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I live in Southern California and we’ve had a bad record of wildfires over the past few years. I’d really like suggestions on things I can to do prepare my family if and when this situation happens again. Are there things I can do personally, other than just talking to them about it? I think it could be helpful to enroll them in a rec class or something offered through a school or extracurricular program. Does anyone know of any organizations that do this? Maybe the My kids are 8 and 13, so it would need to be geared towards that age group. I’d appreciate any suggestions!

“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” Steven Wright
 

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YourAdministrator, eh?
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Are there specific kinds of fire that you would like to prepare for? Forest, Home, Car, School/Office, Industrial ...

What do you see as the most likely type of fire that you would have to deal with first to last. Write that down on a list. From that list, you would want to talk to some local people who would deal with that kind of scenario. Forest-fire - talk with the local BLM-officers. Home-fire - talk with the local fire-department. Industrial-fire - talk with the health-n-safety officer of the 3 nearest plants that could affect you.

Once you have talked with them, prepare your family for the "what-to-do" in case of a fire. Home-fire - meet at a trusted neighbors house. Forest-fire - meet at the closest school (especially if it has a large field surrounding it that can be used as a fire-break).

Also, remember that cell-phones are not always the best form of communication, especially in an emergency situation. You might want to purchase a few FRS so that radio-contact could be made in an emergency and make sure that they are always available to the family and charged up (in vehicle, in home, in back-packs, etc).
 

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Get one of those pool things that connect to a pump and hoses and it sprays foam all over your house for hours. I don't know what it's called but some people in California have them and they save your house from the fire.
 

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jebrown
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Rhaswell79
Please let me know specifically where you live in Southern California (what city), then I can provide some information for you. Also is your house one story or two story? Is it wood, brick or stucco. What material is your roof made out of.
I live in Oklahoma now but I lived in the San Gabriel Valley for 37 years. I am in my 32 year as a disaster specialist. I started my disaster career with the Pasadena Red Cross in 1978. I was an instructor in disaster preparedness classes for the new disaster volunteersand have been o many disasters both there in Southern California and here in Oklahoma. I was also an instructor trainer for them in first aid and CPR. I have worked first aid stations on a few forrest fires like the one they had by Mt. Wilson. One of them was in '80 or 81 in the parking lot at Mt Wilson.
I am a graduate of the Fire Science program at MT San Antonio College in Walnut. I also completed the California State fire marshal classes in fire prevention.
I have spent many days hiking and backpackin in the San Gabriel mountains. Mostly in the East Fork area of the Azusa Canyon area.
So I am well aware of the wildfire dangers in Southern California. It would be easier if you would ask specific questions rather than me going on about an area you may not need a lot of information about.

Jerry
 

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jebrown
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Not much land owned by the BLM in Southern California. Not many are educated in wildfires either.
The Los Angeles County fire department is one of the best fire departments anywhere. They also have a strong belief in community fire safety with a lot of information yours for the asking. The same with the Los Angeles City fire department.
Health and safety officers from businesses or factories many times know only company specific information. Many are prevented from providing training to the public for fear of lawsuits. Yes they can provide you with a list of hazardous materials they have on property. This information must be disclosed under federal law but sometimes obtaining this information is equal to pulling hen’s teeth. Meet at a friend neighbor or relatives house. Schools, large shopping mall parking lots, factory parking lots or any large area of open ground may be used as an Incident Command Center or a staging area for emergency vehicles or both. Some times there may be several staging areas for one incident. Particularly with a large incident like a forest fire, wild fire, high rise fire or earthquake.
FRS, ham, cb, radios and cell phones all have the possibility of frequency overload during a disaster. I am not saying anything against their use, just be aware of a possible overload especially in a
highly populated area like Southern California. Even with overloads on cell phones, text messages may get through.
The Red Cross will also provide you with fire safety and other disaster preparedness information.

Jerry
 

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Not much land owned by the BLM in Southern California. Not many are educated in wildfires either.
Sorry - my knowledge of the BLM comes from off-roading magazines and forums. I haven't had any personal experience with them beyond that.

Health and safety officers from businesses or factories many times know only company specific information. Many are prevented from providing training to the public for fear of lawsuits. Yes they can provide you with a list of hazardous materials they have on property. This information must be disclosed under federal law but sometimes obtaining this information is equal to pulling hen's teeth.
At my shop, we have had to explain to nearby businesses what kinds of chemical hazzards we have. Metal itself isn't a hazzard, but, because we are a fabrication-shop, we have huge amounts of cutting-fuel for our torch machines. If those tanks go off for any reason, we could possibly level a 3-block diameter.

Jerry - thanks for the additional information!!!
 

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jebrown
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Naked:
No need for an apology. There is nothing wrong with not knowing about something you have very little if any dealings with.
The BLM is charged with protecting the land from idiots who think it is a hoot to go out and purposely destroy land. Not honest, caring, concerned, recreatiionists. They leave the wildfire management to the U.S. Department of Forrestry.
Here in the U.S. for the most part education about what is kept on site is on a wait until asked basis. Then when asked the will disclose evrything kept on site. Allthough some communities hae them disclose to people living or working in a distance determined locally.
After the release of methyl isocyanate (a poisonous gas used in pesticides and in making rubber and adhesives at the Union Carbide plant on December
3, 1984, here in the U.S local communities formed what is known as the L.A.P.C. or Local Arear Planing Committee. This group collects information on hazardous materials stored any where in the city including dentist and doctors offices (compressed gases such as Nitrous oxide, ether etc.) they work at keeping a list of all hazardous materials and working with the businesses on ensuring safety practices are followed. The committee usually is comprised of local busiesses engaged with haz-mat, police, fire, departments, Red Cross, hospitals, ambulances and any one from the general popuation interested community safety.
You are welcome providing education in disasters and safety is the main reason I am here.

Jerry
 

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I just did a "GoogleMaps" drive-by my shop and took a screenshot of what our east-end looks like. In the picture you can see one large tank at the end of the east-end parking lot. You can't see the other tanks - but - those tanks are piped to our burning-tables - basically computer-controled machines that can cut through 6" thick steel. We have more tanks that are piped to our CNC-plasma and CNC-laser machines, not counting our in-house hydrogen-generators.

We also have mobile oxy-acetelene cutting / welding carts - if something were to happen to the tanks - you might understand how a 3-block diameter would be affected .. and .. I probably will not be able to post here ever again .. :cry:
 

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jebrown
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When I was in my 20's I was working constuction. I worked for a while at a chemical plant in Irwindale, CA. that wa being remodeled. about six months later I was at a drive-in movie theater and saw a huge fireball shoot up into the air. It was later determined to be over 300' in diameter. It was from the same chemical plant where I had worked a compressed liquid . I don't remeber what. They were involved in manufaturing the base liquid for paint. four days later I went over there and since several people there remebered me they let me in to take pictures. The destruction was unbeleiveable. Two workers were killed in the explosion. They never did determine for sure what caused it. They even talked about it was a suicide incident by one of the workers that was killed.
So I know what you mean by compressed liquid explosiions.
This was also a couple of years before I got into disaster work. It sure makes one think about what can happen. Many people are not aware of the explosisve power of compressed liquids.

Jerry
 

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I know someone who was driving near a toilet factory when it exploded. Toilets and toilet seats started raining down on the car from the sky. The car got all dented but nobody got hurt.
 

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jebrown
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Poor guy. I can only imagine all the teasing he had to endure after that incident and all the comments that were made to him about his experience.

Jerry
 
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