Have Wrench-O-Phobia? Are tools scary and intimidating? Or just hard to find when you need them? Either way, not a problem. You can get an automatic shutoff valve for your gas meter so you won’t have to even touch a wrench in an emergency. more »
Securing your tall furniture to your walls helps keep your stuff from falling and breaking during earthquakes and keeps you safe from being smooshed. On the other hand you don’t want to break your house trying to make it safer. more »
If you’ve seen a pirate movie you’ve probably seen sailors filling big wooden drinking water barrels. Imagine if you had some of those barrels for home use. Think of the ease and convenience. All you need to do is send a shore party out to fill the barrels at the nearest fresh water stream, then … more »
Sailing on a square-rigged ship from the Golden Age of Sail was a bit like being in a full-time earthquake. Sailors knew a thing or two about prepping and you can learn from them, too. more »
Want to be prepared for an earthquake but don’t want to spend a fortune doing it? You can secure your furniture without spending a lot. We show you how. more »
Do you like gadgets? Want an excuse to buy cool toys? Earthquake Preparedness to the rescue! Oh sure, you can do earthquake preparedness inexpensively, but you can also buy helpful toys to make preparedness easier. Today’s toy: the cordless driver drill. more »
Household bleach is an inexpensive and effective way to sanitize around the house and to disinfect emergency drinking water. Bleach now comes in a more concentrated formula, here’s what you need to know… more »
Is there something lurking under your bed? The better question is, “Should there be?” And the answer is, “Yes!” You should have go bag under your bed for emergencies. You can put one together as fast as you can read this post. Well, almost as fast, but it is still very easy, and a smart thing to do. more »
Japan knows a thing or two about earthquake preparedness. And they know how to make really cool gadgets. So, what’s in a Japanese earthquake kit? Do they include the kind of high tech toys James Bond would have? Inflatable air bags to protect against falling items, parachutes for quickly evacuating tall buildings and tents that automatically unfold from wallet-sized packages? We took a look at some Japanese earthquake kits to find out. more »
Did you know April is California Earthquake Preparedness month? The Red Cross is hard at work teaching earthquake safety. To show people the easy steps they can take to be safer they’ve created a touring earthquake safety exhibit. It’s called the Traveling Red Table™. more »
We’ve all heard of Hansel and Gretel, the two children lost in the woods who stumble across the gingerbread house of an evil witch. We know what you are thinking, was that house to code? How safe are gingerbread houses in earthquakes? Is frosting mortar structurally sound? And can I have some? more »
Which of the three objects in the picture is the real earthquake preparedness tool? One item in particular is a standard emergency preparedness tool that just about everybody should have in their home earthquake kit. Extra points if you can identify all three. Spoilers after the jump. more »
What can David Letterman’s Velcro suit tell us about earthquake preparedness? Imagine how safe your house would be if all your walls and furniture were covered in Velcro… You really can use Velcro to help secure your home from earthquakes. We show you how. more »
Your Dead Hard Drive You can turn your old, dead hard drive into a stud finder that works better on plaster walls than electronic stud finders, and can work better on dry wall, too. What better use is there for that expensive hard drive than turning it into a humble stud finder? I can’t think … more »
How many phone numbers do you know by heart? On most days you don’t need to know any of them. Your cell phone knows them so you don’t have to. Which is great, as long as you have power for your cellphone, and as long as you have your cell phone on you. But what if you you don’t? Here’s what to do. more »
Your cell phone can be a vital communications tool in an emergency, but only if you can keep it charged. So, how do charge your phone when there is no power? Gadgets to the rescue! But which one? And can they really charge your phone in an emergency? more »
As our image above indicates, there are a lot of disasters that can interrupt your life besides earthquakes. Storms, power outages, mudslides, electrical grid fault, accidental power lines, gas explosions, are all part of the risks of modern day living that can interrupt the normal infrastructure we depend upon throughout the day. The good news … more »
The Great California Shake Out is October 18th, just three days from now. Kids in schools from around the state will be practicing their earthquake safety skills, as will be office workers, government employees, as well fire and life safety personnel. While this long list of do-gooders and goody-two-shoes are dropping, covering and holding on, … more »
Each week during National Preparedness Month, we’ve been creating celebrity mystery grab-and-go bags and asking you to try your hand at guessing the owner. There has been an animated debate this week about which family guy is the one who would put doughnuts in his emergency grab-and-go bag. It is the final week of National Preparedness Month, so we hope we are inspiring you to get prepared! more »
I am really the last guy you would expect to put together an emergency grab-and-go bag, but my daughter says that we all need them in our family, and she is a really smart kid. I think my wife is sure to pack anything I might have forgotten, because she is organized and really good at taking care of me. As long as I have doughnuts in my emergency grab-and-go bag, I will be fine. Mmmm, doughnuts… more »
As a way to have some fun during National Preparedness Month, we’ve been creating celebrity mystery grab-and-go bags and asking you to try your hand at guessing the owner.
