Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged Monday to appoint a “chief resiliency officer” who would search for ways to improve the city’s ability to recover from man-made or natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Garcetti to Appoint Officer to Help L.A. Ready for Disasters, Drought

The following is an excerpt from a piece that originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times on June 30, 2014. It was wirtten by Rosanna Xia. Click the link to read the full piece.

When Los Angeles officials begin an ambitious effort to comb the city and check which buildings might be at risk in a major earthquake, they will also examine how efficiently the structures use water and electricity, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday.

The comment came as Garcetti pledged to appoint a “chief resilience officer” who would search for ways to improve the city’s ability to recover from man-made or natural disasters, such as earthquakes. At a conference on what it takes to make a city bounce back from disaster, The Rockefeller Foundation also committed to paying the first two years of salary for whoever Los Angeles hires for the job.

“When disaster strikes, we must be prepared now to keep our water, communications and other key infrastructure operational,” said Garcetti, who emphasized that preparing for earthquakes and long term problems such as drought goes hand-in-hand for a city like Los Angeles. “Why should we be going and looking at buildings on their seismic safety if we don’t also look at the energy that they’re consuming and the water that they consume?”

Last fall, The Times reported that by the most conservative estimate, as many as 50 of the more than 1,000 concrete buildings in the city built before 1976 would collapse in a major earthquake, exposing thousands to injury or death. In January, Garcetti appointed Lucy Jones, a prominent U.S. Geological Survey seismologist, to spend a year talking with community leaders, scientists, building owners and tenants, and coming up with recommendations on how to tackle retrofitting and preserving the city’s water and telecommunications systems during a major quake.

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