Fairground Catastrophic Emergency Response Plan
During the 2008 "Fire Siege" that saw over 2,000 lightning caused fairs burn over 1.2 million acres in California, multiple fairgrounds were utilized as staging areas, mobilization centers and Incident Command Posts. In July 2008, one of the fires threatened the community of Paradise and resulted in the plans to evacuate up to 36,000 residents from their homes. The fairgrounds were one of the first resources considered for this task and were promptly assessed to determine their ability to shelter these potential evacuees. With many of the ideal fairground locations already supporting the firefighting efforts, could the fairgrounds take in both human and animal evacuees and still provide support to the thousands of firefighters already utilizing the grounds?
Due to the concern of conflicting resource prioritization that is described above, the Division of Fairs and Expositions obtained a grant from the Office of Homeland Security to review the potential roles that fairgrounds would serve in a catastrophic event and to determine how to best allocate these resources when they are tasked with responsibilities that would conflict with one another. The results are contained in the following documents.
The initial report, "California Fairground's Support of Disasters and Catastrophes", reviews the many ways fairgrounds have been used to support past emergency events and to determine what kinds of support activities are compatible with one another. The next report, "California Fairs Best Practices and Resource Use in Support of Disasters and Catastrophes", describes the available resources fairgrounds currently posses that may enhance their emergency response support efforts and the best practices in place that relate to both internal and external events. The final report, "California Fairground Concept of Operations In Support of Disasters and Catastrophes", provides a concept of operations that will prepare the network of California fairgrounds, as well as those that will utilize these valuable assets, for emergency events that may only impact one fairground or a catastrophic event that will necessitate the use of multiple fairgrounds.