Podcast Episode 61: Be You Nehru

April 23rd, 2019

 

In this episode we talk with our new Cal OES Deputy Coastal Region Administrator Nehru Harper. Nehru has always led a life of service--from being a Brownie, to becoming one the first of many women to serve onboard a Pentagon sanctioned vessel in the United States Navy, to advocating for disabled veterans, and working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (both in Boston and Oakland). Service has always been her calling. She moved to California in 2011 and fell in love with the State.

 

This lead to employment with the US Census Bureau, Defense Contracting and Management Agency, Veterans Benefits Administration and back to the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of Oakland in 2017 as part of FEMA’s Individual Assistance team. Nehru became all too familiar with the disasters that can and could plague FEMA IX. She began working very closely with Cal OES during the 2017 California fires as the FEMA Human Services Group Supervisor, worked in American Samoa for a housing mission in Saipan, and also worked in Hawaii to assist with the impacts of the volcanic eruptions, flooding, and earthquakes.

 

She is active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Women in the Arts, the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Grammys. Outside of professional interests, Nehru travels widely, reads, and writes poetry, auditions for voice-overs, dee-jays, and helps addicts and alcoholics find recovery. She shares a home in the Sacramento with her partner, Maya.

Mentions and Links

While in the US Navy, she was one of the first women assigned to her ship, AS-39 USS Emory S. Land

Her supervisor is Jodi Traversaro (podcast episode Facing Disasters In California’s Coastal Region)

Coastal Region 

FEMA Region IX 

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs 

If you are a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with their caring, qualified responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves.

Call 800-273-8255 and press 1

Text 838255

Start a confidential chat

Call TTY if you have hearing loss 800-799-4889

Get more resources at VeteransCrisisLine.net

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Podcast #58: First Chat with New Cal OES Fire Chief Brian Marshall

February 19th, 2019

Photo of Fire Chief Brian Marshall

February 4, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Director Mark Ghilarducci officially swore in Brian Marshall as the new Fire and Rescue Chief. He was appointed to his new position in December.

Chief Marshall spent the previous six years as the fire chief and director of emergency services at the Kern County Fire Department. He served in several positions with the Kern County Fire Department since 1987, including interim fire chief and director of emergency services, deputy fire chief, fire battalion chief, fire captain, fire engineer and firefighter. He is also a member of FIRESCOPE and oversaw numerous disasters throughout central California, including the Erskine Fire in 2016.

Chief Marshall will be replacing Kim Zagaris, who announced his retirement in 2018. Zagaris was appointed as the Fire and Rescue Chief on April 1, 2001.

Prior to his appointment, Chief Zagaris was the Assistant Fire Chief for Cal OES with assignments in Region I, II, III, IV and V since 1987. He started his career as a Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) seasonal firefighter in 1977 and promoted through the ranks of the local, state and federal fire agencies to the State Fire and Rescue Chief. His extensive background in fire service, emergency management, and homeland security included working with local, state, federal and international agencies over the last 40 years.

Upon learning of his appointment, Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall said "I’m going to miss Kern County, working with the citizens and working for the citizens of Kern County.”

He will focus on preventing statewide emergencies in his new position. He has worked in the department since 1987, nearly 32 years. “It’s not been 32 years, it’s been a lifetime," he said. “I want to go to Sacramento and protect the state," he said. "I am just so excited about the opportunities that exist in Sacramento right now for me and my family. It’s exciting and scary at the same time.”

Links

Marshall Sworn in as New Cal OES Fire Chief

VIDEO: Cal OES Director Gets First-Hand Look at Erskine Fire in Kern County

RAW VIDEO: Erskine Fire Burns Through Communities Near Lake Isabella

Erskine Fire Podcasts

The Erskine Fire: Beyond the Lines

Sobering Aerial View of Erskine Wildfire Destruction in Kern County

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Heat Wave is Coming to California - How Bad is It? Where at the Hottest Spots? What Can You Do?

