The Awakening

It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to write. Things at work have been more than busy to say the least and I hit a little bit of a dry spell but with the anniversary of the Northridge quake and the recent awakening of the region of Southern California seismically I felt it might be an important time to reinstate my blog.

On 3/17/2014 we experienced a 4.4 quake in Westwood and most recently a 5.1 in LaHabra on 3/28/2014. I feel it’s important to note that prior to these two quakes the Southland experienced it’s longest dormant phase recorded and it’s last major event was the Northridge quake. So what does this mean? Does it mean these two quakes are connected? That they are a precurser to a larger quake which is on it’s way?

The truth is no one knows the answers to these questions. The only thing we do know is that the second quake had a magnitude 10 times greater than the first. We now know the dormant phase is over and we should expect more earthquakes. There is a theory that earthquakes come in clusters in five to ten year increments. If you look back through history in geographic regions you can see a cluster of earthquakes in 5-10 year periods. After the Northridge quake the South land went quiet for 20 years. Well, now she’s awake.

People have become complacent in preparedness, now more than ever you should invest the time and money in the security of your self and your family. You must have an earthquake kit at your house to sustain your family for a minimum of 10 days and to the point of this blog have a kit in your car which will sustain you for a minimum of three days.

Why have I said three days? Well most people live and work within a thirty mile zone of their homes (we in the film industry quite literally work in the TMZ) and should be able to make it home on foot within three days of the shit hitting the fan. Let’s put that into perspective that’s merely ten miles per day. Most of us walk nearly that on a daily basis during our time at work. The average human walks at 3.1 miles per hour, even with adverse conditions a 2 mph pace could be achieved so thirty miles could be accomplished in less time than the rations you have in your pack if you’re walking for 12 hours per day. I’ve published a list of suggested items for your 72 Hour Bag before and I’ll drop it at the end of this article again for your reference along with the American Red Cross list and the list of suggested Earthquake Kit Items for your Home.  Knowing survival skills before you need them is of utmost import ace, knowledge is power and you can take it with you anywhere because it weighs NOTHING.

Mental Floss:

The next time you are getting gas and have to go inside to pay take a look around, see how much money you have in your pocket and try to imagine what you would buy in a SHTF scenario. What are the greatest resources in the store you would need to get you home. Give your self 30 seconds to 1 minutes to put your entire package together.

The 72 Hour Bag List:

Backpack Hydration Insert (Platypus Big Zip Recommended)

Dust Masks in 1 gal ziplock baggie

Penny Can Stove (google how to make or go to

Fuel for stove (Heet brand, yellow. I use this because the bottle is made to be in your trunk and won’t leak)

OR: MSR Micro Rocket Stove with Fuel Canister (This fuel will never go bad)

Fire starter: Magnesium & Steel, Matches, steel wool (at least 3 ways of making fire)

Potable Aqua iodine pills or a filtration pump

9 Volt light + spare batteries (ebay 9 volt light, mine cost $1)

Compass + Map of LA County

Small notepad w/pencil, pen & Sharpie

100’ 550 Cord (Para or Mason line)

Toiletries & Medications (personally as needed)

Small First Aid Kit (Adventure Med Kit .7 Recommended)

SOL Bivy Sack

Some type of edged tool

Wind/Rain Jacket preferably lined for warmth

Wind/Rain pants, (Frog Togs or heavier if you routinely wear shorts to work)

Wide Mouth H2O Bottle (the narrow mouth ones are hard to fill in shallow water)

Bandanna (30 uses, one major use is primary water filter)

Food, enough for 72 hours at 2000 cal per day Datrex 2400 Calorie pack (this is a good on the go snack for 3 days, taste like shortbread)

Datrex Emergency Water Packets (As many as you can fit, I pack 6 but always have a case of bottled H2O in my trunk that I rotate)

Gloves Spoon Multiplier

Spare pair of thin wool socks (they’re good in any weather, hot or cold)

Spare Batteries for flashlight (I carry a flashlight on set daily so these are for that. If you can get a light that uses lithium batteries, they have a shelf life of 10 years)

Cup (large enough to boil water for the size of meals you get, 2.5 cups)

Poncho that can be used as a tarp tent

Spare Velcro male & female 6”-1’ (It’s unbelievable what you can do with it)

Starbuck Singles or Tea Bags (really who wants to start the day without coffee?)

Duct Tape (Wrap 5-10’ around the Sharpie)


Signal Mirror

American Red Cross Home Kit List:

Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

Flashlight Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

Extra batteries First aid kit – Anatomy of a First Aid Kit Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

Multi-purpose tool Sanitation and personal hygiene items

Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

Cell phone with chargers

Family and emergency contact information

Extra cash

Emergency blanket

Map(s) of the area

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit.

Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)

Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

Games and activities for children Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

Two-way radios

Extra set of car keys and house keys

Manual can opener

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:


N95 or surgical masks


Rain gear


Work gloves

Tools/supplies for securing your home

Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

Plastic sheeting

Duct tape


Household liquid bleach

Entertainment items

Blankets or sleeping bags’s List:

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

Flashlight and extra batteries

First aid kit

Whistle to signal for help

Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Manual can opener for food

Local maps

Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Additional Emergency Supplies

First Aid Kit

Supplies for Unique Needs
 Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:

Prescription medications and glasses Infant formula and diapers

Pet food and extra water for your pet

Cash or traveler’s checks and change

Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.

You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit – EFFAK (PDF – 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information. Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)

Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.

Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.

Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant.Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

Fire extinguisher Matches in a waterproof container

Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils

Paper and pencil

Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children


  1. AndySound

    Starting making a Get Home Bag just before the two earthquakes hit, now I almost have it finished. Nice little wake up call. I wanted to asked you about “get home” part… Do you know of a site or book/map that combines or connects hiking trails in the LA area? I’ve found sites with all the trails in LA but to get from point A to B, what trails/path would be best.

    • Gio's Blog

      Andy, you bring up a really good point. I don’t know of a map which connects the two. I carry the simple AAA style fold out paper maps you would find in a gas station. However, doing a little research on hiking trails would allow you to either grab some maps which have a broad overview of the trail system in Los Angeles or draw trail areas on the map you carry. Great idea though.

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