Mammoth Opens Shelter for Residents Displaced By Storms

By: Wendilyn Grasseschi

Times Reporter
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

About 20 people, including families, are now unable to live in their homes after a series of storm-related damages forced Mono County officials to condemn or “red tag” several residences in the town of Mammoth Lakes, including multi-family residences.

The record-breaking storms have stressed Mammoth’s aging buildings and in once case, a roof split at the apex, tearing out some chimneys while they were still smoking and sending families fleeing into the cold.

Now, the county along with the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region disaster workers, has opened a shelter at the Mammoth High School at 365 Sierra Park Road.

“The shelter supports the immediate needs of those affected, including a safe place to stay, food, water, and access to health services, emotional support and other recovery resources,” according to Kathy Peterson, the county’s director of social services. “Impacted residents are welcome to stop by during the day, even if they choose to spend the night elsewhere,” she said.

The county is working on a long term plan to help the families and displaced people find more long term housing, as the condemned buildings are not likely to be repaired anytime soon, but residents who have been displaced are facing a severe shortage of affordable housing in Mammoth, adding even more challenges to the situation.

For additional information about the shelter, contact Peterson at 760-924-1763 or via email at

Four children were critically injured when a fire broke out in the 800 block of West Manchester Avenue in South Los Angeles on Jan. 16, 2017. (Credit: OnScene.TV)

4 Children Critical After Being Rescued From House Fire in South L.A.

Four children are in critical condition Tuesday morning after being rescued them from a burning home in the Vermont Knolls neighborhood of South Los Angeles. 

Firefighters found the front of the home in the 800 block of West Manchester Avenue heavily involved with flames when they arrived about 10:51 p.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

Bystanders told firefighters people were trapped inside the home, which is mostly secured with bars and steel screen doors, Humphrey said.

A firefighter found an un-barred window at the back of the home and climbed through

Once inside, the firefighter found three boys — ages 2, 3 and 5 — and a 7-year-old girl, Humphrey said.

The firefighter handed the children to two colleagues waiting outside, where the kids were treated by paramedics, Humphrey said.

Investigators believe the mother was out on an errand when the fire started. She returned and watched as paramedics cared for the severely burned children, Humphrey said.

The kids were then transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

The firefighter who rescued the children got out of the home uninjured, Humphrey said.

About 90 firefighters put out the blaze in just over 15 minutes.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

ABC7 News: Father, son killed in port hueneme aparment fire

A father and his young son were killed in a fire that erupted in a small apartment complex in Port Hueneme early Friday morning.

Authorities responded to the 3-alarm fire around 4:45 a.m. in the 200 block of East C Street. Firefighters were able to quickly knock down the fire.

The mother and her daughter were able to escape from the fire, but the father and son somehow became trapped, fire officials said.

It was also unclear if there were any injuries or how much damage the eight-unit building sustained.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

Get Prepared, California! Auction Surpasses $1 Million

The sixth annual Get Prepared, California! Auction, sponsored by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and coordinated by iHeartMedia, raised more than $171,000 this year for American Red Cross disaster-preparedness and relief efforts in California. Total funds raised by the Get Prepared, California! Auction now exceed $1,060,000.

The auction ran from April 3 to April 30 and was promoted on 57 iHeartMedia radio stations statewide. Items for bidding included celebrity meet-and-greets, concert and sports packages, access to VIP events, and other once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

“This auction raises funds to help support important work done by the Red Cross,” said CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy. “It also helps CEA and the Red Cross raise awareness among Californians about the risk of damaging earthquakes, and share steps people can take to be better prepared for the next big quake.”

Proceeds of the 2017 Get Prepared, California! Auction were presented to the Red Cross this weekend on stage at KIIS-FM’s Wango Tango in Los Angeles, an annual daylong concert that draws sell-out crowds to see numerous marquee performers, including some of the celebrities highlighted in the auction.

