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It's Time To Check That Emergency Kit And We're Here To Help

An aerial view shows big banks of snow and plowed, but still snowy roads. People on foot can be seen walking near emergency vehicles.
A view from a San Bernardino County sheriff's helicopter Thursday.
(Courtesy San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept.)
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Not that you need the confirmation but the data is out: Southern California was indeed a whole lot colder and wetter than usual last month.

Getting prepared

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This last set of storms left a huge mess in its wake and a whole lot of snow. Thankfully, those stuck in mountain areas were expected to get some extra assistance as of yesterday. After Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for 13 counties, including San Bernardino, the California National Guard arrived to help snowed-in residents in towns like Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. More than 6 feet of snow fell in that general area over the last week.

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We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

All this talk of weather-related emergencies and getting stuck somewhere got us thinking about preparedness — in your home, even in your car. If a massive storm or a big earthquake hits, do you have what it takes to be comfortable in your home for at least two weeks? Enough food and, more importantly, water for your whole family and your pets? Extra prescriptions? A good first aid kit?

The reason we took another look at our survival kits here at LAist was because of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. It was a stark reminder that the Big One is coming…likely sometime in the next 30 years. These wild storms just added an extra layer of urgency. That’s why the How to LA team went out with science reporter Jacob Margolis recently to build the most basic of prep kits — with a little help from Smart & Final and REI (although any big box store will do — come this spring Costco should have sleeping bags in stock FYI). Listen to the episode here not only for supply tips — 1 gallon of water per person per day — but to get a sense of the real, and very scary, impact of a 7.8 earthquake here in Los Angeles. We’ve also got a handy guide on our website of what you need to prepare.

Pro Tip: after an earthquake, your home may not be safe. You might want to have a tent, sleeping bags and an air mattress on hand so you can sleep outside.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • All this rain and snow has definitely helped California’s drought but if you want to know whether we are now totally out of the drought…that’s a more complicated question. Read my colleague Erin Stone’s story for more. 
  • Yes, the rain has also made the pothole situation in Los Angeles a lot worse. Here’s what you can do about it if your car takes a hit..
  • A new report from the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission’s Special Counsel finds that deputy gangs are a “cancer in the department” and  have engaged in violence and threats. The recommendation is that Sheriff Robert Luna create a policy that prohibits deputies from participating in gangs, among other measures. 
  • Nearly three years after the pandemic first sent kids home to learn remotely, some students still struggle to go to school in person.
  • Weren’t we just talking about chatbots gone wild? Well, Microsoft’s AI chatbot apparently became “unhinged” during testing with an AP reporter. 
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

The Hollywood sign is in the foreground with an antenna to it's upper right. Beyond are a range of snowpacked mountains.
The Hollywood sign this week has an Oscar-worthy backdrop of snow.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)

Wait! One More Thing...

The Beauty Of the Snow-Capped San Gabriels

All the snow, rain, hail and wind we’ve had in recent days has been a bit harrowing but it's hard not to appreciate the beautiful views these storms left behind. Snow-dusted peaks can be seen from most vantage points around Los Angeles County, from Santa Monica to Baldwin Hills to Mount Washington to Arcadia — a rare happening. Most of us who’ve lived here all of our lives haven’t seen this much snow in the San Gabriel or Santa Monica Mountains.

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Now roads are mostly still off limits to get anywhere close to all that snow – it just isn’t safe yet – but you can still snap a pretty picture from all sorts of spots. We’ve curated a list for you here.

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