LABJ FORUM: Duck and Cover

Now that the bombs have started to fly in Iraq and the country has shifted to a heightened state of alert, many people are taking the issue of security at home more seriously. So with the long-anticipated military action now underway, the Business Journal asks:

Have you received any emergency training or taken any special emergency or security precautions?

William Kelly
Editor and Publisher
California Environment Report

No. We are vulnerable, and if a terrorist attack is going to happen, it's going to happen. I don't see that duct tape and plastic sheeting is going to do anything to protect me and my family. I have an earthquake kit with food and medicine, and it was updated a couple of months ago. I'm somewhat fatalistic about it. I think the probability of an attack is very low. If it does happen to me, it would probably be in a place where I wouldn't have my kit with me anyway.



Donald Kimball
Interim Chief Financial Officer
Newhall Land and Farming Co.

We have a fairly comprehensive emergency response team and procedures that have been in place since the Northridge quake, and we believe that it's adequate. We have a shipping container on site full of medical supplies, food and communication equipment. People have a responsibility to prepare for a terrorist attack, particularly because L.A. could be a target, but it shouldn't be overblown.



Douglas Erber
Executive Director
Japan America Society

Yes, we have. In the last few weeks, we've prepared a plan using the Red Cross Web site disaster preparedness guidelines. We purchased items that would allow us to sustain ourselves in the event of an emergency, whether it be earthquake or terrorist attack. Personally, I've had an awareness of that since second grade when we had to watch films about tsunamis and earthquakes and such. But we didn't buy any duct tape.



John Mazzaferro
Director of Corporate Marketing and Product Development
Canoga Perkins Corp.

We have. A large part of our clientele is the U.S. government. We work on many secure projects and a number of people here have security clearance. We're very aware of the developments in homeland security and are well versed in disaster preparedness. We have contingency and backup plans for everything. I don't know that it's regulated by law, but it's mandatory. They want to know that everything's going to come off securely. We're working in the battlefield in Qatar right now. Our products are used to extend high-speed circuits over fiber optic communications to bring back battlefield telemetry and enhance battlefield communications. We have more security concerns than run-of-the-mill companies.



Ahmed Enany
President
Southern California Biomedical Council

Not really. Obviously, you're supposed to take some precautions. But I think the duct tape and plastic sheeting is a bit overblown. But earthquakes, that is a real threat that's bound to happen any time and people should prepare for it at work at home. The probability of an average person getting hurt in a terrorist attack is much lower than getting hurt in your car on the freeway. We should be prepared, but our reaction should not be blown out of proportion.



Brad Levin
Vice President
Daum Commercial Real Estate

No. It's business as usual for me, and we'll see what happens. It's unfortunate that we need to have all this tight security, but I understand it has to be done and I'm glad to see that certain steps are taken for my safety. It's not in my backyard yet, so I guess I will rely on the security measures the government is providing.

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