Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.

How can that be the opening line in this article about the internet? No, really, I mean it.
I equate much of what is done on the web as Vacation. It appears to be fun, carefree, stimulating, somewhat exotic and best when shared with those close to you. Needless to say, that is the fantasy of each and does not remotely resemble the reality.
We all know that there is a seedy side to the net, but that is something we tend to watch out for and may be fairly astute in avoiding. It’s those closest to you and the “off the cuff” comments that can and will lead you to untimely and/or embarrassing publicity.
The pictures of you last weekend, discussions of “inappropriate” behaviors, conversations concerning: friends, family, bosses, coworkers, teachers and other people (both public & private) once posted cannot be erased. The intimate pictures you and your “Friend” sent while promising to not share them with anyone; sound familiar. It’s like trying to put the genie back in the bottle.
A not so subtle example of how this works is Google search engine. Type in a search word and look at the results. In the listing of each is a link to a cached version of the page or site you are trying to visit. That cached link is available (thru Google) even if the site is gone, i.e. shutdown.
They and other companies accomplish this by constantly searching the web for domains and pages, than taking a snapshot of the page and storing it as reference. All of them do this 24/7/365. It is believed that if an item is posted online for as little as 48 hours there is a 90% probability that it has been cached by Google and/or other data miners.
The time to Sanitize your Internet Presence is before “the horses have left the barn”. Actions have consequences, even if you are too young or naive to understand how they can be used and corrupted.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Side Notes

Even More Things Your Burglar Won't Tell You; Courtesy of the LAPD West Valley
15. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

16. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

17. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again... If he doesn’t hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.

18. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

19. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

20. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Face book page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.

Today in American History

1805 U.S. Marines attack and capture the town of Derna in Tripoli (Libya) from the Barbary pirates.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today in American History

1972 Apollo 16 astronauts explore the Moon's surface

Friday, April 22, 2011

Today in American History

1861 Robert E. Lee named commander of Virginia Confederate forces

Side Notes

More Things Your Burglar Won't Tell You
Courtesy of LAPD West Valley
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. I always check the freezer – and not for food!

12. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

13. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

14. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television.

What’s out there?

The answer to that is partially determined by your location. Events like Hurricanes, snow/ice storms, earthquakes and wildfires may affect you to varying degrees, however most daily emergencies are universal.
What’s that mean?
As a reminder, FEMA lists three types of situations that you and your family should be prepared to handle. They are Natural Hazards, Technological hazards and Terrorism.
This is a good starting point for a personal preparedness plan. Think of the things that can and will most likely effect your specific area. Weather phenomena can be rather isolated; South Florida is unlikely to experience a snowstorm, conversely, Montana is not going to be hit by a hurricane. However, they both have Natural Hazards that can spring up rather quickly: fire and flood are two that both locations have experienced.
Technological hazards are listed as Hazardous Materials Incidents & Nuclear Power Plants. I would like to address the Nuclear Power Plants first. As an example, Florida has three commercial Power plants consisting of five (5) reactors as well as at least one military base with a reactor. That does not count any naval vessels in port, patrolling the area, or being built/decommissioned that utilize reactors for power. All of these, when added together greatly increase the risk of accidental radiological exposure. Therefore; if you live near a military base or deep water port, than you should prepare accordingly.
The Hazardous Materials Incidents (HMI) is a much murkier topic. Every day there are occurrences of HMI. Think of a freeway accident where a truck loses its load, or spills its diesel fuel all over the road. These seem small and have become so frequent that, beyond the impact on traffic, they almost go unnoticed.
I have preformed risk management services for Hospitals, Surgery Centers and other health care facilities for several years. As part of a facility assessment, we have to try to determine the nature and types of hazards that the location can and will be experience. The reason for that is that the people in the facilities are not readily and easily relocated. Therefore, the buildings and grounds need to be hardened to protect against those potential exposures.
There is no way to determine exactly what items are being transported on the highways and byways of your community, but chemicals, corrosives and aerosol toxins are routinely transported through your neighborhood. Think heating oil, propane delivery and fertilizers/pesticide services.
Add to that railroads, natural gas/fuel delivery lines, sewer pipes, laboratories, factories, etc. and you can see the list grows exponentially.
Last on the list is Terrorism. The use of this term has become so broad that it can be applied to the acts on 9/11 as well as vandalism of government buildings. The problem with a word that is used to describe “everything” is that it defines nothing. Terrorism is a method of coercion systematically used to achieve a (usually political) result. The methods employed to reach that goal is only limited by ones imagination.
Is bullying terrorism? In the simplest of terms, that’s exactly what it is; the use of fear, threats and intimidation to effect the actions of other people or groups. We can all agree that no one would consider a school yard bully a terrorist, but what if it was a neighborhood thug controlling a city block or an entire town. Think of the LA/Rodney King riots, street gangs, Northern Ireland, John "Ted" Kaczynski (the Unabomber) and the DC shooters and the Drug Cartels along the Southern Border. Needles to say, this also applies to governments; both the group in power and those who want to be in power.
Although these “emergencies” have vastly different causes, durations and effects, the preparations for each are rather similar and consist of a fair amount of overlap. All of the “Emergency Situations” discussed cause a disruption to our: security, shelter, food and daily activities. They all threaten similar basic necessities of life and while preparing for one is not being prepared for all, it is a good start.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Side Notes

