Posted on January 16th, 2015

​In a regional emergency such as an earthquake, our communications systems—cell phones, land lines, and Internet— likely will fail. If it's a big earthquake, communications and power could be out for 10 days or more.  As we survey our homes and neighborhood for casualties and damage, how can we communicate with members of our neighborhood disaster response team? 
FRS (Family Radio Service) radios, which are small, portable hand-held devices that function similar to walkie-talkies, work well for short range communication.  Although they have limited range, as an addition to dispatching runners, skateboarders, and bicyclists with handwritten notes, hand-held two-way radios may help and are an important part of your family’s disaster preparedness kit. Anyone who uses a mobile phone can, with a little training and practice (and fresh batteries), become a good FRS radio communicator.  
Westside Village Homeowners Association is planning a training session to show you how to use your FRS radio and we’ll practice our skills in a simulated emergency drill.  We’ll walk through the neighborhood with our radios to test their range. We’ll discover where we have transmission problems and where our radios work the best so we can plan accordingly.

Please purchase FRS radios and batteries for your family’s earthquake kit and bring them to our Emergency Communications Training:

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 10:00am to noon
Meet near the flagpole in front of Palms Middle School
10860 Woodbine Street, between Kelton and Glendon
Buying your FRS radio
You can buy handheld radios at most hardware and sporting goods stores, disaster suppliers, and general merchandise stores, as well as online.  Both Motorola and Midland have a selection of moderately-priced models, as do several other brands.
NOTE:  FRS radio operators don’t require a license but users of similar, more powerful, GMRS two-way radios must have an FCC (Federal Communications Commission)-issued license.  Be aware of the distinction when you buy your radios. Some devices are marketed as "FRS/GMRS" or "dual-service devices" but, if you operate such a radio exclusively under FRS rules, you don’t need a license.

Posted on December 2nd, 2014

​Santa will be coming to the
Palms Neighborhoods on
Tuesday December 2, 2014

Santa Stops:
2:00 PM- 3724 Cardiff Ave (Niko’s Pre-School)
3:00 PM- 3535 Overland Ave
                 (Golden Manor Independent Living Home)
5:00 PM- N/W Corner of Vinton Ave, behind the Fire                  Station #43
(Evening of Community Neighborhood Watch)
5:45 PM- Clover Elementary School
                 (Westside Village Neighborhood Watch)
6:45 PM- 3500 Greenfield Ave

These Stop Times can vary 15 to 30 minutes.
Please listen for sirens, music and flashing police lights. We are loud! Tell your neighbors so no one is alarmed.
What will appear?   Santa on an LAPD Sleigh!
Santa will stop for pictures. Bring your camera.
(The Sleigh will not be out if it is raining!)

Additional information call your Senior Lead Officer or
Pacific Community Relations Office at (310) 202-4524

Posted on October 8th, 2014

For those who attended the 5-step preparedness meeting last night, and those who signed up but couldn’t make it:
More than 35 of Westside Village’s community leaders, including Neighborhood Watch block captains, CERT-trained residents, Westside Village Homeowners Association Board members, and concerned neighbors learned how to implement a simple 5-step plan to organize preparedness teams on their blocks. Keith Harrison, whose career spans over 25 years of disaster planning and response on the national, state, and local levels, showed us a short film about the planning process, and answered our questions about how to implement it in Westside Village.  Larry Bogatz, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Battalion 18 Coordinator, discussed how, once we’ve organized our teams, we can get further free training from the Fire Department through the CERT course or, in smaller doses, through NTP (the Neighborhood Team Program).  By the close of the session, several groups of neighbors already began planning for organizational meetings on their blocks.
Please don’t let this knowledge “sit in the drawer” as Larry Bogatz said last night; put it to work right away.  Below is information you can use to implement disaster organization on your block:  has everything you need to host a planning meeting on your block, including a link to the video we watched last night, an invitation template, a script for you to use at your organizational meeting, a sample disaster plan, and a template for you to create a plan for your block.   to register your cell phone number, Voice over IP phone number, and e-mail address with the Alert LA County Emergency Mass Notification System.  was mentioned as the most comprehensive resource for disaster preparedness information. and for free preparedness training.  The next CERT training will be each Tuesday for 7 weeks starting 1/6/15, from 6:30-9:00 p.m. The address of the fire station is 11505 W. Olympic Blvd. If you want to be on the list for that session, contact CERT Battalion 18 Coordinator Larry Bogatz at   This is a great way to connect with your neighbors and your disaster preparedness team, at.  If you haven’t done so already, sign up and invite everyone on your block and all your friends in Westside Village to do so, as well.  The more people participate, the more effective it is as a communication tool. Westside Village Homeowners Association website for news and information about what’s happening in Westside Village.
Please let me and the Westside Village Homeowners Association Board know what we can do to assist you in your neighborhood preparedness efforts.


Posted on September 12th, 2014

On August 21, 2014, Westside Village residents, disaster planning specialists, vendors, public utility workers, and government representatives gathered in Fellowship Hall of St. John’s Presbyterian Church for the Westside Village Disaster Preparedness Fair sponsored by the Westside Village Homeowners Association.

