Ryan McDonald

Hermosa Beach About Town

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Meeting on future of EPAC

The City Council and the Emergency Preparedness Advisory Commission will host a joint study session on Monday night regarding the current and future role of the commission.

The commission, which formed in 2007, addresses a variety of public safety issues but, Commissioner Al Benson said at a meeting this week, many of its most important functions are informal and not necessarily addressed in the city code. Commissioners often interact with community members to raise awareness about aspects of disaster preparedness, and helped establish the community’s Emergency Operations Center in the Community Center, relying on a mix of donations from residents and the city.

Commission Vice Chair Dave Buckland said that, despite the informal nature of some of the commission’s work, its existence sent a message that the city was taking the issue seriously.

“One of the reasons I like about the commission is that it gives people a sense that preparedness is important — important enough to have seven people who are actively working in that preparedness field,” Buckland said.

Asked whether the council could vote to eliminate the commission, Brandy Villanueva, the city’s emergency management coordinator, said that the study session will be informational, and she does not anticipate the council providing “formal direction” about the commission’s future. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

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