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Environment & Science

Great ShakeOut Challenge: 2 LA chefs make a tasty meal with an earthquake kit

The contents of a
The contents of a "go kit."
Jackson Boyle / Flickr

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You know what to do in the event of an earthquake: drop, cover and hold on.

But what about getting prepared for an earthquake ahead of time? Do you have an earthquake kit ready?

Take Two producer Lori Galarreta took to the streets to ask Angelenos about how they're preparing for an earthquake...or not.

(Responses from: Joyce Chalfant, Fadi Farage, Andy Reyes, Paula Martinet and Melissa Miller)

The standard recommendation is that you have enough food, water and supplies on hand to last you and your family at least 72 hours after an earthquake.

As to what kind of food, that's your call, but items like canned food, dried fruit and nuts, and protein bars tend to fill up most earthquake kits. 

Convenient? Sure. Long lasting? Yes. Gourmet? Not quite. But could they be?

Two L.A. chefs shared their tasty takes on disaster preparedness:

All-Purpose Baking Mix

From Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: Makes a generous 4 cups mix



1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and milk powder to form the dry mix. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place up to 3 months.

2. To make pancakes: Whisk a generous cup of the baking mix with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil and about ¾ cups to form a batter. The batter will make about 4 pancakes.

3. To make dumplings or biscuits: Whisk a generous cup of the baking mix with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil and about ½ cup water to form a thick dough.

The mix is great for camping, but also works well in an earthquake kit as it requires no special ingredients or refrigeration.


From chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Susan Feniger

Yield: 12 cups




In a rondeau, cook onions in the oil and butter until they start to caramelize.

Add rice and lentils and toast approximately 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the cumin and the salt and stir to combine. Toast another minute or so to cook out the cumin, then add the stock.

Cook uncovered on a simmer until the liquid dissolves and the rice mix starts to crackle and toast on the bottom (you can stir occasionally).

Set aside.

Separately, crisp the pasta in:

When done, add to the rice mixture and stir to combine. Pour out onto sheet pans to cool.