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Emergency Preparedness

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
LA JOLLA INDIAN RESERVATION -- With rain clouds gathering nearby, key officials in the post-fire recovery efforts for Southern California said Saturday that they're racing to take steps to prevent erosion and mudslides. The Witch, Poomacha and Rice fires that struck northern San Diego County last month scorched steep hillsides and hilltops, increasing the chances that rain will create muddy runoff that could endanger homes and clog streams and culverts, officials said.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 23, 2007 | Sharon Bernstein, Robert J. Lopez and Megan Garvey, Times Staff Writers
SAN DIEGO -- As this county burned, firefighters confronted a familiar reality: too few resources and not enough personnel to effectively make a stand. San Diego officials say fire conditions Monday would have overwhelmed even a larger, better equipped firefighting force. They point to progress made in the four years since the devastating Cedar and Paradise fires, including a better communications system, more air support and an automated evacuation call system. But little else has changed.
NATIONAL
October 18, 2007 | Carol Eisenberg, Newsday
Somewhere on Long Island, in an undisclosed location, sits a replica of the trading floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Except that this one is eerily silent. Here, in this 46,000-square-foot site in Nassau County, with tiered trading pits for crude oil, natural gas, gold, silver and other commodities, the engines of capitalism will continue thrumming if a catastrophe should shutter lower Manhattan.
NATIONAL
September 23, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
An hour after New Orleans officials opened shelters, warned of possible power outages and urged calm ahead of a threatening tropical depression, the system moved inland hundreds of miles away, and forecasters canceled the warning that had authorities on alert. Under partly cloudy, pale-blue skies, some in this city devastated by Hurricane Katrina two years ago wondered if it was a bit much.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 2007 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
At 10 a.m. Saturday, police officers raced up the winding, narrow streets of Park Oak Drive in the Hollywood Hills, airing screeching sirens and shouting brush-fire evacuation orders over loudspeakers. Yes, this was a large, highly organized drill to test the city's capacity to evacuate a hillside neighborhood of 400 homes. Yes, nearly three months ago Griffith Park was ablaze in what could be the worst year for brush fires in many seasons.
NATIONAL
June 12, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff warned that the nation's largest city needed to be prepared for a hurricane powerful enough to cause serious flooding in Lower Manhattan and elsewhere in the city. "It's always a little odd being in New York and talking about hurricanes," Chertoff said after touring a new command center at the Office of Emergency Management in Brooklyn. The city typically experiences a hurricane about every 90 years.
NATIONAL
June 1, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Many people along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts still lack a hurricane survival plan and don't feel vulnerable to storms, despite Hurricane Katrina's dramatic damage and pleas from emergency officials for residents to prepare before the season starts, according to a poll released Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2007 | Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer
So much for the authority of local officials. Just half of Los Angeles County residents would immediately follow local government officials' instructions to evacuate if terrorists attacked, according to a report by the Department of Health Services to be released today. One-third of those surveyed said they would want more information before they complied with government orders to relocate to a nearby school during a terrorist attack.
BUSINESS
May 28, 2007 | Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer
As California becomes increasingly reliant on oil from elsewhere, state and federal officials are trying to figure out how to get enough energy to the West Coast if disaster strikes. The need became clear in August, when corroded BP pipelines threatened to halt supplies from an Alaskan oil field that fed West Coast refineries.
BUSINESS
May 22, 2007 | Walter Hamilton, Times Staff Writer
KYLE Brechtel thought he'd done everything necessary to protect his New Orleans sandwich shops to withstand a disaster. He bought insurance, backed up his computer files and had a long relationship with his bank. Then Hurricane Katrina pummeled the city in August 2005 and Brechtel suddenly realized he could have done even more. The wrong mix of insurance forced him to pay $60,000 in out-of-pocket repairs that Brechtel could have avoided.
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