Our mystery packer’s favorite color is pink, and tennis plays a huge part in her life. Any ideas?
Do you think you guessed correctly this week? Click through to find out! more »
We are three weeks into National Preparedness Month, and this week our mystery grab-and-go bag is rather topical. Any idea who it might belong to? Take a close study of the picture of this week’s grab-and-go bag. Any inspiration as to who might want pink glitter clothing, pink work gloves, a set of new tennis balls and a dog carrier in their emergency kit? We can tell you it is someone who has been in the news a lot lately, Pink might be the favorite color of whoever this grab-and-go bag belongs to, but you could just as easily substitute gold. more »
It is week two of National Preparedness Month, and a bunch of you have guessed who this new mystery grab-and-go bag belongs to. We think that the personal items in this week’s mystery grab-and-go bag made for an easy guess, judging by all the correct answers we received. Do you want to know who is was? more »
It is week two of National Preparedness Month, so here is a new mystery grab-and-go bag. Can you guess who it belongs to? We have created a custom grab-and-go bag for our latest mystery person. Take a close look at the personal items in the photo of their grab-and-go bag and see if you can figure out who would make and emergency kit like this one. Think you can guess who it belongs to? more »
In celebration of National Preparedness Month, we at Totally Unprepared thought we would invite you to play a little game.
Each week, we’ll show you an earthquake preparedness kit for a famous person or character, filled with items they would include if they were going to put together an earthquake preparedness kit today. You try to guess who the kit belongs to once you see the personal items included. If this person was alive today, this is what he’d say about his go-bag’s specific items:
*Note “eat all ice cream in the fridge”
*Don Black baseball card
Each day we will post another picture as a clue to help you guess. Every Friday we’ll reveal the identity of our mystery go-bag packer. Sound like fun? Okay, take a guess! more »
Are you Totally Unprepared or do you have Bingo? Who’ll call bingo first? Download and play. Snap up picture and show us your board. Post it on our Facebook page! Use the how-tos listed here to help you solve your bingo board.
The San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR) has an exhibit, Safe Enough to Stay which illustrates what life can be like after an earthquake, and shows you how to get prepared for one. Go see their exhibit!
The closing party for Safe Enough To Stay is happening from 6-8pm on April 18, which happens to be the 106th anniversary of the 1906 Great San Francisco earthquake.
What better time to think about getting earthquake-ready?
Most dog lovers know that their furry buddy will do just about anything for them. What is truly amazing is that there are dogs whose whole joy in life is finding and rescuing humans who are trapped in dangerous places. That’s the job of a disaster search dog. more »
A look through websites such as Google or Amazon.com will turn up dozens of different emergency preparedness kits. What is right for you? Keeping in mind that your earthquake kit should contain enough water to keep you happy and healthy for at minimum three days, what is your best option? It is entirely possible that … more »
We want to see your kitty getting earthquake ready! more »
Do you like to make decisions that affect others or feel a desire to help others? Do you think of yourself as a can-do kind of person? Or are you just bossy? When the pedal meets the metal, the truly can-do get CERT trained. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is a free emergency response training program … more »
We had the opportunity to speak with a filmmaker named Logan McMillan who lived through the February 22, 2011 earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand.
