Emergency Preparedness, WVRC on November 16th
STEVE LORE started us off with the Pledge. JACK HARRIS and PP JIM DOWNIE led us in America. Then new member JOHN WOODALL provided a thoughtful review of where our present Thanksgiving came from. It started in 1621, and was sporadically celebrated until President Abraham Lincoln revived it in 1863, during the Civil War. We all have much to be thankful for, and this is a reminder of our many blessings.
There were no visitors, which led to the Joke. Seems that someone recalled that a new approach was needed in the office, and the recipient decided he would get some attention. His intent was to get some time off, so he managed to hang upside down in his cubicle. One of his co-workers came by and was a bit startled to see him in that position. She asked him what he was doing, and he replied that he was a light bulb. This caused the Manager to check on him, and upon seeing him, he decreed that the man obviously needed some time off starting right then. Right after he left, the woman who had first seen him started to leave. The Manager asked her what she was doing her reply, “Well, I can’t work in the dark”! Mike, we may need some help here…
There were several announcements.
DAN PRICE has had his shattered fibula repaired surgically, and will be laid up for almost two months. He can be reached at (310) 456-8184, and lives at 5473 Santa Monica Blvd, #408 in West Hollywood. Please be in touch.
Last week the 9th TONY MARRONE donated four tickets to the coming football game (UCLA/Oregon State) plus parking pass, and our Ambassadorial Scholar, Corbell Daniel Parker, offered a hundred clams for the package Accepted, and we thank you both!
Our next meeting, after Thanksgiving, will be on November 30th. It’s Spouses Day, and the speaker will be Tom Hudnut of Harvard Westlake School. The Manager of the new Westwood Farmers Market will also talk about the Market, which should be of interest.
Dec 3rd for the benefit of the Westwood Mafia, note that Handel’s Messiah will be presented at 3 pm. at that local church.
December 7th NO MEETING for lunch
December 7th, Thursday the Christmas Shopping Spree, with MIKE YOUSEM in charge. It will start at 6 pm, with dinner at Islands, and then the kids, from the Salvation Army transitional housing on Sepulveda will be taken to Big Lots to buy presents for their families. We provide $35.00 each (and their individual hosts sometimes make up the difference) and it’s a lovely intro to the Holiday Season. MIKE has a couple of openings yet and for new members, in particular, you should give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.
The following day, Friday the 8th, we are having a Joint Meeting with the Santa Monica Club at Riviera. This is always fun, so plan to join us that day, away from the Bel Air.
Birthdays in November were celebrated. SUSAN ALLEN was first, choosing the 4th in Detroit. STEVE LORE liked the date so well he volunteered for the same, but in LA. PP TOM LENEHEN was present (in Evanston, Ill, home of Rotary!) to admit to the 6th, and copycat MIKE YOUSEM also liked that day, but in Omaha. Captain Carol Aborn Khoury brought us back to LA, her date being the 8th. New Member John Woodall admitted to the 13th, also in LA, while Henrietta Knapp-Lian liked the 16th in Santa Ana.
Honorary Member JEFF BRONGSTEIN settled on the 18th in Albany NY. And NEVEN SENKAN (whom we don’t see very often) changed the venue to Ankara (that’s in Turkey) on the 20th. The next day was LEE DUNAYER’S turn, back in Los Angeles, PP RON WANGLIN liked LA, on the 23rd, while AL BELLANCA preferred the 27th in Buffalo. Last in November was PP DON NELSON, on the 28TH IN San Diego. As you probably know, we donate three books each month to the new Westwood Library as birthday presents from the questionable characters named above but except for them its a nice idea, certainly.
CHRIS BRADFORD came forward to introduce our Speaker, Ann Burton. She was appointed as Assistant General Manager of the LA Emergency Preparedness Department in November of 2003, and has been with the Department since 1996. She oversees all budget and administrative areas, and is the Department’s Chief Executive Officer. During this time, she has expanded the contacts between LA and similar agencies in China, Japan, Israel and Turkey.
She was assisted in her Presentation by an excellent video, which helped to emphasize the various elements of her talk. Her intent was to show us what the City is doing, so in case of a major emergency which WILL occur, she reminded us we can know what to expect. The definition of Emergency Preparedness is looking at yourself and your neighborhood and finding out what you need. This includes your family, your home, your business how can city services help you in case of need? This scenario has changed since 9/11 and Katrina, where lessons were learned and are now incorporated into the planning process.
Their intent is to aid us in recovery. Note that they cannot make us whole after a disaster, but they can, and should, help us to recover as best we can. Getting up and running again is their objective. The needs of homeowners and owners of businesses are not necessarily the same, of course. As an example, for a business, the City is suggesting that you back up your records outside this area make that Las Vegas, or Phoenix, perhaps.
There is an Emergency Operations Board, composed of the top 15 departments in the City, who meet every two months to share information and advise the Mayor. A larger group meets monthly, and they report to this Board.
We are a large city 2nd largest in the U.S. 150 languages are spoken in our schools, the city covers 468 square miles. We are one of 88 cities in the County, which covers 4,000 square miles. There are 44,000 employees working just for the City of LA. WVRC already has a telephone ‘tree’ which would be very important in spreading the word in case of an emergency this is the type of networking which Ms Burton is working to expand. There are Neighborhood Councils, some of which are up and running, and these can provide great help in an emergency.
Disasters of various kinds WILL happen earthquakes, flooding, landslides, brush fires, plus the possibility of terrorism. Ms Burton asked how many had an emergency kit in their car a few hands went up. The response was better for kits at home but then she asked, in the last six months, who has checked and updated their emergency kit? In a major earthquake, she estimates that perhaps 90% of the mid rises (5 to 10 stories high) might collapse. The high rises, on the other hand, are probably built to withstand big quakes.
Q&A CURT SMITH asked if the systems connecting our Emergency crews are on the same frequency. Yes, we learned from 9/ll about that, and our Fire and Police departments work very well together. The four largest agencies are LA Police and County Sheriffs, plus the City and County Fire Departments, and all are on the same frequency. ED GAULD asked what type of inspection goes on at major events the Coliseum, or Staples, for instance. There are many uniformed and plain-clothes people on duty, and they look for any unusual behavior or appearance you are being watched.
RALPH BEASOM, He has seen long lines at gas stations, and wonders if there is consideration of that problem. Both the DWP and Southern California Edison have emergency plans to restore utility service quickly, if necessary. Fuel supply is not on that level of need, since this would be essentially after the event.
Prexy MIKE then spoke about something he asks himself frequently Why am I in Rotary? He is aware, as we all should be, of the very large footprint that Rotary can provide in the area of public concern we are worldwide, and a major force when needed. He then spoke of a recent UN report on the need for the human flush toilet.
Over two million children die each year from unsanitary conditions that’s nearly 5,000 deaths PER DAY! Most of these deaths are preventable diarrhea is the second leading cause of childhood death. For examples, in Peru and Egypt, flush toilets allowed almost 60% more children to live to their first birthdays than before! Some more numbers in Ethiopia, the military budget is ten times the sanitation budget, and in Pakistan, it is 47 times the amount allocated to sanitation. In sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia,, the amount spent represents less than 5 DAYS global military spending, and less than half of what rich countries spend each day on mineral water. Mike then thanked each of us for supporting Rotary, which can and does make a difference in world water usage and sanitation.
I just had a call from DAN PRICE he is home it’s 5:30 pm on Thursday the 16th And that is good news to end this report.