News / Press Release

Key Economic, Government, Business Leaders Join State Treasurer Fiona Ma to Stress Economic Benefits of Earthquake Resiliency

Earthquakes Don’t Have to Be Disasters If Californians Prepare

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 14, 2020 – California State Treasurer Fiona Ma was joined today by leaders and key Los Angeles organizations to stress the importance of seismic resiliency at a press conference in advance of the Great California Shakeout on Oct. 15 and to announce a series of 12 webinars for businesses on the economic and social benefits of resilience.

The unprecedented alliance of business, economic, and government organizations joined forces over the past three years to help Los Angeles area businesses ensure economic sustainability and a rapid recovery following a major earthquake. In advance of the 13th annual Great California ShakeOut, these leaders discussed plans to educate and encourage businesses to retrofit existing buildings, strengthen designs of new structures and undertake other risk management activities to protect the economic health of their enterprise and the entire community.

"Protecting our existing business community and keeping our economy strong is a vital part of the mission of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce," says Maria S. Salinas, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.  “It is very important that our Los Angeles business community protect itself from potential economic disaster by becoming more resilient.”

(PRNewsfoto/The Los Angeles County Business Federation)

"Investing in earthquake resilience to protect our buildings, businesses and employees before a disaster strikes makes good economic sense,” says Ali Sahabi, a leader in California’s resilience movement and Co-Founder of Optimum Seismic, Inc. “Improving resilience should be an essential part of every organization’s business plan and risk management program.”

“Resiliency should be built into the foundation and structure of every building,” adds Sahabi.  “Both new and existing structures can be designed or retrofitted to survive major seismic events at costs significantly lower than those that would likely be required to repair or replace them."

During the press conference, a new series of earthquake preparedness webinars for businesses throughout California was announced. The programs are sponsored by Optimum Seismic, Inc., in cooperation with L.A. Area Chamber, LAEDC, BizFed, and the U.S. Resiliency Council. The seminars titled "The Resilience Advantage" will be held in the aftermath of the 7.1 earthquake in Ridgecrest in 2019, the recent Puente Hills quake that shook the Los Angeles vicinity, and swarms of smaller tremors in the Salton Sea area.

Coupled with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread destruction caused by wildfires in surrounding areas, these quakes are causing increased attention to be paid to helping California businesses prepare for imminent natural disasters.

"The new Resilience Advantage seminar series will present timely and relevant information on how to protect your business, property, employees and tenants," says Tracy Hernandez, Founding CEO of LA County BizFed. "We encourage local businesses and organizations participate and learn how they can better prepare for and respond to the natural hazards facing all communities in Los Angeles County."

"What most businesses learned firsthand in the Northridge Earthquake is that they were not prepared -- many never reopened and thousands of jobs were lost in the aftermath,” said Stephen Cheung, COO of LAEDC. “But businesses will speed their recovery after an earthquake by taking a simple step every week, as offered in the Resilience Advantage webinar series and in LAEDC’s guide, Preparing for Business after an Earthquake."

California Earthquake Authority Executive Director Glenn Pomeroy, whose agency is a publicly managed, privately funded, not-for-profit organization providing residential earthquake insurance, is keenly aware of the scale of potential financial losses. 

“Although we focus on providing insurance for residential properties, the California Earthquake Authority encourages all California residents and businesses to educate themselves on actions they can take to reduce their risk of earthquake damage and loss before an earthquake strikes,” says Pomeroy.

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