His eye-opening footage of Christchurch in the immediate aftermath of the quake inspired us to reach out to him to talk with him about his experiences that day. more »
In the Bay Area, Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters (CARD) is making strides to get the LGBT community earthquake ready. CARD was created in response to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, when several non-profit community support groups bonded together to try to fill in the gaps left by Federal and State preparedness campaigns. The organization helps … more »
The Songs are bright and accomplished people. So why aren’t they more prepared for earthquakes? In Ron’s work as a fireman, he has seen what happens when people do not prepare. So he just has to ask Lee Ann and Louis: why are they totally unprepared? Louis doesn’t really think about it much, since they seem to happen all the time and nothing bad has happened yet. Lee Ann feels like they are so busy and they just don’t have time. more »
You may have noticed that when we talk about what to do during an earthquake, we ask you to drop, cover and hold on. We don’t advocate this simply because it’s so easy to create rhyming couplets with the phrase on Twitter. We tell you to do this because it is simply the best way … more »
For a family that’s lived through a few earthquakes, you’d expect The Songs to know what to do during an earthquake and have a plan for afterwards. Wrong!
The Songs admit that they’ve experienced a lot of earthquakes, but they confess they have never done an earthquake drill with their kids and have no idea what to do. Isn’t it lucky that Ron is an authority on earthquake drills! more »
Last week we told you about our Win a $250 Quake Kit contest. Here’s how easy it is to put together a dog emergency kit. Zisa is Totally Unprepared’s office dog. Her primary duties include, but are not limited to: barking at the neighbor cats, barking at the UPS guy, stealing unguarded food off the … more »
Ron Haralson, our superhero fireman and charming host paid a visit to the San Diego home of Lee Ann Kim, her husband Louis Song, and their two little boys. Ron wanted to know if the Song family is prepared for earthquakes. He expected to find a very prepared household. Boy, was he surprised! more »
Your dog is the best dog ever. So that means you have an earthquake kit for your pooch, right? Show it to us and you could win a kick-ass $250 value earthquake kit for your family if you get the most votes on our Facebook video contest. more »
Any earthquake plan you make needs to include your children. Are you prepared for an earthquake? Do you think your family knows what it needs to do to survive one? Will your family be able to recover quickly after an earthquake? Read on for some helpful ideas on preparing your children for the Big One. more »
Learn 5 simple steps to prepare your children for disasters! more »
Get survival tips from a survivor of the Christchurch earthquake. Yadda yadda, who listens to public education campaigns anyways?! What do we know about earthquakes? Whatever we know, let’s hear how to prepare to survive an earthquake from someone who experienced two major earthquakes in six months. Logan McMillan, a filmmaker and photographer living in … more »
Last week we showed Todd how to secure his kid’s toys, and then we showed Heather what will happen if she doesn’t secure her own toys. No one wants their toys to break! And no one wants their toys to break someone. Here are baby Rowan’s five helpful tips so you can prepare your collection … more »
Will My Snowglobes Shake? Or Will They Break?
That’s the question Los Angeles resident Heather Kram, and her newborn daughter Rowan, would like to know.
What will happen to her treasured collection of Nightmare Before Christmas snowglobes and figurines in an earthquake? more »
Cardboard books, wooden dolls, superballs, legos. All the tiny things children collect are hard to put away neatly. They pile up and spill over on shelves and it’s easier to just keep stacking them in the same place. But when an earthquake hits, all those little toys are going to come tumbling down. Even if … more »
Todd’s obviously a good parent, but he just didn’t see that his daughter’s bedroom was a danger, even after going over the whole house with the Earthquake Safety Checklist. Luckily Ron’s fresh eyes looking over the rooms for a first time saw it. We can’t all get Ron to show up at our houses to … more »
In quintessential Telstar Logistics fashion it was loaded with awesome artifacts and mementos of a life full of fun and adventure, but it was a top-heavy shaking disaster waiting to happen. If an earthquake were to happen at night or during naptime, the whole bookshelf could land on little Miel in bed! more »
Shooting at Todd’s gorgeous rehabbed San Francisco home was the very first video series we scheduled for Totally Unprepared. It being the first shoot we did everything extra careful: we worked carefully with the SF Film office to get our permits, and since we had the Big Shaker coming, blocked off a section of Todd’s … more »
We were fortunate to interview Michael Wong, Asian Community Preparedness Manager at the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter and got to ask him some questions about what he does and why he does it. TU: The Bay Area seems to be a real trendsetter: it’s always on the cutting edge, from technology to gay … more »
Superhero fire fighter? How about superhero daddy!
