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 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.
EMD has five divisions supporting the City’s capabilities across the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. They interact and support City departments, municipalities, and various community-based organizations to ensure that the City and its residents and businesses have the resources and information they need in the event of an emergency.
Planning & Resilience
- Develops and manages Citywide emergency plans including functional and hazard-specific annexes and appendices
- Prepares and maintains the EMD Strategic Plan
- Maintains all plans and arranges periodic planning development workshops to keep City departments and partner agencies informed of timelines, guidelines, and best practices
- Provides guidance and support for City departments in developing their Continuity of Operations and Department Emergency plans.
- Develops and coordinates planning-specific relationships with partner agencies across the whole community
Innovation & Development
- Tracks and engages in emerging issues – such as cybersecurity, climate change, accessibility, and public health
- Helps other EMD divisions to incorporate emerging issues into their disciplines
- Manages the NotifyLA opt-in emergency alert program
- Ensures that Citywide plans are compliant with ADA and have provisions for people with disabilities and others with access/functional needs (DAFN)
Community Preparedness & Engagement
- Assists the public in understanding how emergency management is coordinated at the City level
- Informs stakeholders of the steps necessary to ensure preparedness at the individual, family, neighborhood/and community, and business levels
- Coordinates with stakeholders for the comprehensive neighborhood preparedness program: “Ready Your LA Neighborhood,” (RYLAN)
- Works alongside City neighborhood councils and other community-based groups, schools, faith-based organizations, and businesses to promote preparedness locally
- Participates in preparedness fairs and community meetings, providing preparedness publications and other educational material
- Ensures that preparedness messaging is inclusive of all vulnerable populations
Operations & Training
- Staffs the City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) – as well as alternate EOCs – during activations and exercises
- Oversees completion of improvement items identified by after-action reports from real-world incidents, EOC activations, and exercises
- Designs, develops, and executes drills and functional exercises, as well as seminars, tabletops, and virtual presentations
- Manages all EMD-facilitated training, updates materials, selects/trains instructors, and creates new forms of training based on City needs
- Develops collaborative partnerships between EMD and other emergency management offices in the Southern California Operational Area
- Oversees EOC interaction with the Business Operations Center (BOC) during activations
- Coordinates the several alternate communications systems in the event of telecom system failure or cyberattack
Administrative & Finance
- Develops and administers the annual Emergency Operations Fund (EOF) and EMD budgets
- Assists EMD management in personnel matters and facilitates hiring
- Coordinates and administers citywide emergency management grants
- Serves as the liaison to county, state, federal and local non-profit agencies