Thursday, March 26, 2009

LA County has a great place to get started

While many places offer disaster preparedness information, the basic message is the same. It has been said, "why are you trying to reinvent the wheel?" I say..."I am not reinventing the wheel, but I am doing my part to try and make sure that EVERYBODY gets a wheel!"
In times of disaster, every community will need to be able to participate in their own survival. In the city of Los Angeles, there are over four million residents...Los Angeles Fire Department has about thirty two hundred full time firefighters. If your take it to the county level, we add about six million more residents for a total of ten million. There are not enough firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, police officers and other law enforcement to respond to all of the 911 calls that will come. If you want a hint of what we can experience, refer to You Tube footage of Hurricane Katrina... we can do better. How do we do better?...Preparedness is the key.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Salton Sea/Salt Shaker

A moderate earthquake struck Tuesday on the edge of the Salton Sea in Southern California's Imperial County, but there were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage. The magnitude 4.8 quake struck at 4:55 a.m. at a depth of about 3.5 miles, said seismologist Amy Vaughn of the U.S. Geological Survey. It was centered two miles south of the small town of Bombay Beach on the eastern shore of the Salton Sea, about 90 miles east of San Diego. The main quake was followed by at least 18 smaller aftershocks.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Follow YHIO with Twitter/RescueJayLAFD

Run with the Big Dog...keep up with LAFD calls and training...your CERT/DAC insider. If you want to hear the inside Twit...Twitter with JJ...RescueJayLAFD on Twitter. Tweet!

The Launch of a Great New Web Site

Today marks the launch of an outstanding new recourse for the citizens of Los Angeles. The web site is called My Safe LA. While I have not pointed and clicked completely through the whole web site, at first few looks, this looks to be a state of the art, one stop power source to increase the cumulative disaster preparedness IQ of Angelinos.
Please note that while today is launch day, the web site is still in development, so if you have any input, please tell me and I will forward your observations to the producers of My Safe LA.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Minor League Baseball™ Joins Local Boy Scout Troops and Citizen Corps Councils to Help Americans get Ready

This is a reprint, courtesy of Thank you

Minor League Baseball™ and the Boy Scouts of America are once again partnering with the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps Program for the sixth straight year! Together over the last five years, we’ve reached millions of baseball fans with our message and we’re excited about what this new year will bring.
Each season, ballparks around the country serve as gathering places for friends and family. Throughout the 2008 season, teams participated in a variety of activities to promote emergency preparedness from featuring the Ready PSAs on their scoreboards and monitors to hosting entire Ready Nights where local Boy Scouts and/or Citizen Corps distributed emergency preparedness brochures.
We encourage you to reach out to your local Minor League Baseball™ team and use the toolkit and banners found on this page to educate fans on how they can better prepare themselves, their families, businesses and communities for an emergency. Partnering with your local Boys Scouts troops and other youth groups is also a great way to make your event an even bigger success. You may also want to consider having Rex, the Ready Kids mascot, make a special guest appearance.
To find your local team, please visit or contact the Ready Campaign. If you have any questions or would like to register your Council as a Minor League Baseball™ Ready participant, please contact Ingela Hartman by phone at 717-232-5554 x129 or e-mail
If you would like to include a link to on your website, we invite you to use one of the official graphics below. To download to your PC, right-click on the graphic and select "Save Picture As...". Mac users can "Control-Click" and "Save Image to Desktop". If you are unable to download the banner by this manner, just download the Zip File link.
These graphics may not be used in any way that implies a relationship with, affiliation with, sponsorship of, or endorsement by, or that can reasonably be interpreted to suggest editorial content has been authored by or represents the views or opinions of, or to promote any commercial product or service, or in any other way that violates applicable law.