Auction proceeds have benefited 32 Red Cross chapters throughout California. The money raised is enough for the Red Cross to distribute 200,000 blankets at shelters or buy 400,000 “comfort kits” full of toiletries and personal items to help people affected by disasters.

“The CEA has been instrumental in helping the Red Cross help communities become better prepared for disaster,” said Jarrett Barrios, CEO of the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region. “The funds raised by the auction will go toward disaster relief in order to assist those affected by emergencies with comfort and care items, like blankets, cots, food and water.”

The not-for-profit CEA, the country’s leading provider of residential earthquake insurance, joined forces with the Red Cross in 2012 to help more Californians prepare to survive and recover from damaging earthquakes. The Red Cross has more than 27,000 volunteers in California who provide disaster-relief support and disaster-preparedness trainings.

To learn more about the auction and earthquake preparedness, visit

About CEA
The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is a not-for-profit, privately funded, publicly managed organization that provides residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake loss. Learn more at

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional suIpport to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization, not a government agency, and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit or contact your local chapter.

Image caption: Following a Miley Cyrus performance in front of a sold-out crowd at KIIS-FM’s Wango Tango, the California Earthquake Authority and iHeartMedia presented a check to the American Red Cross for $171,250, bringing the six-year total raised by the Get Prepared, California! Auction to $1,060,355. Back, from left to right: Michael Preacher, iHeartMedia; Jon Myers, American Red Cross Los Angeles Region; Connie Nakano, California Earthquake Authority; Chris Nance, California Earthquake Authority; and Jesse Lozano, KIIS-FM. Front, from left to right: Jason Lozano and Barrett Nance.

American Red Cross LA chapter sends supplies in wake of Hurricane Matthew Website Story. Website story

 – The American Red Cross of Los Angeles will send five emergency response trucks and 10 volunteers Monday to areas hit hard by Hurricane Matthew in South Carolina.

About 10 volunteers in five emergency vehicles will leave Westwood at midmorning for the 15-day deployment, Red Cross of Los Angeles spokeswoman Maria F. Melo Bueno said.

LA Red Crossers Drive Emergency Vehicles to South Carolina

LA Red Cross Supports Hurricane Matthew Response Sending Volunteers and Vehicles

Red Cross & Kidde on ABC7

American Red Cross Reps Urge Filipinos to Prepare for Disasters

By Eric Anthony Licas
Published: December 13, 2016

HOME fires claim 2,500 lives and make up the vast majority of the roughly 70,000 emergencies the American Red Cross responds to each year in the United States. They happen about twice daily in the greater Los Angeles region.

In light of the frequency at which fires wreak havoc, the Los Angeles chapter of the American Red Cross (ARC-LA) is encouraging residents of Historic Filipinotown and surrounding communities to volunteer in efforts to promote fire safety. They have also been offering free smoke alarm installations throughout the city.

Residents of Pico-Union and Westlake neighborhoods, including parts of Historic Filipinotown, can now sign up for a free smoke alarm installation provided by the ARC-LA on Saturday, February 11 next year.

The ARC-LA has installed 8,000 new smoke alarms this year, but many buildings still have faulty units, according to the organization’s Regional Disaster Program Manager, Jeanne Woo.

“We dealt with multiple fatalities over the Thanksgiving weekend,” she told the Asian Journal on Tuesday, December 6.

“There are very positive and easy steps that we can take to make sure that doesn’t happen to our families and loved ones,” she added following a disaster preparedness presentation put on by the nonprofit and hosted by the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, ARC-LA representatives and volunteers said Angelenos need to stay vigilant of the potential hazards around them and outlined strategies for surviving fires and other catastrophes. They encouraged residents to develop and practice emergency plans for a variety of possible emergencies.

In addition, Woo said poorly placed alarms have a tendency to go off when they shouldn’t and become a nuisance. As a consequence, some homeowners significantly increase the likelihood of a serious fire by removing the batteries from improperly mounted units, or neglect to replace them when they run out of power.

