We start with breaking election news: the Arizona race to replace retiring Senator Jeff Flake is over. Democrat Kysten Sinema emerged the winner and will join Senator Jon Kyl in January. The races in Georgia and Florida remain undecided. More news of the day: another overseas trip, another shameful experience. Mr. Donald Trump traveled to France, to join his European counterparts in commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. This was not supposed to be any kind of serious high-level, top secret meeting of leaders. Go to a military cemetery, make a speech, lay a wreath. Not too angst inducing, right? Yet the president managed embarrass himself and the United States once again. First, claiming the helicopter Marine One could not take off in the rain (not true) and not wanting to create a motorcade-induced traffic jam, Mr. Trump skipped the cemetery visit on Saturday, only to get dragged by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Then French President Emmanuel Macron took an indirect swipe at the president's self-proclaimed nationalism during a speech following a wreath laying ceremony. Finally, something good. Major respect to Pete Davidson and Rep.-elect Dan Crenshaw. The former Navy SEAL went on Saturday Night Live to accept an apology from Mr. Davidson, after he made fun of Mr. Crenshaw about losing his eye after an IED explosion in 2012. Mr. Crenshaw was gracious and Mr. Davidson was big enough his failings. Onward.
The disastrous fires currently burning in Calfornia are a good time to take a look at disaster recovery of historic properties. As of writing, the Paramount Ranch, the Peter Strauss Ranch, and the Sepulveda Adobe were destroyed in the Woolsey Fire torching Malibu. Although these properties may never fully recovered, natural and man-made disasters are unique challenge for historic properties. Fortunately, our friends at the National Trust for Historic Preservation continue to work with communities in affected area to address the disaster relief and mitigation.
The NTHP is taking long-term steps to address areas affected by fire and hurricanes at the local, state, and federal level--advocating for general relief funding--the good news for residents of areas affected by the Woolsey Fire is that there are resources available to you, right now, that can help you rebuild quickly and efficiently in order to mitigate property damage.
It goes without saying, the key recovery is preparedness. Being prepared for any natural and man-made disaster can help reduce the damage done to historic properties and provide peace of mind (forum.savingplaces.org; date accessed Nov. 12, 2018).
Here are some good tips from our friends at the National Trust for Historic Preservation to protect your home from natural disaster:
Inspect the roof for problems with:
Backed drains, gutters, or spouts
Inadequately secured equipment, including solar panels (Ibid; Jan. 17, 2018)
Relocate outdoor equipment and furniture indoors (if you can) and anchor outdoor structures, like your tool shed.
Inspect all windows and doors for broken panes, loose hinges, weak hardware, and make all necessary repairs.
If there is heavy rain in the forecast, obtain sandbags. This will be necessary in the affected burn areas in he winter time. Make sure you place them vulnerable building locations.
Fill your emergency generator and fire pump tanks. Fill above ground tanks to capacity with chemical product or water to prevent damage.
Back up all your data and protect your important documents.
Regularly inspect your fire suppression equipment--extinguishers and valves--to be sure they are in good working condition.
Assemble the following for your emergency kit:
Flashlights and extra batteries
Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
A portable charger for your devices
Lumber and nails
Emergency contact information
Hand tools like shovels, mops, axes, squeegees, paper towels, hammer, screwdrivers, and pliers (Ibid).
Here are some resources available to you when disaster strikes:
National Heritage Responders email@example.com
Also available on iTunes and Playstore
Disaster Loan Assistance disasterloan.sba.gov
Disaster Assistance Improvement Program disasterassistance.gov
For general information in your community, please visit the FEMA website or download the app. Historic homeowners can download the National Center for Preservation Technolgy and Training's handy guide to protecting your property at ncptt.nps.gov.
Fans and followers in the Malibu area, stay safe.