Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 15, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:2




Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 15, 2018 

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown



 It’s the middle of the night. 

 The authorities just notified you that you have 20 minutes 
to evacuate your home before a raging wildfire cuts off 
the exit from your neighborhood, leaving you trapped. 
The fire is advancing at the rate of a football field every 
second, so the actions you take in the next few moments will 
determine whether you and your family can get to safety or not. 
While this may sound like a scene from a blockbuster 
disaster movie, it’s the very scenario faced by many 
California families recently. And it’s a possibility we should 
all be ready to face.

Be ready to go

 I’ve always believed the responsibility for protecting 
my family lies squarely with me. I may not be able to 
count on, or in the worst of circumstances even hope for, 
outside help. If I can’t shelter in place and protect my family, 
evacuation is my Plan B. And as the recent wildfires should 
remind us all, when you have mere minutes to evacuate, 
you won’t have time to think about what you should 
bring with you to survive the days—or weeks—to come. 
To be optimally prepared, have a “go-bag” on-hand 
packed with the essential items needed to survive for AT 
LEAST three days following a disaster. While numerous 
online retailers sell fully equipped go-bags for such 
emergencies, and both FEMA and the American Red Cross 
provide checklists to help you pack your own, I’m providing 
a basic summary of the most-recommended supplies here. 

 1) ID and other essential documents: Bring copies of 
your passport, driver’s license, and/or state ID card and store 
them in a sealed Ziplock bag. Other documents to consider 
packing include the deed to your home, vehicle titles/
registration, printed maps, and a recent family photo with 
faces clearly visible for easy identification.

 2) Cash: Carry at least $250 in relatively small bills and 
keep it with your ID in a waterproof bag.

 3) Shelter: A lightweight tent, along with mylar emergency 
blankets can help keep you warm and dry no matter where 
you must spend the night.

 4) Water and filter: One gallon of water per person per 
day is a good estimate of needs. Bring as much bottled water 
as possible, but also include a water purification straw and/
or purification tablets, along with a steel container to boil 
water in.

 5) A multi-tool: These modern-day cousins to the Swiss 
Army knife come with a wide array of essential tools, from a 
knife and screwdriver to tweezers and a can opener.

 6) First-aid kit and prescription medications: Whether 
you buy one ready-made or pack your own, the likelihood 
of injury skyrockets in the wake disasters, so not having a 
first-aid kit can make a bad situation worse. And don’t 
forget to include prescription medications and other life-
sustaining medical supplies if needed.

 7) Light: Flashlights with extra batteries are great, but 
headlamps are even better because they’re ultra-compact 
and leave your hands free.

 8) Fire: Fire can keep you warm, purify water, and cook 
food. I keep a plasma lighter, waterproof matches, a small 
portable stove, fuel and tinder in my personal go-bag.

 9) Solar-powered emergency radio and cellphone 
charger: Without power, you’ll need a way to stay in touch 
with the outside world. Today you can find devices that 
include a combination radio, cell-phone charger, and 
flashlight all in one, with the extra option of hand-cranked 
power to keep things charged even in the dark.

 10) Sanitary items: Pack toilet paper, baby wipes, hand 
sanitizer, soap, as well as tampons and/or pads if needed.

 11) Clothes: You only need enough clothes to keep you 
warm and comfortable for a few days, so don’t try to bring 
your entire wardrobe. Stick to essentials like underwear, 
socks, extra shoes, a jacket, a poncho, a hat, and gloves. 

 12) Food: Focus on high-protein, high-caloric foods 
that will give you the energy you need to live and get 
from point A to point B. The most recommended options 
include, energy bars, MREs (Meals-Ready-to-Eat), 
freeze-dried survival food, and meal-replacement shakes. 

Stay totally safe and secure

 While go-bags are a critical part of helping your 
family survive the immediate aftermath of a natural 
disaster or other emergency, they’re just a start. For 
instance, this list doesn’t address any of your precious 
sentimental items, such as photos, old love letters, and 
treasured cards from the past. Nor does it mention 
estate planning documents or insurance policies. 
Copies of your insurance policies and estate planning 
documents should be uploaded to the cloud and stored 
online. You should also store sentimentals, like family 
histories and photos online, so you don’t have to worry about 
packing any of that in the event of a natural disaster. Indeed, 
safely storing your sentimentals online is so important, we 
are constantly innovating ways to help our clients do more 
of this. 

