Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On the Napa 2014 Earthquake: Guidance from the City of Laguna Niguel Emergency Response Coordinator

Napa in Northern California experienced one of the largest Earthquakes in some 25 years.    It was quite timely that the City of Laguna Niguel Emergency Services Coordinator sent out a call-to-action to member of Team Laguna Niguel Responds to get a sense of the key challenges faced and all that all of us must prepare for.  These admonitions is applicable to all and the lessons learnt is ever so crucial:

In following the coverage of Sunday’s Napa County Earthquake I took note of some comments made in the reporting. Specifically:

·         Glass flying, furniture moving and falling
·         Glass on the floor causing cuts to feet
·         Couldn't find flashlights
·         Gas fires
·         Neighbors helping neighbors

I know that this probably doesn't surprise any of you as you have all heard these things mentioned before. I know this because it is part of the curriculum of the Community Emergency Preparedness Academy (In Jim McLain’s, our Planning Chief, presentation among other places). Additionally, these are lessons we constantly reinforce with Team Laguna Niguel Responds.

Given that perspective here is what I heard:

·         Glass on the floor = We should all have a go bag that is easily accessible, is in a known location, contains a pair of shoes, and is within a distance we can reach safely.

·         Glass flying = We all like to joke about Duck, Cover, and Hold but it is a real tool to help us survive. Remember to do your best to cover your face, head, and neck.

·         Furniture falling = We should secure our furniture with strapping or anchors as is appropriate. If you decide not to take this step then at least think ahead to what will happen in severe shaking and how you will respond. As much as you may want to believe it, your house is not immune from the effects of an earthquake. You do not have magic furniture that will stay put on its own.

·         Gas fires = While it sounded like the fires in the mobile homes were pretty spontaneous we should all have a wrench easily accessible and in a known location to shut the gas off if necessary. Remember on a gas meter, if the valve is horizontal it is closed, if it is in the vertical position it is open.

·         Couldn’t find the flashlights = As mentioned before, we need to have our stuff in an accessible and known location! And while we are on the topic, when was the last time you checked the batteries?

·         Neighbors helping neighbors = I think we are all on-board with this. In fact this is probably a main reason why you participate with TLNR. Just as a quick review, one of our CERT directives is to help ourselves and our families first and then look to help our neighbors before we move to a city level of response.

The basics still apply,
·         Build a kit
·         Make a plan
·         Gain more knowledge

Around Town in South County (8/26/2014) : On the Latest....

As Summer draws to a close, it is election season.   Major candidates have been "making the rounds" to continue to press the flesh in Community Events.    Robert Ming, the 5th District Supervisor Candidate, was in Heritage Park in Dana Point as others continue to make the rounds.   This is as the City of Laguna Niguel's Council Race has become ever so interesting as 6 Candidates have filed papers for the 2 open seats.   A number of them helped sponsor the Mayor's  Barbeque that was co-sponsored by the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce.

As elections season draws near, on-going community work continues.   AlertOC, the County-Wide Alert System, will be doing a county-wide call out to test out the system.   Such alerts are ever so crucial in lieu of the massive earthquake that has caused an estimated 4 Billion Dollar in Damages.    There have also been Hurricanes off the coast of Baja California--but it should be loads of fun for the Surfers in South Orange County.

School is also starting throughout South Orange County--and with it another year of fun and possibilities.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Visiting w/the Amazing People @ St. Timothy's Parish in Laguna Niguel


This has been an extra ordinary week around South County.   The St. Timothy Parish Community came through yet again as it held its' annual Backpack Project campaign.   Over 150 families were able to receive Backpacks for need Children.   This is as an Eagle Scout Candidate finished a Project erecting a flag pole for the Parish.    

It is absolutely gratifying to see generosity of spirit in action.  They lived up to this simple yet so beautiful an admonition from Mother Teresa:

Around Town In South County: Eagle Scouts Making a Difference

One of the highlights of being around South Orange County to be witness to a continued sense of purpose about a desire to make a difference.  This was exemplified by an Eagle Scout From Troop 772 in Laguna Niguel that worked on a unique way to contribute to the local church that was reported recently:  Neighborhood Church 081514

Thursday, August 14, 2014

On a Sense of Thanks & Joy: A "Thought 4 the Week (II)"

We here in South Orange County have a lot to be thankful for.   It was especially poignant as I continue to be witness to the generosity of spirit and volunteerism that drives the essence of the County.  One such example that is ever so amazing is St. Timothy's Catholic Parish, a spirited group of dedicated parishioners are spearheading an effort to distribute some 150+ backpacks to Families on the eve of the new School year.    This is as I was reminded of these admonitions courtesy of Jonathan Lockwood Huie:


The enlightened give thanks for what most people take for granted.
- Michael Beckwith

Appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life,
with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy,
however stale these experiences may have become to others.
- Abraham Maslow 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Around South County (8/10/2014): Witness to the Amazing People of South Orange County

We here @ Outsiders were witness to a fabulous week of service in South Orange County.   One profound example of this was the Cub Scout Day Camp for the Tiburon District which was held at Oso Lake.   A selfless group of volunteer leaders hosted some 100 Cub Scouts as they went to the archery range, shot BB  guns, designed a rocket together as teams to help foster a sense of teamwork and character building which is the essence of Scouting.   

While visiting the Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo this past Saturday, I noticed loud music going on near Howie's Game Shack.   I popped in and saw a number of volunteers staffing a donation desk.   This was a Youth-Inspired concert deemed "Have a Heart for Jim" to help Jim pay off 40,000 Dollars in Medical Bills as a result of open heart surgery.    It was an absolute honor to contribute to this campaign as I was witness to a spirit of togetherness which was moving--and some great music from some wonderful Youth Bands here in South County:


All such selfless souls are ever so rich---Anne Franke was ever so right in this simple yet powerful thought:

Sunrise Inspiration from BestQuotations.com
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
Anne Frank