to the Thomas, and Woolsey wildfires.

The report says prior to the Thomas Fire, the county didn’t have a complete, up to date disaster plan to deal with issues like alerting people, conducting evacuations, and sheltering evacuees. But, county officials disagree with that assessment, saying they county was prepared and those steps led to the safe evacuation of thousands of people.

Ventura County officials say they welcome the report and the opportunity to make improvements. They assert the county is now one of the most prepared in the nation to deal with disasters.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.