 Of course, to keep your family totally safe and secure, 
you’ll need to make sure you have the right insurance 
coverage and necessary legal documents in place to cover 
possible emergency contingencies. Contact us if you have 
questions about what you need or how we can support you.

 Dedicated to empowering your family, building your 
wealth and defining your legacy,


A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a mission to 
help parents protect what they love most. His office is located 
at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Schedule 
an appointment to sit down and talk about ensuring a 
legacy of love and financial security for your family by 
calling 626.355.4000 or visit for more 

Educated: A Memoir by Tara 

An unforgettable memoir about a 
young girl who, kept out of school, 
leaves her survivalist family and goes 
on to earn a PhD from Cambridge 
University.“Beautiful and propulsive 
. . . Despite the singularity of [Tara 
Westover’s] childhood, the questions 
her book poses are universal: How 
much of ourselves should we give to 
those we love? And how much must 
we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue 
Born to survivalists in the mountains 
of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen 
the first time she set foot in a classroom. 
Her family was so isolated from 
mainstream society that there was no 
one to ensure the children received 
an education, and no one to intervene 
when one of Tara’s older brothers 
became violent. When another brother 
got himself into college, Tara decided 
to try a new kind of life. Her quest for 
knowledge transformed her, taking her 
over oceans and across continents, to 
Harvard and to Cambridge University. 
Only then would she wonder if she’d 
traveled too far, if there was still a way 

The Great Alone by Kristin 

 Alaska, 1974. Unpredictable. 
Unforgiving. Untamed. For a family 
in crisis, the ultimate test of survival. 
Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes 
home from the Vietnam war a changed 
and volatile man. When he loses yet 
another job, he makes an impulsive decision: 
he will move his family north, to Alaska, where 
they will live off the grid in America’s last true 
frontier. Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of 
age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide 
of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, 
dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better 
future for her family. She is desperate for a place 
to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and 
go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means 
following him into the unknown. At first, Alaska 
seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, 
remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely 
independent community of strong men and even 
stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the 
generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ 
lack of preparation and dwindling resources. But 
as winter approaches and darkness descends on 
Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state 
deteriorates and the family begins to 
fracture. Soon the perils outside pale 
in comparison to threats from within. 
In their small cabin, covered in snow, 
blanketed in 18 hours of night, Leni 
and her mother learn the terrible truth: 
they are on their own. In the wild, there 
is no one to save them but themselves. 
In this unforgettable portrait of 
human frailty and resilience, the book 
reveals the indomitable character of 
the modern American pioneer and the 
spirit of a vanishing Alaska--
a place 
of incomparable beauty and danger. 
The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, 
stay-up-all-night story about love and 
loss, the fight for survival, and the 
wildness that lives in both man and 

A Good Man, a Great Dad 
and a Loving Husband: Every 
Man’s Guide to a Brilliant Life by 
Bradley Brown

 “In this book you will find common-
sense approaches to help you to be a 
good man, a great dad and a loving 
husband. I have invested 55 years 
into researching this book. Like any 
good scientist, trial and error have 
played a major part in my findings. 
Wisdom is about learning from what 
we have done or what others before 
us have experienced and evolving as 
a result.” Brad Brown.’ Over the years 
I’ve had the privilege of interviewing 
thousands of business people, leaders, 
visionaries and entrepreneurs. Bradley 
has always been someone who has 
stood out for me as a genuine, caring 
person who is grounded in reality, and achieving 
extraordinary results as a consequence. Widely 
recognized as a pioneer and innovator when it 
comes to human resource management and leading 
organizational change, Bradley has achieved 
results in his professional life that many others 
only will ever dream about. He has led numerous 
companies within various industries over the 
past three decades to have phenomenal increases 
in revenue, profit and staff numbers, while 
simultaneously transforming their workplace 
cultures. I wholeheartedly recommend this book 
for anyone intent on pursuing their passion both 
professionally and personally, and learning how 
to lead a brilliant life, even if it’s against all odds.’ 
Lee Woodward CEO, Real Estate Academy. Look 
for the hardback on down on 
Amazon to find it. All reviews are from Amazon.

All Things By Jeff Brown


 “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . 
The man who never reads lives only one.” 

