COVID-19 and Wildfires – Sonoma County

COVID-19 and Concurrent Hazards Planning: A View from Sonoma County

County emergency management offices play a large role in preparing for and responding to wildfires, especially in regards to the non-firefighting aspects. The pandemic required adaptations of methods – especially in regards to evacuations, mass care and shelter, and supporting community members. This webinar focused on Sonoma County as representative of what local governments in California are looking at dealing with this summer. Chris Godley, the County’s Director of Emergency Management, shared how Sonoma is adapting its emergency plans regarding wildfires as a result of the pandemic and insights gained from last year’s events.

The “Big Five” sets of potential challenges shared as part of the presentation:

  1. Degraded Organizational Capabilities
  2. Disrupted Social Fabric
  3. Disrupted Supply Chains
  4. Competing Response Missions
  5. Compounding Effects

Sonoma County’s key areas of work to develop solutions:

  • Amend Plans and Resources
  • Incorporate Recent Lessons Learned
  • Assess Current COVID Response
  • Really Engage Stakeholders
  • Rest and Reset Staff


Webinar Recorded: July 31, 2020

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