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Emergency Preparedness

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
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NATIONAL
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.
WORLD
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.
BUSINESS
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.
REAL ESTATE
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.
WORLD
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.
NATIONAL
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.
TRAVEL
February 11, 2007 | Judi Dash
Safeguarding the health and well-being of you and yours gets an assist from these new items, all of which have been tested by the writer. --- Safe and Sound True to its name, the Ready Freddy Emergency/Survival Pack is stocked with aids for a plethora of emergencies: minor injuries, power outages, vehicle breakdowns, bad weather, even boredom. (There's a deck of cards.
SCIENCE
February 2, 2007 | Jia-Rui Chong, Times Staff Writer
The most serious flu pandemic should immediately prompt strict isolation measures, including sending students home from school for up to three months and quarantining households with sick members, according to new federal guidelines issued Thursday. Because it would take four to six months to prepare a vaccine to protect against a pandemic flu, the guidelines are considered critical to restricting the virus in the interim.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2007 | Sharon Bernstein, Times Staff Writer
When the great Ft. Tejon earthquake ripped the San Andreas fault 150 years ago this week, the shaking was so powerful it shook the Kern River from its banks and for a moment made it run upstream, according to accounts from the day. If such a quake occurred today -- and scientists say we are overdue for one in Southern California -- it would cause $150 billion or more in damage, disrupt water and power supplies for Los Angeles and pancake buildings from San Bernardino to the L.A. Basin.
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