Tuesday, August 30, 2016

September is National Preparedness Month! Don't Wait... Communicate

Communication is the key to emergency planning. Sometimes planning is the hardest part or preparation.
"Preparation doesn't require doing everything, but it does require doing something"
Approach your planning like you would if you were having a BBQ for Labor Day. There are so many moving parts to planning a BBQ. Who to invite. Getting the BBQ ready. Do I have propane in the BBQ? What are the sides dishes and drinks. Then there is the timing... How long will the steaks take to cook? Medium? Rare? Well Done? .... AHHHH!!!! So Many Decisions!!!.
Disaster preparation is no different than planning a BBQ. Break it into small parts and address each one individually. Break it into smaller parts, finish that one piece, then move to the next.
The La Habra Heights Fire Department encourages everyone to start with a few basic steps.
1.   COMMUNICATE YOUR PLAN today. It may not be a complete plan, but it is a good starting point.
2.   Download the FEMA Disaster Preparedness App to help you get your plan going.
Make a plan. Communicate
 Download the FEMA App
Download the FEMA Disaster Prep APP

Preventing Zika by Following Some Simple Steps

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

There are no locally acquired vector-borne cases of Zika reported in California. There are 2,245 travel-associated cases reported in the continental United States, 170 laboratory confirmed travel-associated cases are in California, and 40 of those are in Los Angeles County. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are present in Los Angeles County, however no Zika Virus has been identified in vectors at this time.


How to Prevent Zika Virus Infection

Avoid travel to areas with Zika virus disease   
  • All people who do travel to areas with Zika should protect themselves from mosquito bites.
  • Pregnant women should avoid travel to areas with Zika because of the chance of severe birth defects in the baby, if the mother gets infected.
  • Currently, there is no evidence of local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika in Los Angeles County.    
Avoid mosquitos when traveling to affected areas       
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved bug spray. These will contain DEET, Picaridin or IR3535 as ingredients.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or clothing specially treated to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Stay indoors when possible and make sure any open windows or doors have screens to keep mosquitos out.
 Pregnant women should take extra precaution because of the link to birth defects        
  • Pregnant women should avoid traveling to areas with Zika and, if they do go, avoid mosquito bites.
  • If you are pregnant and traveled to an area with Zika, call your doctor and talk about your travel, even if you aren’t sick.
Zika virus can be sexually-transmitted
  • If you are pregnant and your partner traveled to an area with Zika, see your doctor and talk about their travel.
  • Men who live or have traveled in a Zika-affected areas and whose partner is pregnant are advised to properly use condoms during sexual activity or abstain from sex with the pregnant partner throughout their entire pregnancy.    
Public Health is Working for You

Due to the rising concern about Zika virus, Public Health has been quick to respond by:
  • Investigating possible cases of Zika virus infection in our communities.
  • Updating our website and sharing information and education on Zika virus with residents.
  • Reaching out to medical providers and people more likely to travel to countries with Zika.
  • Working closely with vector control agencies.

Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are present in Los Angeles County, however as of August 29, 2016, no Zika Virus has been identified in vectors..

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wildfire! Why Evacuate Early? Oakland Hills Fire 1991

The constant drum of words continues to sing the song over and over from every Fire Department that has the threat of a wildfire in their community. EVACUATE and EVACUATE NOW!

So why do Firefighters stress the importance of evacuating early and not waiting to see if you can "Wait it Out"? Why don't we want you staying to try to protect your home? Because as Firefighters most of us have "Been There... Done That" sometime in our career. A wildfire is an ugly beast that you really don't want to meet.

The Oakland Hills Firestorm, October 21, 1991, Oakland, California. The fire ultimately killed 25 people and injured 150 others. The 1,520 acres destroyed, included 2,843 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units.

This video will give you a pretty graphic example of the chaos, confusion that occurs during a wildfire. What you can't experience is the amount of heat that radiates hundreds of yards in front of the fire, the blowing embers that look like snow, yet sting like bees, or the inability to catch a breath because of the thick rancid smoke, and don't forget the burning eyes and complete loss of the ability to even open your eyes.