– George R.R. Martin

 “So many books, so little time.”– Frank Zappa

 “A room without books is like a body without a 
soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

 “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy 
conscience: this is the ideal life.” – Mark Twain

 “A great book should leave you with many 
experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You 
live several lives while reading.” – William Styron

 “Books are my friends, my companions. They 
make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life.” 

- Christopher Paolini, Eragon

 “In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious 
way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained 
in all the books through your skin, without even 
opening them.” - Mark Twain

 “I read a book one day and my whole life was 
changed.” – Orhan Pamuk



The holidays can be an intense 
time with extra parties, 
errands, and visits with people 
we don’t see often. It can be 
overwhelming. Conversely, 
a lack of these extra events/
merriment can bring its own 
set of emotions. During this 
time, it’s best to figure out 
how to dial down the intensity 
and stay centered. Yoga is the 
perfect remedy. 

 I’m happy to share a few essential holiday yoga poses:

 For energy, try Utkatasana, or chair pose. On the 
inhalation, bring the arms in line with the ears. On the 
exhalation, bend knees and sit in a chair that’s not there. 
Don’t go too deep, and try to keep the chin tucked in but 
eyes lifted up straight ahead. Stay in the pose for just the 
inhale and exhale, release, unbend knees, come to stand. 
Try a few more times dynamically and then hold the pose, 
breathing steadily.

 For grounding and balance, try Prasarita Padottanasana. 
It’s a wide-leg forward fold. Step the feet about 3 1/2 - 4 
feet apart and have the feet point straight ahead. On the 
exhalation, soften knees slightly and fold over between your 
legs. Take several steady breaths here. Try to draw shoulder 
blades together on your back to not over-round the back. 
Release the neck too, then release from the pose entirely 
after 8 breaths or so.

 For centering, try Supta Matsyendrasana, a simple 
supine twist. Come to lie on your back and draw knees to 
chest. With knees to chest, roll over completely to one side 
(fetal position). Then, open up the top arm and look toward 
the arm that is outstretched. Hold steady for several breaths. 
Make sure to do both sides. For added centering, add a 
little abdominal work such as a low boat pose or something 

 For digestion and to ease tension in the lower back, try 
Apanasana. Lie on your back and draw knees to chest. Stay 
for several breaths and feel free to move a little to massage 
the lower back.

 In whatever you do, remember to BREATHE. It’s the 
connection — the gateway— between inside and outside, 
body and mind, and mind and energy. Breathing with 
intention and steadiness will bring calm. Please don’t 
hesitate to reach out, or see current 
events at 


Keely Totten, Yoga & Meditation Teacher


Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual


December can be stressful. As parents, good 
friends, and partners we are tempted to overindulge. 
Sometimes we overeat, we spend too much money, 
or we talk too much. Some of you hate the holidays 
because you feel pressure. What causes you to feel 
pressured? Are you concerned about having an 
awkward conversation at a holiday meal?

 Do you worry about overextending yourself 
purchasing extravagant gifts? Are you concerned 
about putting on another five pounds? 

 I invite you to return to your mindfulness practice. 
Rather than getting caught in an endless cycle of 
spending and consuming, stop. Decide who you want 
to be this holiday season and how you will interact 
with your family and friends.

 It is an excellent time to remember your power 
of making an advanced decision. It's time to flip the 
script. Decide how you want to feel this holiday season 
and what kind of memories you want to create.

 Your lover may not remember the noise canceling 
headphones that you charged on your credit card, 
but I suspect they will love if you made a picnic on 
the living room floor with all of their favorite snacks. 
Considering creating a unique activity for your loved 
ones instead of buying another object to toss in the 
closet. Make pancakes and let your kids add the 
berries or chocolate chips. Think of activities that you 
love and would love to share. 

 It's fun to fellowship around the table, but it doesn't 
feel great to overeat. This year try letting everyone else 
go first in serving themselves. Take time to inquire 
about your dinner companions and what's new with 
them. Decide now not to take offense at anyone's 
comments or conversations, give the gift of giving your 
dinner mates the benefit of the doubt. Decide now 
that you won't take anything personally. Deliberately 
slow down while you eat. Put your fork down between 
bites and chew your food thoroughly. Make a goal of 
creating a connection and helping your fellow diners 
feel seen and heard. This holiday season make it your 
goal to create a great memory.


 Lori A. Harris is an author, speaker, and coach. She 
loves helping people live extraordinary lives. She offers 
individual and group coaching programs at www.

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