Vintage photo of children doing duck and cover drills
Photo by Walter Albertin courtesy of Wikimedia

How to Prepare for Earthquakes, Wildfires, Mudslides and Other Possible SoCal Doom

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A guide for where to find apocalypse-ready supplies from the Westside to the Valley.

The end is nigh! OK, maybe we’re being a little presumptive, but the recent Ridgecrest earthquakes have reminded us that a potential “Big One” is always around the corner. Not to mention the imminent danger of fires, floods, mudslides and possible nuclear attacks.

It’s no secret that Los Angeles is a near-apocalypse zone, so what can we do to prepare for any impending disaster?

According to David Eisenman, director of the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, having a disaster kit at the ready is a must. The three most important things you should have in it are food, water and any prescription medication. Eisenman recommends storing at least a week’s worth of water — that’s one gallon a day — in case local aqueducts are affected. He also recommends stashing away some cash.

“When electricity’s down that means there’s no access to ATMs, so while some stores may be giving their food away, a lot of them will be requesting cash,” he says.

Eisenman isn’t a fan of premade kits, saying they have too many unnecessary items. Instead, he recommends buying a la carte.

“Store-bought kits are nice to have for your car as something that’s packed nicely and won’t get scattered around,” Eisenman says, “though really you just need some food, water, bandages and a pair of shoes you can walk in.”

However, one of the most important components of earthquake prep might be your cell phone. Eisenman recommends taking videos of your entire house, including “every room and every drawer, and upload it to the cloud.” This will help with any insurance claims.

“There’s no way of writing that down easily,” he says, “so film everything you own and that way you can turn it into a listing if you lose your house.”

With that advice in hand, here are some places you can visit to get supplies for earthquakes, fires and other possible disasters:

Adventure 16

11161 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064 / www.adventure16.com

Primarily a camping store, A16 near the Carmageddon-ravaged 405, carries many first-aid and survival options, as well as sleeping bags and gourmet camping food. Just because you may have to rough it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a reasonable approximation of a nice meal.

The Surplus Store

10341 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034 / www.surplusstoreonline.com

Palms’ Surplus Store has served the Westside since 1946. You’ve probably seen their horrifying commercial featuring a human/action figure hybrid. The Surplus Store sells camping and survival gear, as well as military-inspired apparel and costumes they claim are perfect for Halloween or Burning Man, the latter of which already lends itself to “Mad Max” chic.

The Supply Sergeant

503 N. Victory Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505 and 6664 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028 / www.supplysergeantstores.com

With locations in Burbank and Hollywood, two territories Disney will likely annex should civilization fall, the Supply Sergeant has a variety of military-grade products, including heavy-duty flashlights, MREs and tough work boots.

First Aid Global

18730 Oxnard St, Suite 208, Tarzana, CA 91356 / www.firstaidglobal.com

This Tarzana retailer carries a range of emergency supplies, including first-aid kits, face masks, solar generators and even over-the-counter medication. Best of all, they carry official NFL team bandages, which will help you fit in with the (possible) football-themed marauder groups of the future.

SOS Survival Products

15705 Strathern St. #11, Van Nuys, CA 91406 / www.sosproducts.com

Located near the Van Nuys airport, SOS sells premade survival kits perfect for your car. They also have other handy emergency products like water purification kits, solar-powered devices and chargeable lights that will turn on when the power goes out, perfect for scaring off mole people and Morlocks.

California Surplus Mart

6263 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038

Check out this store at the corner of  Santa Monica Boulevard and Vine Street before the dead rise at nearby Hollywood Forever Cemetery. California Surplus Market specializes in durable clothing but also carries survival gear like ready-to-eat meals, flashlights and solar radios.

Los Angeleno