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  • Writer's pictureApocalyptic Thanksgiving

10 easy ways to prepare for the apocalypse and other emergencies

Who’s got your back when the Apocalypse hits? - Luis from My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving

Several weeks ago, my neighbor’s house almost caught on fire. Holly and I were not home. We only noticed the smoke and fire when we were a few blocks away. I thought to myself, “Geez, that’s awfully close to our house.” As soon as we pulled up we saw a homeless camp was ablaze. Holly dialed 911. I rushed inside and herded my brother and the adults with special needs outside. The police and fire department arrived minutes after and quickly extinguished it.

Even worse situations ran through my head -What if we arrived several minutes later? Not at all? Our home would’ve been devastated by the fire. What if we were inside? Would we ever noticed the fire and called emergency services? We could have lost our home and possibly our lives. Shivers ran up my spine. Brush fires are all too common in California. They are why words like "wildfire" exist, since they spread like crazy. Living in the city is little better for fires get started here all the time. To add to California's problems is the dirty little secret of pervasive homeless camps. Thank God we were lucky and prepared. Maybe next time we may not be as lucky...


Here are 10 easy ways to prepare for disaster or Apocalypse:

  1. Food: One week of nonperishable food and water. Easy Peasy. Canned food. Don't limit yourself to fruit cocktail and veggies, but things you can eat for three meals. Remember to check the expiration date twice a year. A more practical choice is dehydrated food that’s used in camping. Remember that dehydrated food is... dehydrated. It requires water.

  2. Water: How much water do you need? Adults roughly drink two liters of water a day. You can always empty the water heater or the back tank of the toilet.

  3. Flashlight and batteries. When the Apocalypse hits, lights will be out. Even the street lights will be inoperable unless the city has emergency generators. But, I wouldn't count on it, since LA still has rolling blackouts in the poorer neighborhoods. I have three flashlights. One right next to my bed. Since I sleep 7 hours of the there’s a 1 out of 4 chances that it’ll happen at night. The other two are scattered around the house.

  4. First Aid Kit. Double check the expiration date of the rubbing alcohol, Neosporin and other medication. Know how to use it. Never let your prescriptions run low in case the roads to your pharmacy are destroyed. Zombies would have a sixth sense for this. Any extra medication would be useful. Or better yet. Take a disaster course from the Red Cross. Learn First Aid while you're at it.

  5. Smoke and Carbon monoxide alarms batteries. Don’t use the cheap leftover batteries from a 99 store. Install the expensive lithium batteries which supposedly last 10 years. Test them twice a year. I do it when daylight savings occurs.

  6. Fire Extinguisher. I have one in my kitchen. Kitchen grease fires are the most common second to electrical fires. One in my garage too.

  7. Print list of phone numbers and addresses. Yes! Print them out. No electricity means no printer, no internet and no phone. I don't even know my wife's phone number.

  8. Weapons. When your neighbors run out of supplies, the unprepared will come knocking on your door. They’ll be HANGRY. Practice swinging baseball bats because they don't require electricity or bullets.

  9. Extra pet food. Yes. Don’t forget about Fido and Fifi.

  10. Keep cold hard cash. No ATM’s. No Paypal, Venmo or checks. If you owned a store would you accept a check?

Don’t be the 99% that didn’t prepare. Be the 1%. Prepare also to defend yourself. I have been in the middle of a Los Angeles riot. Its terrifying. There were no police to protect me. Most stores were closed.

Who's got your back when the Apocalypse goes down? - Luis from My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving.

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  • Writer's pictureApocalyptic Thanksgiving

I think so. - Marcus

Yeah. I bet you do. Frank cooks and cleans for you so you’re free to do whatever you want. - Kim from My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving. (It's a movie about special needs and a personal reflection of why I, Richard Soriano, wrote and produced the movie.)

old jail in Culver City
Richard Location hunting at the Mayme A Clayton Museum

That’s me. That WAS me. The bitter George Bailey. When I first started working again in the family board n cares and laundromat, I was completely overwhelmed. I was doing Kim’s job and Frank’s job at the same time. 24/7/365. I was angry all the time.

One time I made a monumental effort to make a doctor’s appointment, transport a nonambulatory client to the doctor’s office. It was physically challenging and a pain to schedule the appointment. At the last second in the doctor’s office, the client refused to cooperate. Then the client laughed at me. The doctor couldn’t treat him. All of my hard work was useless .The special needs adult laughed at me from his wheelchair. It felt like the moment where Mr Potter mocks George Bailey as he was begging for a helping hand.

Now I can relate to hardworking parents who hustle for their kid only to be denied by a child who doesn’t show any gratitude. This is great training for when I become a father. I swallowed my pain,rescheduled and was able to take care of the client.

I don’t always feel like going to the doctor’s office, brushing my teeth or going to work. The clients also have rights and we must respect them.

When a special needs adult soils himself at their day program, I have to drop everything and pick them up and clean them. I restore their dignity. They are individuals. They may not appreciate it at the time, but that is what love is - doing something without expecting anything in return. When the clients are given things for free, they soon expect it and even demand it. When they earn their rewards, it brings them happiness and joy. It brings me meaning in my life.

That is what I provide for them -dignity, happiness. It brings meaning to my life.

In the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, George Bailey catches the pharmacist’s mistake. The pharmacist strikes him. George persists until the pharmacist realizes his mistake. George self-sacrifices himself out of love. He just didn’t know the tremendous impact he made on the community until the end. That’s when all his selfless love is returned to him 10 fold.

What brings meaning to your life?

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  • Writer's pictureApocalyptic Thanksgiving

In Frank Capra’s timeless classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” there’s an often overlooked speech. It’s when George lectures his father on why he won’t stay in the small, crumby, ol’ town and work at the family savings and loan business because he’s off to see the world, build bridges and skyscrapers and do big things.

I saw this film in high school and could totally relate to it. I was chained to the family printing business on Melrose. I felt like I missed out on high school social events because of so many late nights and weekends spend working there. I felt F.O.M.O even before people could give it a cool name - Fear Of Missing Out.

I felt like the young George Bailey, ready to take on the world, see the foreign lands and join startups that turned 20 something’s into instant millionaires.

Fast forward through my software engineering career and the industry puttered out. There was a lull just before the social media explosion. I was laid off. I had all the time in the world and tank full of gas. I was ready to inflict FOMO upon the rest my peers until my father came down with cancer.

I was forced to make a decision- help my parents with their fledgling and struggling businesses and take care of my father or set off on a new adventure. I made the decision where I could sleep at night. Some nights, I’ve wondered where my life could’ve went

In My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving, Doris is my father who passed away. I am the character Frank. I was the one who remained with the business until I could figure something out. In some scenes, Frank was shown surfing online dating websites. He’s dwelling on his possibilities. Marcus contributes to his frustrations as things spiral out of control. It was good for the actor and character. Most likely they’ll get cut because they’re not in line with the central theme of family and forgiveness.

My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving in many ways is my biography. What movies reflect your life?

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