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Are you ready? Emergency Preparedness for your family
Episode 126715th January 2022 • Around the House® Home Improvement • Eric Goranson & Caroline Blazovsky
00:00:00 00:40:21

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We just saw people stranded in their cars on the freeway for 24 hours on I-95 in Virginia... many were not prepared. Most everyone lives in an area where a Flood, Freeze, Earthquake, Tsunami, Windstorm, Tornado, Hurricane, or another emergency could change how you live and threaten your wellbeing.. We talk about everything from the basics to what you might need in a specific area of the country.

What should you have? Take a listen to this weeks episode of Around the House!

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Transcripts

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[00:00:25] Eric Goranson: Very cool. How are you, how are you going to power your car? So now you're going to take, what half of your generator power. If you've got a big generator, It'd be charging your car for eight hours

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[00:00:41] Eric Goranson: let's see, let's think about this for a minute. The, I look at that and go. This could be an issue

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[00:00:47] Eric Goranson: to remodeling and renovating your home.

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[00:00:50] Intro: to know

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[00:00:54] Eric Goranson: the house. Welcome to around the house with Eric G and Caroline. Be [00:01:00] your source for everything related to your home every single day. Thanks for joining us. Hey Caroline, how

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[00:01:09] Eric Goranson: Excellent. You know, it was interesting. I don't know if you noticed a couple of weeks ago of, you know, we've been dealing with snow out here in the, in the Pacific Northwest, we've got more snow than we've had up in the mountains in 20 years. You guys, you know, a week or two ago, got some weather. Those people got caught on the freeway for 24 hours.

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[00:01:38] Caroline Blazovsky: my friend was talking to me the other day, she called up and she said, look, you know, we just moved from San Francisco to Austin, Texas.

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[00:02:00] Eric Goranson: I just heard her Austin radio listeners Buddhists and say, why would your friend move here?

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[00:02:06] Intro: mean, oh

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[00:02:12] Eric Goranson: last time I drove into Texas. I saw a sign that said Californians were closed. Head back.

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[00:02:25] Eric Goranson: weather in Texas.

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[00:02:31] Intro: No,

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[00:02:44] Eric Goranson: This is nothing.

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[00:02:51] Eric Goranson: when us that happened?

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[00:02:54] Eric Goranson: I'm to say, I don't think it even happened when Brent fire was your quarterback. [00:03:00] Hey, but

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[00:03:07] Caroline Blazovsky: It can happen.

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[00:03:09] Eric Goranson: You couldn't even beat, you couldn't even beat the Buccaneers with where the lead in Antonio brown walking off the field. So

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[00:03:48] Eric Goranson: Let's start going down the list of things that you should have. And a lot of this depends on where you're located and what your natural resources are around you.

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[00:03:59] Caroline Blazovsky: things. [00:04:00] You can do at home. If you're not a preparer, I mean, look, you have a lot of stuff. So you have to take it way down to people who like, for example, my friend who moved to Austin, they're not ever used to having ice storms.

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[00:04:28] Eric Goranson: Yeah. Well, on in Texas, they have not really, through the years done a great job of insulating pipes because the freezes weren't that weren't that common over the years. You know, the first thing I say is, is when you're planning for natural disasters like this, the first thing to do is think about what you need to do to sustain life.

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[00:05:04] Intro: for

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[00:05:18] Caroline Blazovsky: And so for storing water, just to give people who may not have as much experience. The tub is always a great place. So, you know, if you know, you're going to get a storm, fill up a tub, you can fill up an igloo cooler, any kind of cooler, make sure you always have drinking water. So, you know, I'm, I always say, have at least a month supply of drinking water.

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[00:05:47] Eric Goranson: Yeah. A month is a lot to store for many people. That's a lot of water. I mean, you're going to fill up if you've got four people in the house, you're not going to fit that in the hall closet, if you know what I mean.