Now every toddler wants a father who can prepare for an earthquake, and teach her how to drop, cover and hold on so she’ll survive! more »
Today we meet host Ron Haralson, Los Angeles County Fire Captain, and human Swiss army knife.
Ron’s got the expertise and guts to get you out of the burning building and out from under that rubble, but he’d prefer you install the smoke detector, and secure the bookcase to the wall. The best way to survive is to prepare. He says he speaks for fire fighters everywhere. more »
There are lots of things you could do in response to an earthquake, but the one thing you should do is drop, cover, and hold on.
Here is one man in Virginia who did just that. more »
San Francisco has experienced large earthquakes in its history, the earthquake of 1906, and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. In both cases, fire was an immediate result of the ground shaking. In 1906, fires razed huge swaths of the city, while in 1989, fires were confined to a handful of buildings. For some reason though, … more »
Susan, who is a trained emergency volunteer has a lot of experience with things like fire extinguishers, but not Geena. As a morning radio dj, the closest she has ever gotten to operating a fire extinguisher is passing the one in the hallway on the way to the studio in the morning. In fact, fire had never occurred to Geena as a possible post-earthquake concern.
Susan wants to change all that, so she shows Geena what PASS means, and gets her to try out a real fire extinguisher so she sees just how easy they are to use.
The USGS tells us that though Oklahoma can expect more earthquakes in the aftermath of the weekend’s series of quakes, they will decrease in intensity over the coming weeks and months.
That said, like Californians and their earthquakes, people in Oklahoma have plenty of reasons to prepare for disaster and to do things to keep their families safe. If you prepare your family, you’re more likely to survive and your whole household will recover faster.
When we visited Geena to get her prepared for earthquakes, we also met her darling dogs, Chunky and Teddy. It turns out they are one of her favorite things to talk about. My oldest dog is Chunky. He is a three year old Shih-Tzu. My girlfriend Denise called me and said she had a dog … more »
I took a few minutes the other day to talk to morning radio personality Geena “The Latina” Aguilar about what inspired her to participate in the Totally Unprepared’s earthquake preparedness campaign. Here’s what she had to tell us about the experience she had being totally unprepared. more »
The Aguilars admit that they’ve experienced a lot of earthquakes, and they know exactly what to do during a quake. Well, do they? Sue gives them a test.
Next Sue puts together a Family Emergency Kit with all the basics that they need to survive for three days for the whole family and the pets.
Radio DJ Geena The Latina, from the “Frankie and Geena Show” on Channel 933 San Diego, volunteered her time to teach all the single ladies how to be prepared.
And the first question is, who does she have to prepare for?
She’s a single girl in the city with two purse sized pups, but her big family stays with her a lot too. So she can’t just prepare for one person – she has to prepare for all the people who are often in her house every day. Has she done it?
While having a few beers with our seismic engineer friends after the first day of filming, we opened up about our worries. “The fish tank is going to be so dull! Who will watch a fish tank splash a bit in an earthquake?”
Andy, Paul and Darren looked at us blankly as if to say, “What do you mean the aquarium isn’t going to move in an earthquake, are you all idiots?”
“What?” we said, like idiots. more »
Meet Zisa, mi sato. She’s a Puerto Rican street dog rescued and now part of a loving family.
She is 9 years old and a beloved second mommy to two children. While she takes care of them by alerting them to intruders, warming the bed, exercising them and cleaning the kitchen floor, they take loving care of her.
She’s got her own earthquake kit now, and she’s pretty excited about everything that’s in it, except for the muzzle. Zisa’s is in the front hall closet, ready to go, when they do.
Will THEY Shake?
