This is #1 in a series of posts with a practical tip buried inside:
We had a 5.4 earthquake here in the Greater Los Angeles area today. We are fine, thanks for asking. But the hot topic seems to be earthquake preparedness: Are you ready for the BIG one??? My mom calls from Boston to see if I'm ok. "Yes, Lulu and I barely noticed." Then she asks, "Where would you go? What would you do?" "Well, " I say, "I think I would shelter in place considering I live in a city of about 8 million people who all have about two cars a piece. If everyone got in their car to escape, I don't think we'd collectively get further than our driveways." "Oh", she says. Then I suggest, "Well, we live so close to the beach, I could walk down there and maybe they would evacuate us via the water." Then she exclaims, "NO, not the beach! Tsunami!" Ok, I guess she has a point.
I have a couple 5 gallon jugs of water for my water cooler, I get this delivered bi-weekly mainly so I have emergency water. We have a decent supply of canned foods and a manual can opener. A radio that doesn't need batteries, a camp stove, a good variety of non-perishable snack foods and a flashlight. We should be good for a few days. If we are at home for the BIG one.
But, what, if you are in your car, not close to home, when the BIG one hits? If you are the typical Angeleno, you very well could be in your car, stuck in traffic and wearing flip flops. Yeah, not exactly practical footwear if you need to get out and walk. So here is my practical tip: leave a pair of sensible shoes in the trunk of your car in case you have to get out and walk when the BIG one hits. I have a pair in the back of the minivan.