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[00:06:01] Caroline Blazovsky: Moderation drinking. Like, you know, I always tell people you're not going to, if they're, if you're lacking in water, you're not going to drink six bottles of water a day. So, you know, keep it on the down-low, but make sure that you have some stockade supply. And like in my house, I mean, we've got bottled water if necessary and all kinds of stored water and drinking supplies and stuff.

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[00:06:26] Eric Goranson: sure. Yeah. And if you've noticed with hurricanes earthquakes, tornadoes, it can take a week or two for real help to show up. So that's the thing you need to have enough for, to sustain yourself until, you know, a charity neighbors or the government shows up to help you.

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[00:06:53] Intro: and talk about.

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[00:07:08] Caroline Blazovsky: Spickets all that kind of stuff

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[00:07:32] Eric Goranson: And what I want to see is not only just the cold water running, I want to see a little bit of the warm too, because if you've got an uninsulated hot water pipe that is 30, 40 feet away from the, from the water heater, that's, it's in a place where it could freeze, you know, in the wall or across space, all of a sudden.

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[00:08:14] Eric Goranson: Maybe the door open out to the garage to make sure that's not freezing. Make sure that you've got those things ready to go. That's the big key and watch that water meter to make sure that you don't have a leak if it, if it does break speaking, that gets expensive. Quick.

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[00:08:34] Caroline Blazovsky: How do you get that?

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[00:08:52] Eric Goranson: And that's just the, it's a little, you know, depending on how deep it is, you know, if you're [00:09:00] in the Midwest where you get really cold, that can be that meter could be down three or four feet, six feet. I've seen them. Depending on where you're located. So you need to be able to get down there with this long pole that has this little fork metal thing on the bottom, and be able to turn that off.

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[00:09:36] Eric Goranson: We'll do that just as soon as

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[00:09:37] Intro: the house.[00:10:00]

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[00:10:04] Eric Goranson: back to around the house with Eric G and Caroline B, where we talk home improvement every single week. Thanks for joining us. Well, Hey, if you want to get a hold of Caroline and I, you can do that on just about every social media channel out there except, uh, cheese. What are we don't do? We don't do Tech-Talk.

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[00:10:24] Intro: do a down. That's hilarious.

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[00:10:30] Eric Goranson: Well, we've been talking about being prepared because we've seen so many things happen recently of, you know, of people. It's just like the people that were down, you know, I don't know if that was North Carolina where they were, they were cruising along highway 95 and they went on a road trip and didn't have water.

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[00:11:05] Caroline Blazovsky: me. I'm learning this episode. Cause I'm like, I obviously I did the wrong thing. I was not prepared.

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[00:11:12] Eric Goranson: Well, we all got to learn from someplace, right? All gonna learn from someplace. Here's one thing that if you're stuck in that two day traffic jam, first off, bringing the food and water always have. You know, like a garbage bag or something, she can use the bathroom. If you need to someplace have a roll of toilet paper in the back, you know, let's be honest.

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[00:11:57] Eric Goranson: And it just, it shocks me that people will get in their [00:12:00] car and go for a drive and a winter storm and not have any of it. So make sure you got the, you know, extra clothes, the, the cords, if you get yourself in a bind and found out that you were not prepared for the situation, and yes, this does come down to you because you got in the car without the things you need.

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[00:12:42] Eric Goranson: They are prepared to be on the road, no matter what. And if you're in dire need and you're in an emergency, go knock on that door and say, Hey, can I buy a bottle of water from ya? Most of the time, those folks are going to be pretty cool people. [00:13:00] They're going to give it to you anyway, but that's a, that's a, that's a

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[00:13:04] Caroline Blazovsky: That's a great tip.

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[00:13:20] Intro: you what happened

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[00:13:23] Caroline Blazovsky: What? Tell, tell our audience what it is. So we got this mist that froze and Eric has this great time.

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[00:13:38] Caroline Blazovsky: called it something else. You call it.

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[00:13:48] Eric Goranson: So I hear it calling the other one. I hear two is freezing drizzle, but really it's a freezing fog is water.