That’s what Oakland resident Alyssa Shannon wants to know. Will her beloved tropical fish in their 56 gallon tank be safe during an earthquake?
The seismic testing team at Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California in San Diego and Susan Jekarl set up two 60 gallon tanks, one secured with furniture straps, the other unsecured, and shook it.
Watch and find out – what do you think will happen? more »
When they are associated with a volcano, lots of little earthquakes may spell a coming eruption.
Called an “earthquake swarm,” they happen regularly in volcanic regions but are always of interest to seismologists as they indicate possible movement of magma beneath the earth’s surface.
A recent swarm of earthquakes around Mount Rainier has seismologists in the region watching the mountain with increased interest. A swarm of 174 earthquakes over the two days leading the the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens illustrated just how important monitoring such seismic activity could be. more »
On Thursday October 20th at 10:20am, millions of people all over California will be holding an earthquake drill in concert. What will they be doing? Drop, cover and hold on, that’s what!. Take a moment and register for the Great California ShakeOut. It’s the easiest and most life-saving step of your disaster preparedness. Totally Unprepared … more »
The Gingerys have a very open and inviting home. Their kitchen opens out to their living room and feels like the center of the house. Like many of us however, storage is an issue, particularly in the kitchen. One of the very first things we noticed on our walk-through were the collection of heavy kitchen … more »
This morning the legendary Big Shaker, that you see in all our videos, was in Sacramento giving rides. The nice folks at the California Earthquake Authority put up our sign there, and CAL-EMA was giving away disaster kits. This is all in preparation for the Great California Shakeout, happening next Thursday (10/20) and 10:20am. … more »
After all the Gingerys have been through: a simulated earthquake, earthquake drill, securing a wrench to their gas line, and making pet disaster kits, you’d think they’d be done. Well, not quite. Now that Susan’s gone through all the things they need to do to protect themselves during and after an earthquake, she has a … more »
When the Gingerys first agreed to be filmed for Totally Unprepared, we did not know that Maya was also part of their family. Once we met their lovely Golden Labrador however, we decided that pet earthquake kits would be part of this show so Maya would be looked after in the event of an earthquake. She … more »
We say they are “Totally Unprepared” but really that’s not true. The Gingerys are on their way to being totally prepared, just like you. We helped the Gingerys see how easy it is to adapt their lifestyle for earthquake preparedness. The Gingerys want to live as sustainably as possible, and living sustainably is a great … more »
The trip to Wannabehippie’s home turned out to be a real treat for the Totally Unprepared team. Elaine and Mark live with their two daughters in a beautiful home designed by famed architect Rob Wellington Quigley. Their house was designed by him in the late 70’s before Quigley had become famous. It was completed in … more »
Meet the Gingery Family: Mark and Elaine, parents of two beautiful girls, Lily and Anya, who dote on the world’s most mellow Labrador Retriever, Maya. Elaine is a popular mommy blogger, wannabehippie, who writes about living the good life in San Diego, and trying to raise her children in a safe and healthy environment. … more »
Behind the Scenes on the Set of Will It Shake? Wine Rack Episode Engineer Andy warned us before hand, “If you value your wine, I’d secure it.” How’d he know the rack would fall? If it was that obvious wouldn’t every wine rack in the great wine loving state of California already be strapped to the … more »
The amazing and hunky engineers at the Jacobs School of Engineering earthquake simulation laboratory would not let us break real wine on the shake table. Engineer Paul, who runs the indoor earthquake simulator, refused to let us do anything to damage “his baby.” The earthquake simulator is a giant hydraulic run steel plate with holes … more »
On Thursday October 20th at 10:20am, millions of people all over California will practice what to do in the case of an earthquake. The answer is pretty simple: DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON. Take a moment and register for the Great California ShakeOut. It’s the easiest and most life-saving step of your disaster preparedness. Totally Unprepared … more »
Today is the introduction of a new show from the Totally Unprepared team called “Will It Shake?” (named after one of our favorite Internet video series, “Will It Blend?” In “Will It Shake?” we talk to Californians about the things in their home that may or may not be secured, and then we actually put … more »
