Disaster Response Mission
The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) is designated as the Los Angeles County Operational Area (OA) Branch Coordinator for Care and Shelter. DPSS is the Operational Area liaison with private, not-for-profit human services agencies, including Community Based Organizations. DPSS is also the Operational Area liaison with the grocery industry.
DPSS is expected to respond to any natural or man-made disaster or emergency which requires the provision of emergency care and shelter for disaster victims. The definition of a disaster or emergency includes any condition which results in peril to the safety and lives of persons and/or destruction of property. Examples of natural disasters or emergencies include earthquakes, floods, mud slides, and brush fires. Examples of man-made disasters or emergencies include terrorism, civil unrest, hazardous materials spills, residential or industrial fires, and air disasters.
DPSS manages the Emergency CalFresh Program (previously known as Food Stamp), when activation is requested by the County and approved by USDA.
DPSS In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Social Workers conduct health and welfare checks on at-risk disabled and elderly IHSS consumers immediately following a disaster.
DPSS is also the lead County agency for emergency repatriation of American citizens from other countries. Emergency repatriation is activated by the State Department if there is a war or other emergency in another country which requires that American civilians and their dependents immediately return to the United States.
Role of DPSS Emergency Management Section
The Emergency Management Section coordinates planning efforts with other agencies, including County departments, the County Office of Education, the Los Angeles Chapter of the Red Cross, Emergency Network Los Angeles/Los Angeles Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (ENLA), the Grocery Industry Mutual Aid Council, and other agencies which share human services responsibilities with DPSS or for which DPSS is assigned County liaison responsibilities.
The Emergency Management Section utilizes a core group of Departmental Emergency Response Team (ERT) staff trained to effectively manage the DPSS disaster response and recovery missions. After an emergency and/or major disaster, ERT staff will report to the DPSS Departmental Operations Center (DOC) and/or Los Angeles County Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) to assume predesignated duties under the State's Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS.) ERT staff deployed to the CEOC/DOC provide regular disaster management information to DPSS Executive Management, County Emergency Operations Center Representatives, and other emergency response agencies.
Emergency Management is also responsible for coordinating deployment of DPSS staff following an emergency/disaster to work at shelters, Local Assistance Centers (LAC), Family Assistance Center (FAC) and/or Points of Dispensing (POD) sites. Emergency Management also works with the American Red Cross, County departments and support agencies to assist in sheltering people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
Emergency Survival Program (ESP)
The CEO's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has developed a website with general disaster/emergency preparedness information to help people prepare for all hazards (earthquakes, brush fires, floods, mudslides, terrorism, etc.). The site is located at http://lacoa.org/esp.htm. and includes links to the Emergency Survival Guide and monthly preparedness tips from the EmergencySurvival Program (ESP).