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Emergency Preparedness

May 10, 2007 | Rong-Gong Lin II and Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writers
L.A. officials want to ban grilling at parks and increase hillside fire watch patrols as agencies across Southern California study the Griffith Park blaze for clues on what more they can do to prepare for the fire season ahead. As the region endures what is expected to be the driest year on record, officials are considering some extra measures to protect homes.
April 29, 2007 | Cecilia Rasmussen, Times Staff Writer
With the frightening wail of air-raid sirens, routine duck-and-cover drills and fallout shelters, the government prepared Americans for Japanese bombs during World War II and nuclear attacks during the Cold War. In the wake of the recent killing rampage at Virginia Tech, governments and institutions are debating how to warn people of emergencies today.
April 28, 2007 | Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer
Worried that first responders cannot connect with one another during a major disaster, local officials pushed federal lawmakers and the White House this week to fund upgrades to the patchwork of emergency communications systems across Los Angeles County. Sheriff Lee Baca and L.A. County Fire Chief P.
April 14, 2007 | Tami Abdollah and Tony Barboza, Times Staff Writers
Two brush fires in the densely populated hills of Los Angeles, including one Thursday that burned three homes, have raised questions about how prepared the city is for a major blaze during this season of unprecedented dryness. Both the fire near Franklin Canyon and the one two weeks ago in the Hollywood Hills burned largely on public land that was thick with vegetation.
April 10, 2007 | From the Associated Press
The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have depleted the equipment inventory of the National Guard, potentially hampering its response to the predicted heavy hurricane season, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said Monday. The Florida National Guard has only 53% of the dual-use equipment it once had for responding to a storm or domestic disturbance, a recent analysis by the Government Accountability Office found.
April 3, 2007 | Ching-Ching Ni, Times Staff Writer
The accident happened in China's information capital, on a new subway line being built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But it took rescue workers at least eight hours last week to arrive on the scene where six migrant workers were trapped in a tunnel collapse. There were no survivors. The cave-in and delayed rescue Wednesday have the potential to seriously embarrass the Chinese government.
March 29, 2007 | From Reuters
The switch to digital television from analog should not be delayed because it is crucial that emergency services have access to freed-up airwaves to communicate, U.S. lawmakers said Wednesday. U.S. television stations are required to switch to airing only digital broadcasts by Feb. 17, 2009. That will free up analog airwaves, some of which will be set aside for public safety so emergency workers can better communicate with one another -- a significant problem during the Sept.
March 18, 2007 | Gayle Pollard-Terry, Times Staff Writer
Fire season came early this year in Southern California. Extreme drought, low humidity that has pulled moisture from already dry brush, hot weather and Santa Ana winds have exacerbated conditions. And recent blazes, in Anaheim Hills for example, should be putting homeowners throughout the Southland on notice.
February 25, 2007 | From Reuters
Despite the Bush administration's position that it has no plans to go to war with Iran, a Pentagon panel has been created to plan a bombing attack that could be implemented within 24 hours of getting the go-ahead from the president, the New Yorker magazine reported in its latest issue. The special planning group was established within the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in recent months, according to an unidentified former U.S.
February 24, 2007 | From the Associated Press
What would happen if an astronaut came unglued in space and, say, destroyed the ship's oxygen system or tried to open the hatch and kill everyone aboard? That was the question on some minds after Lisa Marie Nowak was arrested in Orlando, Fla., this month on charges that she tried to kidnap and kill a woman she regarded as her rival for another astronaut's affections. It turns out NASA has a detailed set of written procedures for dealing with a suicidal or psychotic astronaut in space.
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