Underwater Volcano Eruption of the Coast of Tonga

Don't forget that about 70% of the earth is covered by water and that a Tsunami is basically an offshore earthquake. The earth is a dynamic, living, organic place. When you mix the sliding tectonic plates with atmospheric pressures and ups and downs with water current and weather temperature, it's not hard to imagine some of the spectacular presentations that Mother Nature gives us.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Disaster Education Is For Everybody

Currently, the DAC (Disaster Awareness Course) is establishing partnerships with many non profit and urban uplift groups throughout Los Angeles. One of our recent trainings was with The Los Angeles Family Housing organization. LA Family Housing offers citizens of Los Angeles who are reestablishing themselves with transitional housing as well as assist first time home buyers with purchasing their first home. Here's the question..."Once you get that home, how do you prepare it for disaster?" Don't worry, that's what we are here for. Give the men of DAC a call and we will come to you and 20 of your closest neighbors, friends, church members, PTA members, girl scout parents and educate you on not just how to survive, but how to thrive. To see more of what great work LA Family Housing is doing, click on this link:

City National's Got The Groove

You call, we haul...haul all of the equipment to present one of our many presentations to you and you co-workers, classmates, neighbors, prayer warriors, etc... In the above picture, Firefighter Hudson is explaining the proper technique of using a class A, B, C fire extinguisher.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Cornerstone of Your Disaster Kit

Your Basic Disaster Kit Should Include:

Water (1 gal. per person per day)
Food (can goods may require a can opener)
Cash & Important Documents (min. $100 in small bills/coin for pay phone/pack of checks/spare credit card-scan documents to USB drive or CD ROMs, out of state contact information)
First Aid Kit (basic first aid supplies/prescription meds 7-14 day supply)
Personal Supplies (toiletries, clothing - 1 complete change , feminine products as needed)
Tools (utility shut off, crow bar, whistle, flashlight, spare batteries, maps, am/fm radio, pocket knife, fire extinguisher, spare/back up cell phone with battery charged and/or 2 way radio.)
PPEs (personal protective equipment- gloves, knee pads, goggles, P-95 respirator, bandanna, hat/helmet, safety vest, etc…)
Sanitation (large trash bags, toilet paper, tissue, feminine napkins)
Special needs considerations (baby formula, diapers, diabetic syringes and supplies, “g-tube”/trach needs, spare oxygen, etc…)
Misc. (spare keys to other residence, spare keys to other vehicles, maps, laptop, phone book)

"Children Act Fast...So Do Poisons!"

Today is the start of National Poison Prevention Week (March 15-21, 2009). This is a great reminder of one of the components that is taught in our Disaster Preparedness Course. We teach L.I.E.S.- Limit, Isolate, Eliminate & Separate. When dealing with household cleaners, paint and other hazardous materials, you want to limit the amount you have on hand, isolate products that can come together and cause a bigger problem, eliminate the items you no longer need or use and separate away from children and animals that might ingest these potentially poisonous items.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Recent Earthquakes - Last 8-30 Days

Note that the recent activity off of the western coast of the United States (California specific) the earthquake activity has been more shallow or surface type activity. This type of activity is consistent with the predictions and forecast of earthquake professionals.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Preparedness Includes More Then Just Earthquakes

Disaster Preparedness is just what it says: "Disaster Prepared" or turn it are prepared for a disaster. Our country was shaken to our core on the 11th of September in 2001. The word "terrorist" became a household word and we will never be the same again. Sometimes, while we feel we are more aware, the attention span of our country gets splintered with the "disaster de' jour". We have seen hurricanes turn our cities into swamps and tornadoes rip apart communities. We must not loose our memory of how patient, cunning and focused terrorist can be. To illustrate this, I am reprinting a Department of Justice communication published in June of 2008. This communication is public knowledge, but often our world is so fractured that it is nearly impossible to stay updated on all things. Not knowing does not remove us from the list of victims, however all of us working together, through preparedness, we increase our survivability.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMonday, June 23, 2008
NSD(202) 514-2007TDD (202) 514-1888

Man Involved in Domestic Terrorism Plot Targeting Military and Jewish Facilities Sentenced to 22 Years

