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H​​ere fo​r y​ou, your fa​mily, your bu​siness


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NOW HIRING: Former Burglars and Robbers

Posted on April 13, 2016 at 7:19 PM Comments comments (24)
What if we started giving jobs to the hopelessly unemployed: released Burlars and Robbers.I don't know about your City, but in my City - every week the Herald Examiner has a section listing the Violations in the neighborhood and yes - I am tired of seeing week after week burglaries, increasing, getting closer and closer to our home.  What can we do about these individuals that feel they must resort to stealing for survival?
We need to give 
               burglars a job

I knew a man in my late 20's who told me his story.  He had ran away from the East to come West when he was only an adolescent, by hitching rides from truckers.  Unable to make a living in California, he got into drugs, then stealing - and later mastering the art of removing car radios (in less than 8 minutes).  The young, handsome, eloquent young African-American youth was so brilliant at removing stereos, the Police couldn't keep up with him.  Well, he finally got caught and jailed.  While in prison, he said he learned great things.  He learned how to shave (wow!). Turns out, as a boy, he witnessed his drunk dad physically kicked out of the house- never to be seen again.
   Sad story turn into an interesting journey  
While in prison, (doing what inmates do in their leisure time - - watch the Tube) he saw a TV show displaying a guy breaking into a car, stealing a stereo.  He wrote to the Producers explaining how it's really done, and they told him, once he got out - they wanted to hire him.  Soon after being released from prison, the young man became an actor in the show, and from there - the Police who knew of this young man's nobility demeanor, helped genius (who was now on Probation) get a job at a local Tow truck company, later a position with Brinks.  This lead to a new path as maturity set in, helping him get re-established and appreciate his new role in society. Can we do this as a whole approach to reducing crime and hopelessness? LINK: 

Tereza Ortega-Franco is a Disaster Management professional, providing Business Continuity consultation to individuals, enterprises and government entities.  Learn more on LinkedIn or visit her award winning (simple, but informative) website at

2016: El Niño, still growing

Posted on April 13, 2016 at 7:09 PM Comments comments (4)
Many in the California's Los Angeles County were beginning to think El Niño passed through, but - not so fast.

Why it's called El Niño - to me, is a mockery of something dear and sacred, (referring to baby Jesus), so named because the pool of warm water in the Pacific near South America is often at its warmest around December.  The devastation for unprepared communities is a horror.

"Now, as I recall, hurricanes are titled alphabetically 
                             - why couldn't they call it 'Exit'???

To understand the El Niño phenomena, one must remember the 1997-98 torrid rains (where you in Southern California then?).  The hurricane savagely entered through Mexico's premier tourist town, leaving behind horrid inundations and numerous deaths.  It tucked away for a bit, only to enter (without a Visa) into Orange County bringing the strongest showers ever - floods everywhere.
Los Angeles was next with the pounding of emotional storms that never looked back, causing billions in damage and some restructuring of our roadways, not to mention the enourmous death toll. 
The ripple induced by the jet stream is like a wave (even animals and insects never seen in SoCal beging to show up), that travels along affects weather in disparate regions around the world.  So, it's a great conversational topic to remind folks around the globe to prepare for this angry disturbance.
Good thing this maddening blow is forecasted to weaken as we welcome the sunny, Southern California Spring season.  Providing we don't experience another rave of 'New York' temperatures.

Tereza Ortega-Franco is a Disaster Management professional, providing Business Continuity consultation to individuals, enterprises and government entities.  Learn more on LinkedIn or visit her award winning (simple, but informative) website LINK:

HOUSE PHONE, CELL may be down; but UP your 2-Way Radio

Posted on November 27, 2015 at 9:22 PM Comments comments (0)
Linda says . . . . Radio Communications: buy them now -- specifically with FRS/GMRS/Walkie-Talkie type radios!  They're inexpensive, easy to operate, and you don't need a license (except for certain bands in GMRS), and they're FUN!!! 

In the event of a disaster, our main avenues of communications will probably go down -- cell phone towers will fall, and batteries will fail, and land lines will be overloaded.  Television and radio will be spotty at best.  Some of us have elected to go the HAM radio route, but not all are so inclined.  The little radios mentioned above may be the only communications many of us will have with the rest of the community!

If you haven't done so yet, I urge you to go out and purchase a pair of these radios with the charger that comes with them.  You can pick up the whole outfit for considerably less than $100 at Costco, sporting goods stores, some pharmacies, and even some hardware stores

Better yet, urge a neighbor to do the same thing!  Then, you will be able to talk to each other as you check your neighborhood for casualties and damage after that disaster hits!