July 24th, 2018

 

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EPISIDE 49 of Cal OES All Hazards Podcast

July 24, 2018

California will be blasted with heat advisories and excessive heat warnings as temperatures will be between 10 to 15 degrees above normal Tuesday through Thursday. Why is that so dangerous, and what do you need to know to stay cool and safe? In this Cal OES news update, we get answers from the National Weather Service.

Public information officer Bryan May interviews National Weather Service science and operations officer and meteorologist Kris Mattarochia. They discuss the incredibly hot weather rolling into California. How this weather can put a stress on the energy grid and what you can do to releave the stress on the energy grid with some simple steps.

 

 

 

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Cal OES PIOs Talk Disaster Experience, Relationships and More in Team Chat

January 31st, 2017

 What does a typical day on the job look like for Cal OES public information officer? Well, the answer to that is – there is no typical day. One thing you can count on is that it’s likely there won’t be a press release in draft mode; only for special occasions are press releases written. More often than not, our PIOs are busy creating more engaging forms of communication, from short and longer form videos, to daily blogs to podcasts and social media. Our PIOs also get their hands dirty to get the public and stakeholders the information they need in a more interesting way. They travel by 4-wheel drive, Snow Cat, helicopter and any other mode of transportation to take you to the story and the story makers, and give you the best access for the best perspective. It’s all about transparency and proof of performance and readiness for the tax dollars invested.

So, in this episode, three of our PIOs sit down to talk about what it’s like to be a few of the faces and voices for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Monica Vargas, Robb Mayberry and Jon Gudel have all been involved in a wide range of missions and assignments for Cal OES and are here to share their stories, lessons and tips, all valuable information whether you’re a PIO or not.

Links

http://www.oesnews.com/

http://caloes.ca.gov/Cal-OES-Divisions/News-Media

https://www.youtube.com/user/CalEMATV

https://www.flickr.com/photos/calemaphotos/

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Keeping the Deck “STAC-ed” Against Threats in California

December 13th, 2016

 

 

This episode brings us to the topic of homeland security in California. The State Threat Assessment System (STAS) describes its mission as Protecting society through shared information and communication. It fosters a collaborative effort to enhance the reporting, tracking, analysis, and assessment of criminal threat information and suspicious activity, produces and shares timely and actionable homeland security information, and enhances the safety of the citizens of California, while rigorously protecting their privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

We sit down with Maria Gomez, who is a strategic analyst team manager with the STAC, the State Threat Assessment Center, which is part of the STAS.

STAC
http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/state-threat-assessment-center

STAS
https://calstas.org/default.aspx/MenuItemID/168/MenuGroup/CALSTAS+Home.htm

Fusion Centers
https://www.dhs.gov/fusion-center-success-stories

 

 

 

 

 

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Jerry Haleva: The Dude & The Dictator

May 31st, 2016

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Jerry was born Jerome Michael Haleva in May of 1946. He served as chief of staff for Senator Bill Campbell (namesake for the Cal OES HQ building) from 1975-1990.  But he’s more recognizable as an actor in his comedic roles as Saddam Hussein, especially due to his resemblance to the now deceased Iraqi dictator.  He says he’s a “rock star” among "Achievers," fans of the movie "The Big Lebowski," taking his place at the autograph table at annual Lebowski Fests alongside The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, as well as John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Julianne Moore and many other actors from the film. 

To date (May 2003) his every credited acting role has been that of Saddam Hussein. (Source: IMDB)
He is currently a contract lobbyist (Sergeant Major Associates) and lives in Sacramento, California. 






Filmography (Source: IMDB)
2002 Live from Baghdad (TV Movie) ; Saddam Hussein
2002 The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest; Hologram Saddam (as Jerry M. Haleva)
1998 Jane Austen's Mafia!; Saddam Hussein
1998 The Big Lebowski; Saddam Hussein
1993 Hot Shots! Part Deux; Saddam Hussein
1991 Hot Shots!; Saddam Hussein (as Jerry Halera)
2009 The Achievers: The Story of the Lebowski Fans (Documentary) Saddam Hussein / Himself

Links/Resources
http://sgtmaj.com/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0355062/
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