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[00:13:58] Caroline Blazovsky: was like a mist and it just [00:14:00] froze on everything. And there were massive car pileups on the interstate and all over the turnpike. And so that's crazy.

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[00:14:08] Eric Goranson: get it out of here all the time.

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[00:14:31] Eric Goranson: The other one is food and I've got my, I don't have two weeks of dry food, but I've got, I could eat well for a week and dried food and that's not getting into my pantry and stuff that I have here in the house, but I have a bout 10 days of backup. For us, including the dogs.

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[00:14:56] Caroline Blazovsky: Oh

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[00:14:57] Eric Goranson: forget about how stuff for the pets too. Otherwise you're sharing your [00:15:00] food. So make sure that you've got stuff for them. And that's a key there.

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[00:15:06] Caroline Blazovsky: Skip the Dell pet evac pack. It's the emergency pack for animals. It's got everything, food, water supplies, you can throw it on your back and go.

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[00:15:34] Eric Goranson: Like in my area, we are earthquake prone. So what you want to do is run down to your hardware store, get one of those in zip, tie it to your meter. So that way, if you have an earthquake, you don't have to go looking for this thing going, you know, I can't get the garage door open. Where is that? You know, and you're trying to climb through a damaged building.[00:16:00]

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[00:16:28] Eric Goranson: It could be a week before the gas company makes it back out to inspect your system, to turn it back on again, because they want to look at it before they re set that switch. And if they got to do that to 50,000 people and they got half a dozen guys out doing it, it could be a week or two before somebody gets.

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[00:16:57] Caroline Blazovsky: bubble, all the things, [00:17:00] everything I thought I was supposed to do for preparedness I'm wrong. He was like telling me, I thought I was supposed to shut off the water. No, he's like saying no. Now it's like, oh, well, if you have the shut off valve for gas, well, maybe not a good idea because you might not have gas for 10

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[00:17:17] Eric Goranson: You might not. You know, and we had an interesting in here with the ice storm this last year. You know, uh, a couple cities over his Oregon city, which is known as the end of the Oregon trail. You know, if you play that video game as a kid, that's where you got dysentery every time it seemed, but that's a whole other story.

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[00:17:38] Intro: Ah, how old are you? There's an old little Google it up.

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[00:18:03] Eric Goranson: So anybody that had a generator. That was running on natural gas. Didn't have natural gas. Hey, let's talk about that. When we come back, we'll talk about generators just as soon as around the house

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[00:18:51] Intro: Hey, this is

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[00:19:14] Intro: So

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[00:19:23] Eric Goranson: back to around the house with Eric Jan, Caroline beet, we've been talking emergency preparedness and really trying to make sure that you've got the right tools to make sure that you can protect. How's your loved ones and your property, right?

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[00:19:43] Caroline Blazovsky: Some things I'm good, but you think he knows something, you got some stuff down. I got some scraps, but I was like trained. Like, you know, your parents tell you to do something and your grandparents do it, and then you do it and you just think, Hey, that's what I'm supposed to be doing. Like I thought I was supposed to shut the water off.

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[00:20:00] Eric Goranson: That w we all learn things, right. And that's the cool part of this. Now, one of the things that you gotta be really careful with is generators, because I have seen some crackpot ideas of people trying to power their home. With generators. Now, what I did is I've got a really nice, uh, Energizer generator and I've got the generator transfer switch.

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[00:20:47] Eric Goranson: What I don't like to see people do. And quite frankly, in full disclosure, I've done it this way, but it doesn't always go well, is backfeeding no, that's bad. Your line. See, I know that's [00:21:00] what people do is they go in. Yeah, can be, they go in, they click the main service off and they better. Cause I don't want you killing people outside of your house that are out there to work on it.

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[00:21:52] Eric Goranson: And all it takes is for one person to. Trip a kid or a pet [00:22:00] and you can easily have an electrical fire or somebody gets shocked or killed. So it's a tough way to go. This is not the place to cut costs.

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[00:22:12] Caroline Blazovsky: seen people do it, like when they're trying to be an emergency situation and they didn't have the generator plug on the exterior with the shut off with the separate panel, right.