On Thursday October 20th at 10:20am, millions of people all over California will practice what to do in the case of an earthquake. The answer is pretty simple: DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON. Take a moment and register for the Great California ShakeOut. It’s the easiest and most life-saving step of your disaster preparedness. Totally … more »
If you had 60 seconds to leave your home after a disaster, would you be ready? Peace of mind comes from knowing that in a disaster, you won’t be scrambling to take care of yourself, but will be ready and can help others out in need. Susan puts Vencie through an evacuation drill post-earthquake, and … more »
We recently spoke to Mark Benthien from the Southern California Earthquake Center about the upcoming Great ShakeOut, which has over 7 million participants. How did the Shakeout Start? Mark Benthien: What started as a major exercise of emergency responders in Southern California has grown into the largest earthquake drill ever created. As of this writing, there are 7.1 million … more »
Host Susan Jekarl talks to Vencie Glenn about his experience in the last big San Diego earthquake. He tells her that his large flat screen television wasn’t bolted down, “it was just leaning.” The expensive television fell over and the screen broke. But Vencie was too attached to the TV to get rid of it, … more »
Interview with Sarah Imber Safdar, line producer, for the video series Totally Unprepared. Liz Rood: Sarah, thanks for talking with me about what it was like behind the scenes on the Totally Unprepared set. Tell us what your role was in production. Sarah: I’m the person that scheduled locations, corralled the troops to the right … more »
Watch the punk rock goddess of preparedness, Susan Jekarl, push NFL legend Vencie Glenn of San Diego to his limits. Is he prepared for an earthquake? Can he GET prepared?
First of three parts up today!
Susan Jekarl evaluates Vencie’s house using our Earthquake Safety Checklist. First on her list, Vencie’s giant aquarium, which is not secured! His refrigerator and his cabinet doors aren’t secured either. Vencie’s got a lot of items to work on. more »
The Daily Telegraph reports that Tuesday’s earthquake in Virginia generated more than 5,000 tweets per second. That’s more than went out about Osama Bin Laden’s death and as many as were sent during the Sendai earthquake in Japan. When an earthquake strikes, people turn to social media to communicate. 140 characters’ worth of information may … more »
Discover Magazine’s “Bad Astronomy” walks us through the science behind the recent spate of earthquakes. He tackles some wacky theories and places each earthquake in the context of its geologic setting. It all makes sense after you read it. Now don’t you feel better? Earthquakes are fairly common…so time to secure that bookcase! By Elizabeth … more »
It’s been earthquake mania in the US so far this week. Is all this shaking putting preparation into your head? Why not give yourself a little piece of mind and do one thing to prepare today. If you do not know about the Great Shakeout, now is a great time to join and be part … more »
“Earth movement” is not typically covered in homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies, says Chris Hackett, from the trade group, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. Given that there are 5,000 earthquakes in the US every year, and that damage from earthquakes has been recorded in all 50 states, you, wherever you are in the US … more »
When an earthquake strikes, the Twitterverse explodes! Buzzfeed lets us know that “Brooklyn Hipsters” were not overawed by the power of nature. Being freaked out by an earthquake is so totally last year! Word on the street is that being prepared is the next big thing.
Sounds like Virginia could take a page from California’s earthquake preparedness plan. more »
The Hayward Fault does not just cause earthquakes. It is responsible for dramatic scenery, which is easy to get to on foot. more »
Real life superhero Hideaki Akaiwa gives new meaning to the word badass. While others gaped in shock at the scope of the disaster, Mr. Akaiwa donned his superhero costume (aka scuba gear), dove into the tsunami waters, found his house, and then rescued his wife who was barely keeping her head above water on the second floor.
You don’t need to be a scuba-diving superhero to be a the badass who gets your family to safety in an earthquake. Take a few minutes now to create a disaster plan for you and your family. No scuba suit required. more »
Although it’s not really hard to remember Drop, cover and hold on, we have to give our applause to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency for creating a song, a dance, and a video for the concept. We’ve showed it to earthquake experts all over California who are even now, singing along in their heads to this catchy tune. more »