Another hurricane was bearing down on the southern United States on Tuesday, even as Los Angeles was hit with its first rainstorm of the season. Although the two really can’t be compared, the thunderstorm that began early Tuesday and raged through the day – leaving behind uncharacteristically warm and muggy weather – is not normal for Southern California. And when it’s not normal, it begins to sink in that a disaster of biblical proportions is not just hyperbole. It could really happen. So it’s time to get prepared, Los Angeles-style. Gas. Nothing irks Angelenos as much as not being able to fill up their car or SUV on demand. I saw those long gas lines in Louisiana on TV, and I don’t want any part of that. I am putting aside a couple of gallons, which should be plenty to drive my hybrid car to safety should the disaster require evacuation. Earplugs. They are small, but oh so handy for those evacuees stuck inside Dodger Stadium with 50,000 other people, including many screaming babies. For extra comfort, consider nose plugs as well. We all heard how terribly stinky the Superdome got after a few days of death, destruction and inadequate toilet facilities. A portable, battery-powered espresso machine. C’mon, isn’t it time we all admit the daily mocha latte is an addiction? Those post-disaster days are the wrong time for detox. A large gun. My mother would be appalled. Although I am opposed to firearms in the abstract, when the band of armed thugs comes to my house looking for my water supply, well, sorry Mom, I want a big ugly piece of steel to wave around. And, finally, the most important item for L.A. survival: Rollerblades. If the 7.5-magnitude earthquake strikes when you are at your downtown office, just how do you expect to get back to your emergency food supply at your West Hills home? Are you going to walk the 25 miles through the dangerous urban wasteland, dodging wild dogs, gang bangers and bands of irate Westside lawyers who have to hoof it over the Cahuenga Pass in their Ferragamo loafers? Strap on your in-line skates and you’ll be home before the looters. No doubt there are many other “must have” items for the discerning survivor, but you get the idea. And won’t it make it easier to sleep at night knowing that no matter what Mother Nature has in store, you can face it fully armed and caffeinated? Mariel Garza [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The survival-kit items recommended by experts – extra water, food, first-aid kit, flashlight, etc. – are all good stuff, for a G-rated Disney movie. But people serious about surviving a major disaster and the ensuing breakdown of civil society must have more than the basics in reserve. After closely watching the disaster unfold in New Orleans and asking friends, co-workers and relatives for suggestions, I’ve put together an addendum to the survival kits specifically designed for Angelenos. Here are a few of the more important items on my list: Cash. At least $500 in small bills. Once the power goes out, there will be no ATMs. No one will be accepting Visa for that last case of Vitamin Water or low-carb crackers. Those with cold, hard cash will not go hungry. A fold-up shopping cart. Very handy for those who forgot to put aside some cash when they are forced to go out and “find” food and electronics.