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Lessons Learned from Hurricane Harvey – August 2017

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Lessons Learned from Hurricane Harvey – August 2017

Continuing with our speaker series from the Continuity & Resilience Today conference in Toronto (May 2018), we speak with Emergency Management subject matter expert and registered nurse, Dee Grimm who will talk about the Lessons Learned from Hurricane Harvey (August 2017). Harvey presented unique challenges as it created unprecedented numbers of evacuees and those left homeless. Even today there are over 30,000 displaced persons in shelters and hotels throughout the state. Additionally, the medical challenges of closed or evacuating healthcare facilities, the loss of community health support systems and home health services for these displaced individuals all had to be planned for. Dee with talk about how the State managed the sheltering and medical responses and about the “boots on the ground”. Valuable lessons learned will be discussed and Dee will provide insight into best practices for providing mass care sheltering and medical support during catastrophic events.



Flames of Resilience

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Flames of Resilience


Miracle Moment®

“We are made of star stuff.”  Carl Sagan

A Message from Cynthia Brian

It has been another devastating month of disasters. The senseless shootings in Las Vegas and the current calamitous fires blazing in California are reason enough for everyone to mourn.  We are all so saddened by these events that one friend of mine speculated that we will be suffering from post-traumatic stress.  I agree.

Our volunteers were busy packing boxes for Operation Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief, then, quickly added Hurricane Irma when that storm hit Florida, which then was multiplied to include Hurricane Maria. We changed the name to Operation Hurricanes Disaster Relief.

But on October 9th, the catastrophe hit home with the California fires burning in our backyards, literally. The majority of my family and relatives were evacuated in Napa, Sonoma, and Solano counties along with over 100,000 residents. Ten thousand firefighters and first responders from all over the United States, Canada, and even Australia arrived to battle the blazes in our glorious wine country. As I write this, the torching is not yet contained and the death toll has risen to 40 with several hundred people unaccounted for.  These wildfires are the deadliest in California history and have ravaged hundreds of thousands of acres destroying thousands of homes, businesses, and lives.

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Yet, Californians are strong. Californians are brave. Californians are resilient.

It is challenging to watch an apocalypse occur without feeling hopeless and helpless. As my teen volunteers and I dropped off boxes of new books, games, and other resources to shelters in the Northern California region, we witnessed communities coming together with grace and gratitude despite losing so much. We were emotionally and spiritually helped by helping others. Read what teen volunteer Zahra Hasanaian had to say about her experience below.

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Be the Star You Are!® will be participating in Operation Hurricane and Fire Disaster Relief for as long as is necessary to help those displaced. Our volunteers are personally delivering donations to Northern California shelters and we are shipping to the hurricane affected areas. If you want to donate to help in the relief efforts, your contribution is tax deductible and you will receive a receipt.


Checks can be sent to BTSYA, PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556 or on line through Paypal Giving Fund


More information about BTSYA Operation Disaster Relief Program for fires and hurricanes:: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-operation-hurricane-disaste

There are many organizations who will be assisting with the recovery. Whether you choose to donate to Be the Star You Are!® or to another source, know that you will feel good by doing what you can to aid those in need. Everyone wins with generosity,

To all those who have suffered, we send our love, our prayers, and our thoughts.  Life is precious. We will rebuild. We will rise up. We are one.

We are made of star stuff.

Blessings to all,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556




Tune in to StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® radio for insights and conversations on positivity, healing, and rebuilding Wednesdays 4-5pm PT LIVE on the Voice America Network, the Empowerment Channel. Be encouraged and inspired. https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

Photos, descriptions, links and more at http://www.StarStyleRadio.com.

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Express Yourself! Teens Aid Hurricane and Fire Displaced through Be the Star You Are!® Operation Disaster Relief

By Zahra Hasanian

When disaster strikes, it’s easy to send prayers, watch the news, or complain about how our world is becoming more and more dismal. It’s harder, but also much more rewarding, to send hope as well as concrete help.

This week, I drove to Napa and Solano counties with other Be the Star You Are volunteers and Voice America Radio personalities, Chelsea Pelchat and our Executive Director, Cynthia Brian, to deliver boxes of books to evacuation centers housing people who fled their homes after recent fires in Northern California. Those affected by the fire have been squatting in these centers for days without any source of entertainment. We figured that anyone, young or old, can always enjoy a good book.

Often, I think of myself as helpless against things as arbitrary and ruthless as natural disasters. But my attitude changed with every smile and thank you we received as we handed books to people in person. Sure, I had too much homework on Thursday night and too little time to do it. Yet, it’s important to realize that helping people who have lost everything is more important than a nightly assignment or any other daily task. We went to several different evacuation centers, and the kindness of the people at all the centers was astounding.

What I learned that day is that in the most dire of circumstances, our only source of hope is to help each other.  Hope heals.

