Haiti’s got me dwelling and waking up. The quake, it’s terrifying devastation and its chaotic aftermath have all servedĀ  to show me how ill-equipped our household is and will be when an epic disaster strikes Los Angeles.

When. Not if.

Sure, we’ve got emergency food/supply backpacks in each of our cars. Plus there’s an emergency container in the backyard. We’ve got sturdy shoes and flashlights and a transistor radio and spare batteries and about five gallons of drinking water. But we are so seriously lacking in other essential aspects and a comprehensive emergency plan that for the first time in my life as an L.A. native who’s been through every temblor since the 1971 Sylmar quake, I am just now finally recognizing how such an abject lack of planning and preparation can make a bad situation worse and a catastrophic situation potentially devastating.

So now it’s time to go full-stop and reverse that trend. It’s time to quit allowing all that negative potential the opportunity to be realized, and instead go about covering all the bases as best I can. Not so much for any peace of mind beforehand, but for the chance at a better ability to cope and survive in the inevitable nightmarish aftermath.

UPDATED (01.17): On this the 16th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, I secured our first bookcase — the one that stands inside the front entrance. My original intent was simply to dust it and its contents for the first time in waaaaay too long, but in the course of doing that I realized attaching it to the wall to be a simple matter of driving three long screws through a crosspiece supporting one of its shelves into the plaster behind it. Voila! One down, maaaaany more to go.