Just How Prepared Am I for the Big One?

Now that we've had two earthquakes in one week here in Los Angeles (one bigger than the previous), it's about time my friends and acquaintances hunker down and seriously consider protecting our asses if and when the seismic shit goes down.

According to the L.A. Times, "experts now recommend that disaster survivors be prepared to be self-sufficient for up to seven days, although having supplies for at least three days had been the norm. Here are lists of supplies to have at home, in the car and at work..."

Let's take a look at what I should have stocked up in my apartment, shall we?

•  Nonperishable packaged or canned food - So you're saying the can sardines I got in my cabinet isn't enough?  Mental note: next time Spaghetti-Os go on sale at Ralph's, load up.

•  A gallon of water per person per day (Replace every six months and count pets as family members) - Good thing I pilfered that Crystal Geyser jug from that Labor Day beach party.

•  Manual can opener - Got it.

•  First aid kit and handbook - Isn't that just Band-Aids, rubbing alcohol, and ointment? If so, I got some 99-cent healing strips, several bottles of Absolut, and a dozen samples of designer body lotion. Does that count?

•  Clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes - Rain gear? Hello, this is L.A. And sturdy shoes? Do my pair of New Balances I use for hiking count? Remember: we do flip-flops 365 days a year here in the City of Angels. And ladies, I'm not entirely sure Uggs qualify as sturdy.

•  Blankets or sleeping bags - Yes and yes.


•  Portable radio and flashlight, with spare batteries - Luckily I had grabbed an old portable radio the last time I visited New York and brought it back with me to L.A. with the intention of using it as a cool vintage piece to place on a shelf. I guess it'll do.

•  Essential medications - Thankfully I don't have any medical conditions that require these, so I'll label this N/A.

•  List of family physicians and the style and serial number of medical devices, such as pacemakers - Physician? Last time I checked, unemployed means uninsured, so I'm not sure if I have my last doctor on speed-dial. And fortunately, I have never had to rely on a "medical device".

•  Extra pair of eyeglasses - That would imply I could afford buying another pair, which is ridiculous.

•  Extra set of house and car keys - Thanks to the inconvenient, tandem-style parking we have in our our garage, my roommate has my extra set of car keys. As for those house keys, they're around here somewhere...

•  Toilet paper, toiletries and feminine hygiene items - I have a leftover supply of "toilet bags" from when I went camping at Big Pine Creek back in 2009. Do they count too? Toiletries, check.

•  Fire extinguisher - Um, no.

•  Pet food, water and leash or carrier - No pets. Again, N/A

•  Cash and small change - That's hysterical. Who carries cash anymore? And besides, if you were to see the balance on my bank account, you'd find that hysterical too. 

•  Water purification kit or unscented liquid bleach (eight drops per gallon when water is first stored) - Really?

•  Any special foods and supplies for babies, the disabled or the elderly - I am a childless 32-year-old man who's responsible for no senior citizens or persons with disabilities. N/A.

•  Plastic eating utensils, paper cups and plates - I got some leftovers from last year's holiday party and a bunch I stole from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. 

•  Heavy-duty aluminum foil - Yep.

•  Paper towels - Always.

•  Knife or razor blades - To defend myself during the subsequent zombie infestation? Kidding. I got a good blade or two.

•  Candles and light sticks - Vanilla scented. It's nice to know my nights without electricity will at least smell good.

•  Matches in waterproof container - Got plenty of matchbooks from various restaurants I've dined at. Should I put them in some Tupperware?

•  Work gloves and broom - Got the gloves. And a Swiffer.

•  Hammer and nails - Yes.

•  Coils of rope and wire - Who am I, MacGyver?

•  Ax, crowbar and shovel - What, for when I bury the dead body of the man I murdered?

•  Small tool kit - You say "tool kit." I say old Sketchers shoebox filled with random shit.


•  Cheesecloth (to strain water) - I don't even know what the hell that is.

•  Large and small plastic bags - See? Saving all those Target shopping bags came in handy!

•  Two tarps, 8 feet by 10 feet - Sure, because I work in construction and paint a lot.

•  Local street map and compass - Why can't I use Google Maps? Oh wait...

•  Paper, pens and stamps - Yes. However, as for the stamps, I doubt the U.S. Postal Service will be up and running when there's rubble blocking every boulevard route.

•  Entertainment pack of family photos, notebooks, reading material and games - Have you seen my bookshelves? Got that covered, including a crossword puzzle book, some albums, and plenty of blank journals ("Dear Diary, today I saw three survivors eat a dog under a collapsed overpass of the 405 Freeway...")

In conclusion, I'm screwed.

What about you?

@TheFirstEcho

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