Zahra Hasanian is a teen volunteer with Be the Star You Are!r charity and a host/reporter on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio broadcasting on the Voice America Kids Network Tuesdays at NOON PT. www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

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If you’d like to donate items through Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity to help fire victims, please contact Operation Disaster Relief co-chairperson, Zahra Hasanain at (925) 899-4634. We need the following items: masks, diapers, feminine hygiene products, tissues, wipes, sanitizer, towels, books, art supplies, and journals.  To make a financial donation, please visit http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org or send a check to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556.


Put Together an Emergency Supply Kit

Whether you are involved in an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, flood, fire, or other calamity it will behoove you to have an emergency supply kit in your vehicle and a larger one in your home. For your home, make sure you know where all of your important documents and other items are that you don’t want to lose. Sometimes, as was the case with these California fires, a matter of minutes was the difference between life and death. Make copies of your passport, driver’s license, credit cards, and have some small bills available. Know where your chargers are for phones, tablets, and computers. Back up your computers and keep files in the cloud or off site.

For your car, fill a backpack or small case with the following:

First Aid kit

Work gloves


Bottled water (1 gallon per person per day)


Walking shoes

Peanut butter


Protein bars

Personal hygiene kit with toothbrush, soap, medications



Flashlight with extra batteries

Eating utensils

Breathing masks (Niosh-N95)

Clothing change


Read the newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/b72526875f/288055965/bbd34d3431/Deivering books -car filled.jpg

Contact us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/

Thanks for supporting Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 


Simplicity and Journalism Converge

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Simplicity and Journalism Converge

2015-EY Banner @ 300dpi.jpgTeens talk and the world listens every Tuesday NOON PT on the Voice America Kids Network. Produced by StarStyle® Productions, LLC and Cynthia Brian, these young adults know how to rock and express their unique views. Join the fun!

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” —Leonardo Da Vinci

With so much “fake news” and social media posts, sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s really happening in the world. In this episode focusing on simplicity and journalism, hosts Joven Hundal and Brigitte Jia dissect journalism while focusing on the simple things. Brigitte brings another fascinating Art Attack segment discussing art, artists, and their simplicity. Gust author of Right Where You Left me, Calla Devlin, adds homage to the brave journalists who seek to report the truth, a mother and daughter struggle to build a connection in the wake of a father’s overseas kidnapping. Jack Pawlakos talks trends in digital journalism which is updated constantly. providing the latest information that influences decisions.

Sophistication and simplicity are friends and real journalists are heroes.

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Bio: Calla Devlin is the author of William C. Morris Award finalist Tell Me Something Real. She’s also a Pushcart nominee and winner of the Best of Blood and Thunder Award whose stories have been included in numerous literary journals and in anthologies, including Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond, for which she was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Magazine. Visit her at CallaDevlin.com.

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Listen at Voice America Kids Network: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/102273/simplicity-and-journalism

Help with Hurricane Relief: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-operation-hurricane-disaste

#StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 and Amazon donates to Be The Star You Are, Inc..

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES: ! https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Read our BTSYA August Newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/13faf62186/288055965/bbd34d3431/

Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA: https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

Listen to all broadcasts at ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/express-yourself!/id481894121?mt=2

Express Yourself! Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are! charity. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences, visit http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Dare to care!

For all the latest news on what teens are talking about on Express Yourself! Teen Radio embed this code into your blogs and web sites <Iframe src=”http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2014″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”auto” width=”420″ height=”380″></Iframe>

Be the Star You Are! charity. It’s ALWAYS the Season of Giving.  Make a donation today. http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Buy books and shirts at http://starstyleradio.net/Store.html .

Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help



Contact us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

STORE:  http://www.starstyleradio.com/store

Starstyle, Be the Star You Are, and Miracle Moments are registered trademarks of Cynthia Brian2015 EY Show Ad 575x320.gif

Be the Star You Are!® Helps with Operation Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief

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Be the Star You Are!® Helps with Operation Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief


Hurricane Harvey is the first hurricane to hit United States land since 2004 and the destruction and devastation to Texas is monumental. The National Weather Service highlighted that “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” remained a threat to southeastern Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana with over 50 inches of rain expected. First responders and medical teams are on the scene as people are evacuated and rescued from the flooding.


The people of Texas, particularly Houston, and New Orleans are currently experiencing record floodwaters which have taken lives and continue to cause unprecedented damage in the region. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that, in Houston alone, more than 30,000 people have sought emergency shelter. Harvey, downgraded to a tropical storm, is presently lingering along the southeast coast of the Gulf of Mexico, bringing heavy rains and storms to Louisiana as well.

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Families are huddling in shelters.

The radio reporters and hosts of StarStyle® Be the Star You Are!® and Express Yourself! Teen radio as well as other volunteers of Be the Star You Are!® are collecting tax deductible financial donations to send books and empowerment resources to the displaced. Checks can be sent to BTSYA, PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556 or on line through Paypal Giving Fund

https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3 .

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More information about BTSYA Operation Disaster Relief Program is found here: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-operation-hurricane-disaste

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Let’s heed the words of Margaret Mead in this time of trouble:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has

Thank you for joining Be the Star You Are!® in our relief efforts. Everyone counts and being kind and generous is essential.

For more information visit www.BetheStarYouAre.org

Donations: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3 

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