Then, you'll be able to talk to others and to many of us in the Community to share information about open shelters, grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, needed medical attention, etc. -- information that could be vitally important! 

Come practice with us!!

What does NPM mean to your FAMILY and BUSINESS??

Posted on September 10, 2015 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (5)
Linda says . . . Gosh, how did it get to be September already?!?  Here we are at another National Preparedness Month!  So, what have YOU done to prepare since last September?  Got those water barrels filled and secure?  Or at least a good collection of water bottles and jugs on hand?   Have you stocked your pantry really well with several weeks worth of groceries?  Checked your First Aid Kit to make sure all items are up to date?  Put together a "stash" of extra medications for everyone in the family?  Collected copies of all those important documents and have them readily accessible?  Managed to put aside some extra cash in small bills?  Have your "Bug Out Bag" (72-Hour Survival Kit), near the front door and ready to go?

So many things to think about and do, and who knows how much time we have to accomplish all these things!?!  And now, I want to add a couple MORE things to your list!  I'm sure you've heard the weather prognosticators say that there's a good chance we're in for an El Nino winter with the possibility of a lot of rain.  The time to prepare for that is NOW!  Does your roof need some attention?  Don't wait til the rain starts seeping through -- a roofer will be almost impossible to get when you're standing there with water dripping off your nose!  Also, get those gutters and downspouts cleaned out now!  What a mess they can be when they're filled with debris and start to overflow!  (Mine have a favorite spot to do that -- right at my front door!)  Might be a good time to think about getting some water barrels to store some of that precious liquid in for plants and bushes next summer, too!

Have your car checked out mechanically.  Are your brakes in really good shape?  And please, be sure to have your tires looked at!  Nothing worse than slick tires on wet pavement!  And get a new set of windshield wiper blades installed NOW!  Stash an umbrella and a poncho (slicker style), in the car, with some fresh water and non perishable snacks in there too, along with a First Aid Kit.  And make sure all your cars' flashlights have fresh batteries, your toolkit stock has been replenished, and that you have flares or some other way of signaling other drivers that you're broken down.  Is your spare tire in good shape?  Do you have all the tools to change a tire?  Do you have a good set of jumper cables?  Might be a good idea to invest in a car cell phone charger if you don't have one, also!
I know, so much to think about, so little time, so little money!  But do just one or two things each week and you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll get them all done! 

Linda Pruett is Co-Chair
Emergency Preparedness CommitteeLake Balboa Neighborhood Council

Preparation for the New World

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)
Lucky to be my Father’s Daughter .entry-meta .entry-header
Today, I celebrate my Father. 
Papi was a noble man - soft spoken, gentle, elegant, simpatico, affectionate, simple.  Caribbean, with a cappuccino tone, daddy was a domesticated man.  Raised by his mother and grandmother, he started working at a young age. 
At 15, he was delivering telegrams for the post office.  He was a man who enjoyed tinkling with electronics, TVs, radios and the likes.  Although clothed with a limited formal education, he was a studious man - reading everything in sight. Four kids later, a correspondence school in the US empowered Antonio to start a dream profession which would open doors to support his family in a new Continent. 
His love of music was infectious, as he once called it – my injection’.  A man with the calm demeanor of a monk, it was his devotion and love for my mother which made our tight, family dwelling a loving home.  Happy Father’s day, Papi.Write your post here.

Bangladesh Mirror

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 5:36 PM Comments comments (0)

Bangladesh Mirror
Bangladesh Mirror
Unsafe Conditions for Seamstresses around the Globe
 Oilda Ortega was a great woman of marked style, substance and determination. Born in 1927 on the beautiful Pearl of the Caribbean, she designed and sewed all her children’s clothing.
Having arrived in America stripped of possessions and dressed in honor, Oilda's adolescents never knew how closets were lined with such useful wardrobe.
 It was only in High School that I learned to shop at a store – you see, my mother was a Seamstress. Yes, I remember. . . going to her job, seeing Mami, hard at work – elbow to elbow – piecing strips of cloths, while sweating for pennies.
 Fast forward 2013: Over 300 garment workers killed in the devastating fire; the Bangladesh Mirror reflects the many U.S. immigrants still, working in deplorable conditions. Let’s not let history repeat itself. provides risk assessments and advice on compliance. Write your post here.