Now... Imagine being a Firefighter trying to get into a community to fight the fire, but you can't get in because people are stranded in their cars because the thick smoke has blocked the road or caused the engine to quit running. The Firefighters are trapped, burned over and injured, their lives changed forever.

Protect your community by letting us do our job. Prepare early. Leave early. If we can't protect your home, you can't protect your home. Don't risk your life or the life of a Firefighter by thinking you can stop a wildfire.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

LHHFD Firefighters Extinguish VW Fire

On August 16, 2016 La Habra Heights Firefighters responded to Avocado Crest Rd. and Skyline Crest Rd. on a reported auto fire. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in the engine compartment and prevent the spread of the fire into the passenger area or surrounding brush. No injuries were reported.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

La Habra Heights Recognized For Worker Safety Record

ACHIEVEMENT RECOGNIZED -- La Habra Heights Mayor Kyle Miller presents an award from the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority to Fire Chief Doug Graft.  The award recognized La Habra Heights having the best workers compensation record of any of the Authority’s 37-member cities with public safety employees.  It was the second straight year La Habra Heights received the award.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Firefighter George Levario Presented With Certificate of Recognition

On August 11, 2016, Firefighter George Levario received a Certificate of Recognition from La Habra Heights Mayor Kyle Miller. Firefighter Levario recently left the City after faithfully serving the community of La Habra Heights as a volunteer Firefighter for 16 years.

The backbone of the La Habra Heights Fire Department rests in our volunteer Firefighters and Firefighter Paramedics who give up time with their family and friends to protect the community.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Get Ready. Get Safe. Save The Children Campaign

During disasters we have many different concerns. In La Habra Heights we are always aware that evacuation and sheltering plans will be critical during a disaster. What about horses? How do we protect our children? The organization "Save the Children" has some valuable tips on what to do before the disaster strikes, like how to create an "ICE Card" (In Case of Emergency) and how to plan before it does.

Please take the time to do the little things needed to prepare as provided at "Save the Children".

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) - What's The Big Deal?

The La Habra Heights Fire Department recently conducted several "Interoperability" Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) drills with a dozen other local fire departments. These drill are critical to the successful management of any fire that threatens La Habra Heights. Below is an excerpt from an article describing the challenges faced by all cities faced with fighting fires in a WUI environment.

The Sand fire burns out of control along near Acton, California, on Sunday.
"Southern California is on fire again. The Sand fire in the Santa Clarita Valley mountains north of Los Angeles has burned 38,873 acres, destroyed at least 18 homes and taken one life. Smoke from the fire created what the LA Times referred to as an “apocalyptic haze” around Los Angeles County and a scorch mark it left behind was clearly visible in images from NASA’s Landsat satellite. On Tuesday, the acting governor of California, Tom Torlakson, declared a state of emergency in the county, declaring that the fire is “likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any single local government.”
What distinguishes the Sand fire isn’t its size..."
Read More
Ella Koeze is a visual journalist for FiveThirtyEight

Monday, August 1, 2016

Traffic Accident Closes Fullerton Road in La Habra Heights

On July 31, 2016 at 6:10  P.M.,  The La Habra Heights Fire Department responded to the 1700 block of Fullerton Rd. on a reported vehicle into a power pole. Upon arrival, Firefighters located a single vehicle which had struck and sheared a power pole causing live wires to fall to the ground.

Firefighters secured the area, blocked traffic, and determined that there were no injuries. Southern California Edison was contacted to secure the power lines and repair the power pole. The downed power lines caused power a outage to approximately 10 local residents. Firefighters remained on scene for several hours until Edison had secured the downed power lines.

Edison workers estimate that Fullerton Rd. will be closed between Chota Rd. and Dorothea Rd. until approximately 1 P.M. on August 1, 2016.

Residents can check the status of power outages in the affected area HERE.