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[00:22:34] Eric Goranson: and make sure that you're running that generator. Well away from the house because you don't need that carbon monoxide do not have it running in your garage, do not have it running up against the garage and the car port or whatever else have yours.

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[00:23:15] Eric Goranson: And that's what we really want to see that we don't freeze your house or overheat your house. If it's the summertime and you lose power, you know, many times you want that heating or that air conditioning cranking along. But really what you want to do is make sure that you have your food refrigerated heat going in the house that you can, that you can keep the pipes from.

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[00:23:43] Eric Goranson: absolutely. And that's one of the keys there. So making sure that power is dialed in when, in doubt, bring in that electrician. So they can wire up that transfer switch correctly and then, uh, check your local building codes because some of the different ways that you can connect into your house with the [00:24:00] generator are allowed in some art.

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[00:24:23] Eric Goranson: So I think it probably interferes with their smart meters because we don't have meter readers here anymore. So it probably gets in the way of their smart meters. And that's probably where the issue is. But that's where that key is and just make sure you've got that dialed in and everybody's safe. Now, one of the other things that I really want to talk about here too, is making sure that when the power comes back on that.

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[00:25:14] Eric Goranson: And the gasses off to it. If it's a gas one, cause that's how you're going to burn up that water heater. If there's not enough water in it, you'll burn it up and it'll overheat it and you'll be bought a new water heater. So let's not add a water heater to the list of things that you need inside your house, unless it's a heat pump.

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[00:25:49] Eric Goranson: Now, other things you start thinking about, how do I charge my. I'm out of power. Maybe you've got a fireplace. Maybe you've got a generator. Maybe you don't have power. [00:26:00] Maybe the generator's not working. Maybe you've got the fireplace going and you've got enough heat. You've got the barbecue out back.

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[00:26:17] Intro: you keep last for three days. There you go.

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[00:26:37] Eric Goranson: So you can charge your phone from your power tools. Now, this is another one of the rules. Why? I think that we should all keep our car. Generally filled up with gas.

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[00:26:50] Intro: kidding.

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[00:26:59] Eric Goranson: Me to [00:27:00] let it run, get warmed up, get cooled down, whatever it is, make some phone calls, but many times when that's down your Internet's down and guess what? It's hard to make a phone call out because this. Completely

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[00:27:20] Eric Goranson: Yeah. Let's talk about electric vehicles for a minute with this, because this brings a whole new problem. If you have five days without power, which I've had two or three times in my life, I have two,

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[00:27:36] Eric Goranson: days. And you've got an electric vehicle that you need to charge when you get home from work.

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[00:28:03] Eric Goranson: If you've got a big generator, that'd be charging your car

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[00:28:09] Caroline Blazovsky: propane tanks for me.

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[00:28:25] Eric Goranson: Let's just do a little bit on that. Talk more about that just soon as around the house returns.

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[00:28:59] Eric Goranson: [00:29:00] already command from even I let us down and you're listening to around the

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[00:29:11] Eric Goranson: back to around the house with Eric G and Caroline B, where today we've been talking about getting prepared, making sure you've got your house, your car ready for any natural disasters storms, any of those things.

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[00:29:43] Caroline Blazovsky: Big Larry.

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[00:30:01] Eric Goranson: solidi red light. Yes. What is it? Lady red light, but we'll talk about, that's a whole other story.

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[00:30:20] Intro: let me see.

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[00:30:26] Intro: Crazy, right? That thing is cool. I

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[00:30:43] Caroline Blazovsky: That's what are some good brands of flashlights?

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[00:30:50] Eric Goranson: coast. Maglite, there's, there's a lot of different ones out there. You know what I mean? I mean, that's kind of where I'm looking at it going, okay. This is really where I want. [00:31:00] Where I want to see you have a, I don't care if it's rechargeable.

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[00:31:18] Caroline Blazovsky: And I think you should keep something in your bedroom. I do just because you know, you get up there, no power, you can't see right.