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former inmate in a California state prison who became part of a domestic terrorist cell that planned to attack United States military operations, "infidels," and Israeli and Jewish facilities in the Los Angeles area was sentenced this morning to 22 years in federal prison.
Levar Washington, 30, who was recruited into the terrorist cell while in state prison and subsequently recruited others into the plot, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney. Washington pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to wage war against the United States and a weapons charge.
Two other defendants in the case – Kevin James, who formed the terrorist group which he dubbed Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh, or JIS, while in a California state prison, and Gregory Patterson – also pleaded guilty last year to the terrorism conspiracy charge. Patterson is scheduled to be sentenced on July 9, and James is scheduled to be sentenced on February 9, 2009.
In plea agreements filed in federal court, James, Washington and Patterson admitted that they conspired "to levy war against the government of the United States through terrorism, and to oppose by force the authority of the United States government."
The fourth member of JIS named in an indictment – Hammad Samana – has been found unfit to stand trial and is currently receiving psychiatric care at a federal prison facility.
"The JIS terrorist group posed a significant threat of violent action against a variety of targets," said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. "Through the fine work of members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, potentially deadly attacks were averted. Now, one of the members of this terrorism cell will not pose a danger to the United States for nearly a quarter century."
Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office, stated: "This case reminds us that Los Angeles is an attractive target for homegrown or radicalized terrorists, as well as state-sponsored terrorists. Los Angeles was spared a potentially devastating attack because of excellent police work and a cohesive team effort by JTTF members. This case serves as an example of how local officers are serving in the front lines in the war on terrorism."
After forming JIS in 1997 while in state prison, James recruited Washington into the organization in late 2004 while both were prisoners at New Folsom Prison, where James had Washington swear an oath of loyalty and obedience to James and to JIS. After his release from prison several weeks after taking the JIS oath, Washington recruited Patterson and Samana into JIS and had them swear oaths of allegiance and obedience to JIS. After forming this cell, Washington and Patterson conducted about a dozen armed robberies of gas stations to obtain money for the group’s planned attacks in the Los Angeles area.
Samana researched targets and prepared a document called "Modes of Attack." The document listed "LAX and Consulate of Zion," "Military Targets," "Army Recruiting centers throughout the county," "Military base in Manhattan Beach" and "Campsite of Zion."
After Torrance Police investigators linked Washinton and Patterson to a gas station robbery, various Jihadist documents were found at a South Los Angeles apartment where they lived. In addition to the "Modes of Attack" document, investigators discovered a document titled "Notoriety Moves," which contained a James-authored statement to be given to the media after a deadly attack. The proposed press statement reads, in part, "This incident is the first in a series of incidents to come in a plight to defend and propagate traditional Islam in its purity." The document also warns "sincere Muslims" to avoid a series of targets, including "Those Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of an Israeli state."
The investigation into the terrorist conspiracy was led by the FBI's Long Beach Joint Terrorism Task Force, whose participating agencies include the Los Angeles Police Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Torrance Police Department; the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department; the Long Beach Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Los Angeles Port Police; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and the Redondo Beach Police Department.
Substantial assistance during the investigation was provided by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Bureau of Investigations; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; the California Department of Justice; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations; and the Department of Defense.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office worked collaboratively with the United States Attorney’s Office during the investigation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jeff Hudson leads Holy Family Services in Echo Park

Today my partner (Jeff Hudson) and I had the chance to meet some wonderful people in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. Holy Family Catholic Services hosted a fire extinguisher demonstration for their employees. Judging from the smiles in this picture, the presentation was not only educational and practical, but it was fun too. Outstanding class and a special DAC Unit thank you to Holy Family. We look forward to helping with any other disaster preparedness training you may need.
To see more instruction and information about fire extinguisher use, check out the video bar along the right side of this blog. If you want to schedule an extinguisher demonstration for your block club, church group or any group of 20 or more adults, please contact our office and simply say..."Hey JJ". Call me and I will connect you with my captain and we will get you on calendar. The number for my office is (818)756-9674.

Monday, March 9, 2009

West Angeles COGIC Law, Fire & Military Day 2009

Thank you West Angeles Church for the honor of being apart of your service.

This past Sunday was Law Enforcement, Firefighter & Military Day at West Angeles Church of God in Christ. This day is an annual tradition for this cornerstone in the community on Crenshaw. Bishop Blake was very kind in his words, along with a host of members from the congregation who went out of their ways to not only show, but also articulate their appreciation. What also made this an extraordinary day is that not only was it a day set aside to say thank you, but many public service agencies had representatives and materials to inspire recruitment as well as the booth that I was apart of...CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). The very act of providing a place for me and my peers to promote empowerment, employment and preparedness illustrates the presence of the church in our community.
History shows us that in times of disaster, people will turn to the church for aid. Like the parable of feeding the multitude, providing a venue to speak to congregations allows for the "fruits of preparedness" to be shared with all communities. If you go to church, temple, mosque or to a synagogue, this information is for you. If you are agnostic or atheist, this information is for you. The Los Angeles Fire Department as well as the many CERT team volunteers does not care about what makes us different, but rather, how can we best serve our community in times of crisis and disaster (After a disaster, we are all the same). "I can give a man a fish and feed him today, or I can teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime". By teaching you what I know, I am teaching you to fish.
A special thank you goes to Ms. Kimberly Dyer (pictured above) for staying persistent and your follow up phone calls. I am very glad that we did not miss this great day.
For more information and to see what West Angeles Church is doing in South Los Angeles, click this link:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Penny Lane is getting on board

