From the Latest Airbnb Redesign to Google’s AR Glasses and More! | Tech News

It’s time for the latest in the world of tech! We’re sharing bite-sized additions of the latest headlines captivating the world wide web. From the latest Airbnb redesign to Google’s AR Glasses and more, we have you covered!

Apple to Switch Over to USB-C by 2023

It’s the end of an era for lightning plugs. Apple will be making the move USB-C ports on its iPhones next year. The universally-embraced USB-C will follow suit of other apple products that have made the conversion in recent years. Likewise, the shift to USB-C could likely improve iPhone’s transfer and charging speed for future hardware designs. Of course, the final spec details will depend on iOS support. Many within the smartphone industry have already made the move over to using USB-C, so the move by Apple has been expected for some time. While Apple has not released an official statement, the change is likely to occur in 2023.

Airbnb Launches Redesign with New Categories and Split Stays

The popular vacation rental app Airbnb has launched a new summer redesign with a bevy of features to make travel even better. CEO Brian Chesky calls the redesign “the biggest change in a decade.” The rollout began this week for users in the US and will let users search for stays based on categories and plan trips that include more than one home. Likewise, the Categories features will serve as a filter for stays that include certain elements. Of course, this can include things like camping, surfing, amazing views and countryside, to name a few. In addition, Airbnb is highlighting its design category to spotlight over 20,000 homes  “chosen for their iconic architecture and interiors.” Chesky also stated more changes are underway but will likely not be seen by the public until 2023.

Google’s Latest AR Glasses Brings a New Reality

This week, Google held its I/O presentation to showcase a number of new products and initiatives underway. Of the announcements, the company gave audience members a look at its latest AR glasses. The latest iteration of its augmented reality spectacles would give wearers the ability to see languages translated right in front of their eyes. Likewise, tools like this can be of use to travelers or the hearing impaired. While there are no additional details on when the device will be available, the demonstration gave further insight on what to expect when it. 

Volkswagen to Resurrect Scout as Off-road EV Brand

The SUV pioneer Scout may soon get a new lease on life as an off-road electric vehicle. Volkswagen is considering resurrecting the brand with a focus on the US market. The company hopes the vehicle will be able to compare with the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco. According to TechCrunch, the board of directors for VW is set to approve the plan this month. Once approved, the vehicle would operate as a subsidiary of VW, much like Audi, Skoda, Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley. While VW has declined comment to the press, the news has already been confirmed by VW CEO Herbert Diess. Likewise, the company hopes the vehicle will expand the company’s reach in the US.  Once launched, VW hopes to sell around 250,000 Scout-branded vehicles in the US annually.

NFT Copy Detection and Verification Features to be Added to OpenSea

Improvement authenticity will soon be coming to the digital marketplace of OpenSea. The company announced the news in a series of blog posts this week regarding updates. Likewise, such updates will include a new system to detect and remove copycat NFTs. In addition, the company will also include an overhaul of the account verification process. The copy detection system will be two-part so that users can have an easier time finding authentic content. One of the tools the company plans to use will include image recognition tech to can NFTs on the platform. The tech would then compare the scanned NFTs with authentic collections, looking for flips, rotations, and other variants. The company will also use human reviewers to look at removal recommendations.

Best Breakfast Spots to Check Out | L.A. Eats

Breakfast can be the most important meal of the day. Start your day in the best way possible with our list of the top breakfast spots you should check out. 

LOS ANGELES BREAKFAST SPOTS

The Griddle Café

Location: Hollywood, 1999 N. Sycamore Ave. L.A. CA 90068

This is the place to be if you are looking for the biggest pancakes in the city. Nothing shouts luxury like a pancake that doesn’t fit on your plate, right? It’s not all about size, the recipe is also top-shelf to the point the pancake mix also gets sold to the customers.

Tiago Coffee Bar + Kitchen

Location: 7080 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Thiago Coffee Bar + Kitchen has an amazing interior built for comfort. Besides the high tables and stools, the breakfast spot has booths and tables that embrace minimalism as a style. So you can relax as you enjoy the morning coffee drinks.

Clark Street Diner

Location: 6145 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

This is the place for you if you want to give yourself a break from the usual breakfast meals that look like are factory-produced. The Clark Street Diner embraces a homey cooking approach. The keen eye for details has transformed the corned beef hash, patty melts, and blueberry pancakes into the best in the city.

WESTSIDE & BEACH COMMUNITIES BREAKFAST SPOTS

Swingers

Location: 8020 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

The Swingers is a breakfast spot offering classic diner dishes. Here you can enjoy exquisite pancakes, eggs, and chilaquiles. For a beverage, you might want to go for a coffee milkshake; the stronger, the better.

Gjusta

Location: 320 Sunset Ave, Los Angeles 90291

Besides coffee and tea, Gjusta offers you limeade, which gives you a refreshing feeling every morning. It’s a bit unorthodox to have fish or meat for breakfast, but who is to stop you? Plus, they are the top-shelf products, and you are certain you are getting the best.

Clementine

Location: 1751 Ensley Ave, Los Angeles

The breakfast spot has earned its fame from the buttermilk biscuits, which have become something of a signature treat. You can also enjoy a sandwich with melted cheddar, poached egg, and Tennessee country ham. Does it get better than this?

