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By: STEVE SMITH | September 10, 2005
Hours after I suggested that an earthquake in our area could have the same type of aftermath as hurricane, the Los Angeles Times ran a couple of articles supporting this opinion. One of them compared the 1906 San Francisco earthquake with the effects of Hurricane Katrina and found many similarities: death and destruction, obviously, but also looting, mayhem and fires. The fires, in fact, were responsible for the widespread destruction of the city.
By: | October 2, 2005
Many human beings have a propensity to fall prey to certain fallacies of thinking. One is the misconception lurking in the back of everyone's mind when watching a horror such as last December's tsunami that it can't happen here. Another tendency is to lull ourselves into thinking that help is always at hand. The tragedies of this past month along the Gulf Coast are proof that such thinking belongs to fools living in some paradise. Add to these another common trait that is demonstrated every time there is a rainstorm and one discovers that, once again, new wiper blades were not bought for the car. This is clearly a blueprint for piling disaster on top of disaster.
June 15, 2005
Andrew Edwards A tsunami warning along the West Coast came and went Tuesday night, giving emergency responders a chance to prepare for a disaster that did not come. "We geared up like we would like we would for any disaster and were prepared to take action," Newport Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Dave Mais said. Neither Mais nor Newport Beach Police Lt. Jim Kaminsky said they could recall a previous tsunami warning in Newport Beach. The departments' disaster training programs include preparation for tsunamis, they said.
By Michael Alexander | January 17, 2007
NEWPORT BEACH — A packed room at City Hall watched footage of huge waves tearing apart whole towns on the island of Sumatra, as people tried in vain to scramble away from mountains of debris. "This is what happens when you're not informed," said Matt Brisbois, community preparedness coordinator for Newport Beach, over footage of the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Using PowerPoint presentations and handouts, Newport Beach fire and disaster officials gave a 90-minute rundown on the risk of a tsunami in Newport and how to prepare for one. While the risk is low — the city ranks a tsunami as the 11th most likely disaster, behind riot and war — the potential damage was too high to ignore, Brisbois said.
February 11, 2002
Deepa Bharath COSTA MESA -- For Diane Hill, emergency preparedness is not something to be taken lightly. The Killybrooke resident, who was instrumental in forming a Neighborhood Watch in the Hall of Fame area, now encourages her neighbors to take what she calls "the next logical step." She is publicizing, or rather reminding them about, the Fire Department's Community Emergency Response Training program started by the city about five years ago. Initially, the program was designed for local businesses, said Costa Mesa Fire Chief Jim Ellis, who played a role in starting the program.
By: | September 2, 2005
Now that the nation's attention is gripped by a disaster of epic proportions in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast -- devastated by a monster hurricane that may have killed hundreds -- Laguna's June 1 landslide may look like small potatoes. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency's decision last week to reject disaster assistance based on the 100-year rains of last winter is still a colossal mistake. State and federal geologists made their findings clear shortly after the slide: Rainfall that soaked the area in the first part of the year -- for which two official disaster declarations were made -- had seeped far down into the ground, collected there, and caused a 100-foot-deep earth movement that made the hillside collapse some four months later.
By Rhea Mahbubani | June 22, 2013
Jay Peeters prefers not to discuss his time in the United States Army. He admits, "I've been shot at and blown up," and leaves it at that. A remnant of his 20 years of service, though, is an appreciation for the American Red Cross. While Peeters was an officer, the organization hosted a funeral for his colleague's deceased relative, helped pay bills and provided physical and mental healthcare. The son of a Vietnam veteran, Peeters, 46, is determined not to let people forget that their lives are being defended all year round.
October 21, 1999
Greg Risling NEWPORT BEACH -- Imagine an earthquake the magnitude of Saturday's reverberating through this coastal area. Buildings would shake, the ground would shift and there would likely be thousands of casualties. Police and firefighters would try to restore civility amid the chaos. Paramedics would tend to the injured masses. But public safety officials concede that not everyone would be helped during a major catastrophe. That's why the Newport Beach Fire and Marine Department has launched a pilot program that allows residents to assist people during a time of need.
February 20, 2003
Deepa Bharath Residents must make use of the information put out by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, local public safety officials said Wednesday. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has launched a public relations campaign and a Web site,, that offers tips to prepare for worst-case scenarios, including terrorist bombings, biological, chemical and nuclear attacks. Officials said they crafted the campaign to avoid creating widespread panic while providing some common sense ideas that will help people survive a disaster -- when government and emergency services are unavailable.
January 22, 2005
Elia Powers As project director of the Billabong Odyssey surf expedition, Newport Beach resident Bill Sharp keeps an eye out for the world's largest waves. This month, he is responding to one of the world's deadliest water-related disasters in history. In the days following the Dec. 26 South Asia tsunami, Sharp said he became unsettled watching relief efforts and news coverage from afar. The same islands that had provided surf magazines with centerfold spreads now were appearing in newsweeklies in disaster photos.
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