Last Wednesday I had the honor of making a disaster preparedness presentation to a truly remarkable group. I spoke to employees of Penny Lane. Some of you may know Penny Lane as a song by the Beatles, but others know Penny Lane as the place that provided a place to get back on their feet and regain their independence. It was an honor to share some of what I know with people who are making positive strides in making our community a little bit better. A special thank you to Eric for contacting my office and please know, we will get the fire extinguisher demonstration as soon as the weather allows.
To see for yourself what services Penny Lane offers, just click this link:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Out of State Contact

One of the most important components to having a complete disaster preparedness plan is to have an out of state contact. An out of state contact is a predetermined friend of family member who all members of your family are aware of who in time of disaster will call and check in with. In time of disaster, phone services may be highly impacted. The utilization of an out of state contact allows for family members who may be inside of the impact area and separated to have a central check in person. I will use my family as an example: I am at work at my fire station. My daughters are at school. (3 daughters at 3 different schools) My sister lives in St. Louis. If a large scale disaster hits my region and I can not reach my daughters, due to local phone lines being damaged or overwhelmed, by having a predetermined out of state contact, my daughters know to call their aunt and check in. This allows me as their father some relief when I call my sister and she can report to me: Yes, I have heard from Teighlor and Dominique. No I have not heard from Shelby. I can then either focus my attention to Shelby or I can check published information from the area Shelby’s school is in and make an educated decision if maybe she is fine, but phones are still out, she is in a shelter or stay calm and check back later.
The reason my out of state contact will know before me is that generally during a time of major disaster and land lines are impacted, the phone company will bring phone services back in a priority order. The priority order is:
1. Emergency/Government Services
2. Long Distance Services
3. Pay Phones (note working pay phones and keep coinage to use)
4. Business & Residential Services

Whats Shake'n in California?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

All I need is you!

If you have a group who wants to empower themselves: church, temple, synagogue, fraternity, sorority, home owners group, block club, car club, women's civic group, social organizations, etc... We want to come and teach you. The Los Angeles Fire Department would like to thank the San Fernando Valley V8's for inviting me to come and present on home fire safety & disaster preparedness. A special thank you to Harry Barker (president), Dave Bergman (vice president) for being wonderful hosts.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mr. Han's 3rd grade class/3rd Street School

I would like to say thank you to Mr. Han's third grade class for inviting me to come and speak about disaster preparedness and how we all can help our families be better prepared. I had an awesome time! Remember...each of you have the power to be a your own hero.

LAUSD Santee Education Complex

While many people are very kind as to their appreciation for firefighters and the job that we do, I must volley my appreciation towards teachers and the thankless sacrifices as well as their willingness to continue to teach in what is often a highly challenged, poorly compensated environment. What I have learned is that like firefighters who do what we do because of the love of what we do, teachers are teachers because that is what God has called them to do. In honor and in memory of my sister (Jennifer Townsend-teacher for 30 years), I say thank you to all of the teachers who give of themselves.

From 8 to 88-Disaster Preparedness is for everybody!

One of the things I enjoy most about teaching disaster preparedness is meeting the people from the many neighborhoods and community groups. Yesterday I met Mr. Scott. Mr. Scott helped to gather residents for our meeting at the senior housing building on Adams Blvd. I appreciate Mr. Scott's efforts and actions helped to illustrate one of my main points I try to drive home in my presentations: "Everybody brings something to the table."
Los Angeles is a true quilt of multi cultures, mixed with many generations, bound by a love for family. Whatever your age, heritage, orientation, zip code or status, you need to prepare. No Angeleno (man/woman) is an island.