Friday, August 28, 2009

Red Flag...what does this mean?

The city of Los Angeles follows a warning system that alerts citizens of when weather conditions are in a high hazard rating. The high hazard conditions are when wild fires can start and spread rapidly. This is not to say that other days can't be hazardous, but when the wind exceed 25 mph and the humidity drops below 15% the city will issue a "RED FLAG" warning.
Red flag warning can also mean no parking on streets that have been determined to be vital for entry and access for emergency apparatus and evacuation. These high hazard areas can be identified by a number of outreach methods of education. Here are a few of the ways to determine if you are in one of these areas:
  • call 311
  • local radio and television stations (AM 980 & AM 1070)
  • check with your local fire station as well as look for a "red flag" on the flag pole

If you do not live in the city of Los Angeles, check with your local fire authority and ask what can you do to be prepared, be informed and to be empowered.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Are you ready for brush fire?

Click on this link to connect with the Los Angeles Fire Departments Brush Clearance Unit Here you can find out about "RED FLAG", defensible space and requirements for the city of Los Angeles as well as increasing your preparedness IQ.

LA City & LA County dig in deep to fight fires in La Canada & Rancho Palos Verdes

The need to be ready in unfolding before our eyes as we see evacuations of homes in many areas of Los Angeles County. We must be prepared for disaster...brush fires, earthquakes, floods. KISS- Keep It Simple w/ Safety. Keep checking this sight for tips and information regarding disaster preparedness. Remember..."If we stay prepared, we don't have to get prepared!"...Prepare as if your life depends on it...because it does!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Florida prepares for tropical storm/hurricanes


MIAMI (Reuters) - The first two named tropical storms of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, Ana and Bill, formed over the Atlantic on Saturday and moved westward, and the National Hurricane Center said Bill was expected to become a hurricane in 3-4 days.
At 1700 EDT (2100 GMT), Bill was located about 820 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands and was moving west with maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour, the NHC said.
"Strengthening is indicated and Bill is expected to become a hurricane in three to four days," it said, adding forecasts showed this would take place when the storm was very near the Northern Leeward Islands. The five-day forecast track showed it could threaten Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
Tropical storms become hurricanes when their top sustained winds reach 74 mph.
Earlier on Saturday, the first named tropical storm of the 2009 Atlantic season, Ana, formed. It was heading toward the Leeward Islands, and could also threaten the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The NHC said some forecasts of Ana's likely track showed it could pass over or near the southern Florida peninsula within five days, but initial projections did not show this storm developing into a full-blown hurricane in that time.
With maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour, Ana was located at 1700 EDT (2100 GMT) about 805 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands.
The NHC said the government of the Netherland Antilles had issued a tropical storm watch for St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius.
The 2009 hurricane season, which runs from June through November, has gotten off to a late start. By this time last year, there had already been five named storms in the Atlantic basin.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted this year's Atlantic hurricane season will see normal to below-normal activity, with seven to 11 tropical storms and three to six hurricanes.
Energy traders watch for storms that could enter the Gulf of Mexico and threaten U.S. oil and natural gas platforms and refineries along the coast. Commodities traders watch storms that could hit crops such as citrus and cotton in Florida and other states along the coast to Texas.
(Writing by Alan Elsner and Pascal Fletcher, editing by Todd Eastham)

Build a better "Sandtrap"?

This past week, I was amazed when I saw a new machine that can help many of our Southern California neighborhoods as we transition from summer and into fall and winter (The rainy season). Anybody who has lived in Southern California understands the double edge disaster sword of brush fires. The first side is the devastation of the fire itself. To loose your home and all of your property inside can be devastating. However, the rhyme or reason how often a fire can ravish a community, but leave some house standing is a mystery. (Aside from proper brush clearance and defensible space) The reaction to this tragic action if sometimes felt months later when heavy rains come and the normal ground cover has been burned away. As a result the second side of the double edge disaster is flood and mud slide. The house left standing from the prior brush fires are often left vulnerable during wet and rainy weather. When mud slide is the case, it often requires tedious and back breaking manual labor of filling and placing sandbags to divert the flow of water and mud.
The new machine I referenced earlier is called the "Sand U Bag" sand bagging machine. This simple scoop and fill machine has simplified the sand bagging process to a place where home owners, block clubs, community fighters can bag 300 sand bags an hour. (As per their claim) I have not seen an hours worth of work, but what I did see was quite impressive. To learn more, go to: or give them a call at (818) 243-1977.
Please remember to be safe.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ESPN has what it takes!

Today's adventure in preparedness took me and my partner to the studios of ESPN. The crew was great and the training was a huge success. Thank you to Tiffany Taylor for organizing and supporting a safer and better prepared ESPN...BOO-YHOW!
JJ & Huddy tour the Sports Center studios...way cool!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to school means college too!

Back to school includes our college students. Many students, this may be the first time away from home. A perfect dorm present for the first time setting up "home" is a disaster preparedness kit. Use any old backpack or gym bag and fill it with the "JJ" top ten. (See right side of my blog for the ten suggested items to go into your "GO" bag.)

Thank you to the residence advisers from California State University Northridge for allowing me and my partner to come out and teach extinguisher proper use as well as have a awesome time rock'n the fire pit! Call us again if you would like more training or suggestions to have a safe and sane college dorm experience. GO MATADORS!
Old Matadors don't die, we become firefighters and teach disaster preparedness!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to School and your child's old back pack...

Back Pack-Back Pack
It's back to school and you are buying the new "Jonas" or "G Force" back packs for your child and don't know what to do with the old "HSM" or "Back Street Boys" back packs. Don't throw them away! Go green and recycle! Turn the old back packs into "GO"/disaster bags for your children. Wash then and make it a family project by including the children in packing the bags together. Make this a teachable moment. Empowerment through example.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mechanical Engineering offers rare perspective by offering both Dry Chem & CO2 extinguisher training

The CO2 extinguisher offers unique benefits that includes less mess. While the Dry Chem and the CO2 look similar, they reach their goal in different ways. Both are excellent front line fire suppression tools.
The use of the Class A, B, C/Dry Chemical extinguisher offers an affordable and portable front line fire suppression tool that everybody needs to know how to use. The Dry Chemical extinguisher is noted by it's common smooth hose tip and the sodium bicarbonate powder residue.

Employees of Mechanical Engineering did a great job with the fire extinguisher disaster training!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Venice Neighborhood Block Party

Sunday afternoon, sun setting on the horizon and warm Southern California breeze blowing as neighbors listen to representatives from the LAPD and LAFD (myself) share about strategies and tips to stay safe in their homes as well as how to be prepared in case of disaster. Thank you to Jeremy and the rest of the neighbors on Walnut Ave. The block party was great and I appreciate the opportunity to share what I know about preparedness.
Now lets take it to the next level and get that CERT class going!