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Events - 03.12.2024

Readiness in Japan and Los Angeles | How to Prepare for the Next Big Earthquakes

A Japanese building that collapsed from an earthquake  

*To watch the video in full screen, please click play and then the YouTube icon on the lower right-hand corner.


03.12.2024 (Tue.)


05:00 PM - 06:20 PM (PDT)





Japan is prone to natural disasters due to its climate and topography and has experienced more than its fair share of typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis throughout history.

In 2015, United Nations member states adopted three important international frameworks: The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030; The 17 Sustainable Development Goals; and The Paris Agreement.

In this webinar entitled, "Readiness in Japan and Los Angeles: How to Prepare for the Next Big Earthquakes," experts in disaster management from Japan and Los Angeles discussed the similarities and differences between Japan and the U.S. in an online panel discussion. Professor Kimio Takeya of Distinguished Technical Advisor on Disaster Risk Reduction, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Visiting Professor, Tohoku University, International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), participated from Japan as the main presenter, introduced the main points of the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and shared Japan's experiences with earthquake preparedness.

From the City of Los Angeles, Ms. Carol Parks, General Manager of the Emergency Management Department joined the panel discussion. The County of Los Angeles is considered the riskiest county in the United States for natural disasters by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Recently, the Los Angeles region marked the Northridge Earthquake's 30th anniversary. Ms. Parks discussed the city's earthquake preparedness with Professor Takeya and explored what Japan and Los Angeles can do together to actively prepare for future major earthquakes.

The program was moderated by Professor Hitoshi Abe, Director, Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, UCLA and Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Design, UCLA.

About the Speakers

Professor Kimio Takeya
Distinguished Technical Advisor on Disaster Risk Reduction, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Visiting Professor, Tohoku University, International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS)
Prof. Takeya, is well known in the world as a Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction Policy Advisor. He joined most of the ...  Read more.

PDNA survey and recovery policy dialogue around the world Mega Disasters, such as Sumatra Tsunami 2004, Central Java Earthquake 2006, Manila Ondoy Flood 2009, Pakistan Indus Flood 2010, Thailand Flood 2011, Philippines Typhoon Yolanda 2013, Nepal Earthquake 2015 and so on.

After the disaster happened, he always discusses with government Ministerial high level decision makers how to recover from the disaster. The concept word “Build Back Better” which firstly standardized in Sendai Framework was proposed by him from the 2006 Central Java Earthquake and first documented on the PDNA of Manila Ondoy Flood 2009.

He was a main member of Japanese Government negotiation team for the formulation of Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030, and he played a big contribution to make logical structure the document mobilizing the importance of investment and made “Build Back Better” as an international standard of recovery concept. He continuously contributes to the following Sendai Framework Indicator finalizing process as an open ended expert group member.

He is now only the sole Distinguished Technical Advisor on DRR of JICA, who represents the substance and policy of Disaster Risk Reduction of JICA to all the developing countries and donors in the world.

International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences; Best Paper Award (2012)
Japan River Association; Award for International Contribution (2012)
Japan International Cooperation Agency President Commendation Awards 2020
Japanese Government Foreign Minister’s Commendations for FY 2021

Carol P. Parks
General Manager
Carol was promoted to General Manager of EMD in August 2021, after serving as a senior emergency manager for 20 years with the City. During her career, she has provided oversight for both long- and short-term executive-level citywide emergency management projects and programs involving department-specific and/or ...  Read more.

multi-agency and multi-jurisdiction coordination. This includes implementation and oversight of various ongoing citywide initiatives such as the execution of the automated external defibrillation program; tsunami evacuation route initiative, disaster service worker program; supply chain resilience pilot study; disability, access, and functional needs planning and training; homeland security grants; emergency management planning, operations, and facility contracts; and citywide community preparedness initiatives including the current Ready Your LA Neighborhood program.

Prior to and during times of disaster and major planned events, she has served in leadership capacities to coordinate response and recovery activities. She has served in several oversight roles for the Emergency Operations Center activation for the COVID-19 activation.

Ensuring that Angelenos and business owners are well informed and prepared for disaster is her career-long passion. This has led to opportunities to serve on leadership teams for Emergency Network Los Angeles and the Earthquake Country Alliance. Additionally, Carol has received numerous City and County Awards and recognition as a co-producer of an Emmy Award-winning public service announcement on the importance of family preparedness.

She has thirty years of experience in emergency management at the city, county, and state levels. Her career began in 1988 in Atlanta where she held several management-level positions at the Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency and the State of Georgia Emergency Management Agency before moving to Los Angeles. Carol joined City of Los Angeles government in 1998 as an Emergency Preparedness Coordinator I. In 2000, she became the first female African American senior management executive -- as an Emergency Preparedness Coordinator II -- to help transform the City's Emergency Management Department into a world-class leader in preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. 

Carol is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology (B.S. – Industrial Management) and Georgia State University (M.S. - Instructional Design) and has received certifications as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Certified Emergency Manager. She has also completed the UCLA Anderson School of Management Marketing Executive Series. She was awarded certificates of completion for the Driving Government Performance Program (March 2016) and the Leadership in Crisis Program (April 2019), John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Executive Education.

Carol and Dennis, her husband of 26 years, have three daughters. She is an active member of her church and enjoys traveling, decorating, and horseback riding.

About the Moderator

Hitoshi Abe
Professor and former Chair in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA and the Director of the UCLA Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies
Since 1992, when Dr. Abe established Atelier Hitoshi Abe, he has maintained an active international design practice based in Sendai, Japan. As a successful designer and ...  Read more.

educator who continuously lectures and publishes throughout his career, Hitoshi Abe has earned a position among the leaders in the field of Architecture and urban design for his ability to initiate productive interdisciplinary collaborations and establish professional partnerships with various constituencies. With growing geography in its portfolio, Atelier Hitoshi Abe opened its second office in Los Angeles in 2008. In 2011, together with a group of Japanese Architects, Hitoshi Abe initiated the Arch-Aid network – a voluntary network of architects established to help reconstruct the damaged community by the 2011 East Japan Great Earthquake and Tsunami. In 2017, he opened the xLAB at UCLA, which serves as an international think tank that examines architecture's elastic boundaries through interdisciplinary collaboration.

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