The ARC-LA hopes to properly outfit 400 homes in the Pico-Union and Westlake areas during next February’s round of free installations. Funding for the program comes from a combination of donations, grants, and the ARC-LA budget.

The organization is looking for volunteers willing to assist with installations and help reduce the likelihood of fires. They need no advanced knowledge to participate and will receive training at the event.

A smaller percentage of the ARC-LA’s volunteers come out of Pico-Union and Westlake neighborhoods, compared to other parts of the city, according to Woo.

“This is a great opportunity to reach into the Filipino community,” she said on Tuesday. “We could use more volunteers from within the community who will respond to localized disasters.”

Woo said that people from the immediate vicinity of a disaster are especially effective at coordinating relief efforts. In addition to reduced transit times, emergency responders from within the community face fewer language barriers than those from further away. They also tend to possess a deeper understanding of their neighborhood’s specific needs and challenges.

More information for those interested in taking part of any of the ARC-LA’s community events or volunteering on a more regular basis can find more information on its website. There, individuals can also set up an appointment for a smoke alarm installation and learn how to better prepare themselves for a wide variety of potential disasters.(Eric Anthony Licas / AJPress)

The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

From Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country, available at


1. Identify earthquake hazards in your home, and check if you are in a tsunami hazard zone: You should secure anything heavy enough to hurt you if it falls on you, or anything that will be a significant loss if it breaks. Move heavy objects to lower locations, strap your water heater and top heavy furniture to walls, and securing electronics and valuables to tables. Do you live, work, or travel near the coast? Find out what areas are at risk of a tsunami.


2. Create a disaster plan: Plan now what each person in your household will do before, during and after an earthquake. Have a meeting place and an out-of-state contact. Learn basic first aid. Plan how to deal with the risk of fire, potential lack of utilities and basic services, and aftershocks. For those with functional or mobility needs, identify people who can assist you where you regularly spend time. Learn the natural and official warnings of a tsunami and know how to respond.


3. Create disaster supplies kits: Everyone should have personal disaster supplies kits, which are useful for many emergencies. Keep one kit in your home, one in your car, and a third at work. Your home should have a larger household kit with supplies to last three days to one week.


4. Identify and fix your building’s weaknesses: There are several common issues that can limit a building’s ability to withstand earthquake shaking, such as inadequate foundations, unbraced cripple walls, soft first stories and unreinforced masonry. Seek professional retrofitting advice if your building has these issues.


5. During earthquakes–Drop, cover and hold on: Drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it firmly. If no table is nearby, drop to the floor near an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands. Face away from windows or mirrors. Do not leave a building during an earthquake. If you use a wheelchair or have other mobility impairments, protect your head and neck with a pillow or your arms if you are able. Learn more at, including what to do in different situations. Everyone can practice what to do during earthquakes in the Great California ShakeOut (


6. After earthquakes–Check for injuries and damage: Remain calm and take care of yourself first. If you liv on the coast in a tsunami inundation zone, immediately walk to higher ground or inland away from the coast. If you are in a safe area, help others and check for damage. Learn in advance what to do about fire, leaking gas, electrical dangers, and chemical spills. Aftershocks may cause additional damage so be ready to drop, cover, and hold on.


7. When safe, continue to follow your disaster plan: If you evacuated coastal areas – stay away until officials permit you to return. When possible, if you cannot stay in your home, take your disaster kit and get to a safe location. Listen to a portable radio for news, and call your out-of-state contact. Begin your recovery by organizing your financial papers and documenting any damage.

The Earthquake Country Alliance is a statewide partnership of earthquake experts, emergency managers, business and community leaders, and others working to help Californians prepare for earthquakes. Visit

The California Emergency Management Agency is a proud leader and partner in the Earthquake   Country Alliance. Learn more about disaster readiness, and about CalEMA’s programs and responsibilities at