More from LAPD West Valley with Day 2 of: "Things Your Burglar Won't Tell You"
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It’s raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door - understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

For additional tips: https://local.nixle.com/lapd---west-valley/

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Are you prepared …?

Realistically, you have already begun to prepare for some situations. If you live in some kind of dwelling, it may provide shelter as well as store your food, clothing and other items necessary to weather the proverbial storm.

The benefits of preparing versus not preparing are obvious. Access to: shelter, clothing, food, and water beats NOT having any of these. In addition to easing your mind, being prepared for at least minor issues, greatly reduces anxiety and uncertainty that accompanies the event. Rest assured that the need to prepare is real. In almost every region of the country, there are localized events that cause people to hunker down and ride out some unusual situation. Weather like snow, rain, tornados and floods have been ravaging the Northeast and Midwest. Heat, drought and wildfires have affected the Southwest, West and Deep South. These pop up and are usually rather isolated. That does not mean that they are not devastating, rather that they intense, rapidly changing, short duration events effecting a few to tens of thousands of people.

You should know the types of things that affect your area and begin preparing for those disasters. Being able to sustain yourself and family for 72 hours (three days), without needing any outside assistance, will usually cover all the situations that you will face.

The time to act is now! Get it, before you need it.

Stay tuned and use this as a guide to getting it Dunn Wright.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Identifying Hazards in daily life:

FEMA categorizes the hazards that we face on a daily basis in three groups: Natural Hazards, Technological Hazards, and Terrorism. These broad brush descriptions hide the diversity of threats to personal and professional life.
It is important to prepare for a disruption in the daily routine of you and your families lives. Knowing the potential risks is the key to rational and effective preparation. Most of these dangers hide in plain sight. We see them daily and therefore take them for granted.
If you live or work within two miles of any of the following, you have a greatly increased chance risk that some disaster will affect you and the family.
Interstate Highway, Railroad tracks, Ocean/Lake, Dam, River, Factory, Mountain, Forest, Power plant, Port/Harbor, Hospital, Jail/Prison, Government Facilities, Military base, International Border, and the list goes on.
Unfortunately, that describes well over 90% of the American population and probably includes you. Don’t see the issue or agree that the risks are present? Just stay tuned.

Side Notes

1.     Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, selling magazine subscriptions or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. Hey your car parked in the driveway - I will use the garage door opener in your car, it activates the garage door – even when the car ignition is off. So you may want to turn your garage door opener (power) off from inside the garage when your home.