The appointment was announced on August 28.
In a release, the federal agency said the "Homeland Security Advisory Council" is Secretary Chertoff's "primary advisory body" and provides "advice to Secretary Chertoff and the department's leadership on homeland security issues."
In the release, Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff said, "I value the independent and innovative advice I receive from these trusted counselors. These appointments will increase the knowledge and experience of our membership and provide me with critical and diverse perspective as we work together to keep America safe."
Supervisor Knabe has been part of one of the group's subcommittees ("state and local officials senior advisory committee") for the past five years. On his website (www.knabe.com), Supervisor Knabe commented:
"As I often say, homeland security begins in the hometown. Locally, we have accomplished much since 9/11 to increase the preparedness of our local cities and unincorporated communities from the threats of terrorism and natural disasters. I look forward to the opportunity to bring some of our local programs and lessons-learned into the work of protecting our entire nation."
On his website, Supervisor Knabe lists as "Emergency Preparedness Accomplishments" the following:
Testing Early Warning Loudspeakers in Marina del Rey
The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors tested several different early warning loudspeaker systems at Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey. Several companies competed for the County’s use of their device. The equipment is being considered as part of a mass notification warning system for residents and visitors in Marina del Rey in the event of impending danger from either a natural or human-made disaster.
Acquiring New Mobile Hospital for Disaster Response
The County of Los Angeles will acquire a new mobile hospital to provide support to local hospitals in the event of a large-scale disaster such as an earthquake, pandemic influenza, or bioterrorism incident, thanks to a Homeland Security grant accepted by the Board of Supervisors.
Advising the Governor on Emergency Preparedness Issues
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Supervisor Knabe to the California Emergency Council on May 5, 2006. This Council is the official advisory group to the Governor during an emergency and on emergency preparedness issues. Additionally, the Council may advise the Governor on the State Emergency Plan and on the approval of orders and regulations.
Joint Regional Intelligence Center Opens
The Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC) opened on July 27, 2006 in the City of Norwalk. It is the first of its kind in the nation, but will soon be joined by three additional regional centers in Louisiana, Maryland and New York. JRIC is designed to provide a common information and intelligence sharing network for local police and federal agents working in the seven-county region to assist in the investigation of terrorist activities and other potential threats.
Supervisor Knabe serves as a member of the State and Local Elected Officials Senior Advisory Committee to President Bush’s Homeland Security Council. The purpose of this Committee is to provide the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council with advice on increasing America's security from experts representing state and local government.
Providing 24-Hour Lifeguard Coverage
Supervisor Don Knabe has secured $428,250 in the County's Fiscal Year 2006-2007 Budget to fund 24-hour staffing for Los Angeles County Lifeguards at Baywatch Cabrillo in San Pedro. The LA Harbor will now have 24 hour lifeguard coverage; this is important in case of an emergency (i.e. terrorist problem, air crash, problem on a cruise ship, etc.) Specifically, Baywatch Cabrillo will assume more search and rescue responsibilities from the United States Coast Guard, allowing the Coast Guard to commit more time and resources to ensuring the security of the nation's and world's fifth largest port complex.
Preparing for a Tsunami Disaster
Supervisor Knabe hosted a Tsunami Preparedness Panel to highlight the efforts that are currently underway in Los Angeles County in the event of a tsunami. The Panel consisted of experts who focused on not only on how tsunamis occur, but also what the potential risk is and how the County is working with local cities to prepare for the threat of disaster.
Supervisor Knabe directs County public health officials to update preparedness efforts against the threat of bird flu.
Board of Supervisors accepts a $25 million federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security that will fund emergency prevention efforts.
Long Beach / Los Angeles Port Complex awarded nearly $25 million in federal grants for fortifying security throughout the port facilities. The funds will help protect the ports against small craft and underwater attacks and improvised explosive devices.
Los Angeles Air Force Base remains open, staying off the Department of Defense base closure list.
Efforts to save Los Angeles Air Force Base from the Department of Defense closure list get a major kick-start with a $100,000 grant from Supervisor Knabe. Los Angeles AFB manages $60 billion in defense contracts, including projects under development to improve homeland security.
Congresswoman Jane Harman and Supervisor Knabe lobby in support of the Port Security Act of 2003, ensuring that safety and security funds be earmarked for enhancements at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s largest port complex.
Federal grant awarded to Los Angeles County for terrorism preparedness activities at area hospitals. The program is designed to involve private hospitals in the development, implementation and evaluation of hospital terrorism preparedness.
95,000 County employees receive Survival Awareness kits as part of the Homeland Survival Campaign announced by Supervisor Knabe.
$30 million in bioterrorism funds awards to Los Angeles County by the National Centers for Disease Control. Supervisor Knabe announces the funds will be used to increase the County’s readiness in case of a bioterrorism attack and other outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Knabe secures $35.6 million in homeland security funds for Los Angeles County. The funding was divided between the County and all 88 cities for exercises, training and equipment for emergency first responders.
Supervisor Knabe leads Board of Supervisors effort to secure increased federal funding for local anti-terrorism activities and emergency preparedness.
The White House appoints Supervisor Knabe as a member of the senior advisory committee of the President’s Homeland Security Council. In this role, Knabe and fellow members advise the Homeland Security Council on increasing America’s security at the local and state level. Knabe is the only appointee from California.
Governor Tom Ridge, Secretary of Homeland Security, accepts Supervisor Knabe’s invitation to visit Los Angeles and tour the County’s operations in the war on terror and emergency preparedness.
Countywide bio-terrorism training exercise opened by Supervisor Knabe. This major training program simulated the County’s ability to respond to a biological terrorist attack and was planned in advance of the events of September 11, 2001.
Federal Flood Insurance mandate lifted for residents living near the lower Los Angeles River after successful lobbying efforts by local elected leaders including Supervisor Knabe. Lifting the mandate saves 370,000 impacted residents nearly $33 million in annual flood insurance premiums.
Sediment dredging project completed in Marina del Rey. This five-month project is not only important for recreational boat owners, but also ensures that emergency response ships from the Sheriff’s Department, the Fire Department and the Coast Guard can exit the Marina and respond to ocean-based emergencies.
In 2006, CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Supervisor Knabe to the "California Emergency Council," also an advisory body.