In early August, all Westside Village homes received a special Homeowners Association newsletter devoted entirely to disaster readiness. To further promote the Preparedness Fair, a mass email campaign and creative yard signs drew the eyes of Westside Village residents and non-residents alike. When the night of the event arrived, approximately 140 neighbors filled the hall.

On that night, both before and after the main program, attendees drifted past tables staffed by disaster preparedness vendors including SOS Survival Products of Van Nuys, Safe N Ready of Pasadena, and a Culver City military surplus store simply called The Surplus Store. The Department of Water & Power set up a downed power line display which was a real crowd pleaser! Additional public agency participation included the L.A. County Department of Public Health, the L.A. Emergency Management Department, and CERT/NTP (Community Emergency Response Team/Neighborhood Team Program) under the auspices of the LA Fire Department.
Program speakers included individuals from varying backgrounds with common ties to disaster preparedness.
  • David Graue, co-captain of the Westside Village Neighborhood Watch, encouraged residents to join as an additional way to connect and communicate with neighbors in times of disaster and otherwise.
  • John Darnell, field deputy for Councilmember Paul Koretz, spoke of the importance of disaster preparedness in the community. John is an active CERT member whose duties for the Councilmember include disaster preparedness issues.
  • CERT Battalion 18 Coordinator Larry Bogatz explained the Community Emergency Response Team training program and its importance, and encouraged participation. He also presented the Neighborhood Team Program which allows residents—CERT trained and not—to work together on teams at the local level. Several veteran members of CERT/NTP joined Larry at the event sporting their CERT colors and gear. By the conclusion of the evening, at least 30 attendees signed up to learn more about CERT training, and more indicated interest in the Neighborhood Team Program.
  • The final speaker, Keith Harrison from the City’s Emergency Management Department, presented the “5 Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness Plan” that is aggressively rolling out around the city. Many attendees also signed up to participate in Westside Village’s disaster preparedness efforts.
Just a few days after the Westside Village Preparedness Fair, a major quake hit Northern California, which further underscores the urgency of preparedness. We must act NOW to be ready when the Big One strikes here!

To follow up on the Preparedness Fair, the Westside Village Homeowners Association Board is planning the next phase of disaster readiness for our community. Keith Harrison will be back to help us kick off Westside Village’s “5 Step to Neighborhood Preparedness Plan”. To learn how to organize a preparedness team on your block, join us on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 from 7:00-8:30p.m. at the Palms-Rancho Branch of the LA City Library, at National Blvd. and Overland Ave. (Free parking.) Seating is limited. RSVP to:

​When disaster strikes, our first responders such as police, firefighters, and ambulances will be overwhelmed and we’ll need to rely on ourselves and our neighbors. PLEASE COME!

Posted on May 5th, 2014

By Brian Considine, President of the WVHA

I am pleased to write to you just before our Annual Meeting, which will be held at St. John’s Church, as usual on Thursday, March 13. We will have refreshments at 6:00 and start our meeting at 6:30. I’d like to take this opportunity once again to express our sincere gratitute to Rev. Craig and the community at St. John’s for their ongoing generosity and welcome to us at the Church. We are very fortunate to be able to hold our events at such a beautiful place that is at the heart of our community.

2013 has seen some changes to the makeup of the Board of the WVHA. This Fall we bid farewell to two very important Board members: Andy Commins, who took responsibility for almost all of the arrangements for the Fall Festivals for a number of years as well as serving as the photographer for both the Festivals and the Annual Meetings. Andy was a tireless Board member who did far more than his share of the heavy lifting for years. We also said good-bye to Joyce Purcell who served as the Board’s Treasurer for several years. Joyce was a librarian and those skills served us well indeed as Joyce was an ace researcher in addition to being a precise treasurer. We will miss Joyce with her dry sense of humor and Andy, whose sense of humor was more up front. While we won’t see too much of Joyce as she has moved to San Diego, Andy is still a Westside Village resident, so we will see him.

The Bylaws of the WVHA (http://www.westsidevillage. org/bylaws.htm) call for a Board of fourteen members. We currently have only eleven, so we are in serious need or recruiting three additional Board members. We have serious challenges facing us, such as the
proposed JMB expansion of Century City which would multiply the complex several times and have a significant impact on traffic from the ocean to downtown. Last year we rallied in collaboration with other neighborhood associations to limit the size of the Casden project at Pico and Sepulveda. And we were successful in that endeavor. There remains a lot to do and many of us on the Board have served for more than ten years. It is time to bring in new ideas and new energy so that we can continue the important work of protecting our neighborhood from rampant development.

The Board meets approximately ten times/year for two hours and we host two events each year. The neighborhood needs your help, so if you are interested, please email me at

Westside Village Homeowners Association

We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization was founded in 1961. Our annual membership dues are nominal and help support a dedicated group of volunteers who give members a wide range of benefits including preservation & improvement of property values, participation in government and developer meetings, public improvements, contact with elected officials and government agencies, promotion of health and safety measures, Neighborhood Watch programs, publication and distribution of the WVHA newsletters and planning of the Westside Village Fall Festival.
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