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[00:31:29] Eric Goranson: I have something always on my nightstand. It's I've got the, one of my big flashlights right there. That way, if I noticed it goes out, I can go out and start the generator if I need to. Or if it's going to be a short power outage, I can do that.

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[00:31:43] Caroline Blazovsky: for cars, you know, just to talk about cars a little bit, I like the tack pens. So I like where it's got something to break glass. You know, it may have obviously a pen in there so you can do things, um, all kinds of stuff. I like my tech pen.

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[00:32:02] Eric Goranson: I like to have something that there's some great multi tools that I like to have a little separately. I do like to have, you know, something that you can kind of seatbelt with something that you can break the glass with. Uh, at the same time, I like to have a really good flashlight because for two reasons, one, if I am out working on changing a tire and the car pulled over the side of the road, stopped at an actual.

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[00:32:50] Eric Goranson: 'cause if you're, if you're at a car accident or you've got a stalled car, the flashers aren't working, or, you know, of course the car is in a position where the battery is not [00:33:00] working. You want to be able to really be able to give light to somebody to say, Hey, look at me over here. We've got a problem.

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[00:33:39] Eric Goranson: And so we have set up places that are our meeting spots. Okay. Julie's at work and we have an earthquake and I'm at the home office. Where do we meet? If I'm at the radio station and she's home, where do we meet? What if we can't? Cause we have, you know, why [00:34:00] they call this bridge city for a reason, we've got rivers that we have to cross that, you know, those things could happen.

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[00:34:31] Eric Goranson: Otherwise I was going to spend another day on the other side. So I heard back across because I was mid-span I turned around and went back across, which was scary because I didn't know how structurally sound the bridge. But you want to have those meeting places in case of a natural disaster like that of, okay.

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[00:34:57] Caroline Blazovsky: Well, look at me. I mean, I got stuck in my [00:35:00] office when the flood and nobody could get to me for two days. So I was surrounded by water, like a moat. So in that case I couldn't go anywhere, but then nobody could get to me yet.

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[00:35:20] Eric Goranson: Yeah, so that stuff happens. And so those are things he, at least you could call out. The one thing I noticed with the earthquake is that everybody got on the phone.

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[00:35:30] Caroline Blazovsky: like, what's it going to do for me?

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[00:35:35] Eric Goranson: Oh, you were a hundred percent panicked. I was like,

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[00:35:48] Eric Goranson: insane. Luckier, her card did not get hurt though.

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[00:36:12] Eric Goranson: And during that time, um, we, cell phones were down in our area where I was at for two days, you couldn't call, you might get lucky and make one phone call out. But the, the cell phone systems, these days are still only designed for a capacity of so many people using it. Not everybody trying to use it at the same time.

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[00:37:04] Eric Goranson: Sure. You've got all those planned base. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, this is where survival mode has to come in. You know, for instance, I've got three or four different ways to cook food at the house. I've got my gas range, I've got two different barbecues. I have those barbecues or charcoal. I always make sure I've got plenty of.

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[00:37:46] Eric Goranson: It's

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[00:38:03] Caroline Blazovsky: You can get a bigger unit. Eric has one that sits on the sink that does a whole family where I have a pitcher, but either way it provides you drinking water when you may not have it, when in doubt

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[00:38:19] Eric Goranson: You know, you can do things like get a generator. If you're in tornado area, you know, build a storm shelter where you can actually go down in the basement or go down into a outside shelter to build something. The

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[00:38:39] Caroline Blazovsky: I dealt with hurricane Sandy. We just dealt with irking, Ida flash floods. I mean, this is in the New York Metro. Yeah. So, I mean, no matter where, where you are, you're going to be dealing with something nowadays. It seems ice

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[00:38:58] Eric Goranson: I can hear the music spool enough in the [00:39:00] background. That's it for this show coming up next. We're going to be talking about the consumer electronic show about some really cool stuff coming

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[00:39:10] Eric Goranson: is super exciting. Yep. We're both going to be tech geeks on. I'm Eric G and you would listen to

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