FHRA's Warm Winter Meeting 2006
FHRA members, non-member and new members were checked-in at the meeting by one of the FHRA's youngest members Grace Li Qi Reynolds. The February 9th meeting at King Middle School, coming on the anniversary of the 1971 Sylmar earthquake that killed dozens in LA, was focused on disaster preparedness.
2006 also marks the 100th anniversary of the big temblor that tumbled most of San Francisco into smoldering rubble. While few remember that, we can't forget the deadly results of lack of preparation and planning along the Gulf Coast last year.

King principal, Charlene Hirotsu, welcomed the FHRA and reminded us that because of strict construction standards schools are among the safest buildings. She said King is the backup disaster shelter for our area, after Marshall High. Hirotsu also delivered the good news that costs of the next Myra Ave. mural created by King students will be financed by the developers of condos going up along Myra adjacent to the Sunset underpass.
LAFD volunteer, Bob Adjemian, explained the fire department's Community Emergency Response Team disaster preparedness program. The 7 week CERT course teaches everything from fire supression..."how to put out a fire and when to know you shouldn't even try"... to casualty triage, to search and rescue operations, plus community organization and terrorism and homeland defense tips.

Adjemian explained, "the more citizens who know what to do the better." If there is enough community response the FHRA will work to set up the 7 week course in our area. e-mail FHRA@FranklinHills.org if you are interested.

  Next FHRA President Charley Mims handed the mic to one of our local firefighters from station 35 on Hillhurst. Gary, who drives the hook 'n ladder, gave more safety tips...suggesting that home fire extinguishers be replaced yearly unless they have a gauge indicating they are still good. He  suggested turning extinguishers upside down once in a while to keep them in good shape.
He also explained that "driving from danger is not always the best move," and that your home might provide better protection. Being trapped in a car on a hilly road is "very dangerous" as your "car can be a death trap."

Nick Samaniego from the Red Cross stressed the importance of planning ahead with an evacuation plan at home and work plus an out of state contact for you and relatives to pass information to.
He suggested making copies, digital or paper, of important documents, identity, insurance policies, deeds, medical info and prescriptions plus documenting home contents then storing them someplace away from the home so they can be readily available when most needed after a disaster.

After FHRA board Member George Grace gave tips on protecting your pets when disaster strikes, LAPD Senior Lead officers Al Polehonki and Gina Chovan told how burglars had been striking all too frequently in the Franklin Hills.
In the previous month 24 burglaries were reported compared to an average of 7 per month in 2005. But they also had good news of several arrests including a group of five nabbed in the 3900 block of Clayton on February 2nd who appear responsible for many of the break-ins.

 Other speakers included reserve LAPD officer Albert Faust (left) who gave pointers on graffiti abatement. And Paul Habib, (right) an aide to Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer, who talked about a bill to promote rail safety after last year's deadly Atwater wreck. He also announced a TownHall Meeting for March  to get ideas for new legislation.

Perhaps most illustrative of the city's most serious problem was Councilmember Tom LaBonge...he missed the meeting because he got stuck in traffic.