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY BREAKFAST SPOTS

CiCi’s Café

Location: 18912 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana

Here you get to enjoy green tea tiramisu, piña coladas, and s’mores. And if you have a sweet tooth, you will find an array of pancake options to choose from. And what is a breakfast spot without French toast and waffles? To sum it up, it is your complete breakfast spot.

Sweet Butter Kitchen

Location: 13824 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks

At this quaint breakfast spot, you’ll find an array of delicious breakfast options. Bonus, you can stay for lunch or check out the attached market.

Gasolina Café

Location: 21014 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills

The spot serves Spanish-influenced dishes. So expect dishes like jamóns and tortilla españolas. The foods are mildly spicy, which adds to Gasolina Café’s identity.

CONEJO VALLEY BREAKFAST SPOTS

Dong Ting Spring

Location: 520 N Ventu Park Rd Ste. 150, Newbury Park, CA 91320

A great spot if you enjoy Chinese cuisine. The spot offers authenticity and variety. As for the menu choices, you should stick to the Hunanese section if you are unsure of what to start with.

Cafe Sapientia

Location: 706 Lindero Canyon Rd Ste 794, Oak Park, CA 91377

This is a breakfast spot specializing in coffee. So if you pay attention to flavor and texture, you will benefit from the rich exploration of ingredients.

Moqueca Brazilian Restaurant

Location: 1610 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Moqueca Brazilian Restaurant specializes in seafood stews. The restaurant uses clay pots and native ingredients such as tomatoes, cilantro, urucum, and onions to bring out the Brazilian influence.

The Best Local Beaches | Out & About

When it comes to warm weather and local beaches, we have plenty here in Los Angeles. While there are quite a few options along California’s coast, we’re sharing the best local beaches a little closer to home!

1. Zuma Beach

Perfect for families and large groups, Zuma beach is a boogie boarder and body surfer’s paradise. Other visitors might enjoy walks down the sandy shore and the wonderful sunsets this beach has to offer. Zuma beach is one of the most popular local beaches. 

2. Abalone Cove Beach

This beautiful local beach requires a little effort, but you’ll enjoy some of the best views in the area. In addition, Abalone Cove Beach offers an adventurous hike and caves to explore. Just don’t forget to pack your lunch, as food can only be found several miles down the road.

3. Rosie’s Dog Beach

The only official local dog beach, this is the perfect place for a sunny beach day with your canine friend. On-duty lifeguards and restrooms are the only facilities on this gorgeous four-acre beach. Likewise, make sure you pack some snacks for yourself and your furry friend before you go.

4. Venice Beach

The epitome of local color, Venice beach is possibly the one local beach tourists seem to prefer thanks to the sheer number of things to do. Locals enjoy roller skating and biking on the boardwalk, while others take the time to play volleyball on the sand or work out at Muscle Beach. The beach offers several parking lots and various facilities, including restrooms, bars, and restaurants near the beach itself, a popular skate park, public workout equipment, bicycle paths, and on-duty lifeguards. This beach is a great place for people to watch and a number of local characters can usually be found hanging out near the boardwalk. As a side note, Venice beach has been a favored location for Hollywood films and TV series, with hits ranging from Nightmare on Elm Street to Baywatch being shot in the area.

The Best Plants for Your Summer Garden

Now is the perfect time to think about your summer garden and what to plant. A multitude of plants thrive in Southern California, including Mediterranean-type plants and Southwestern plants like succulents. Of course, it is important to choose plants that are ideal for your home’s specific growing conditions as well as plants that you’re able to care for. Some plants are higher maintenance than others. Here, we’ve gathered together a list of dazzling plants that prefer the Southern California climate and can enhance the visual appeal of your landscape and summer garden.

California Poppy

The California poppy is the state flower for a reason; it flourishes in California’s summer gardens with its bright orange tissue-papery petals and vibrant green leaves. California poppies are perennials, so once you plant and care for them, they’ll continue to bloom each year. Easy to care for, California poppies prefer full sun. They require very little water and actually prefer poor, well-draining soils. Rocky, coastal gardens are ideal conditions for these plants.

California Milkweed

If you’re searching for a distinctive plant to feature in a focal point area, consider the California milkweed with its thick, hairy stems and bold pink flower clusters. An added benefit is that these plants attract monarch butterflies as well as other butterfly species. California milkweed prefers a location with full sun, sandy soil, and sparse watering.

Chalk Liveforever

A perennial succulent, chalk liveforevers (chalk dudleya) are ideal for planting where they’re likely to be noticed. These showstoppers form large succulent rosettes that are a pale shade of blue. Once established, they are perfectly content in dry settings and require very little watering. They prefer full sunshine and sandy soils. They’re a popular addition to both coastal gardens and rock gardens.

California Lilac

Attract hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to your summer garden by planting a California lilac shrub. A member of the buckthorn family, the California lilac blooms with fragrant blue, pink, or white flowers. Sometimes referred to as mountain lilacs, this evergreen prefers full sun and well-draining soil. To maintain its health and encourage blooming, light annual pruning is recommended.

Lemonade Blueberry Shrub

If you want to add an attractive shrub to your summer garden, opt for the beautiful lemonade berry shrub. This plant is another drought-tolerant plant like those mentioned above. It blooms with lovely pink and white flowers that produce decorative berries. These shrubs are likely to attract butterflies to your summer garden. Their berries are often used to flavor lemonade–hence, their name! This shrub prefers full to partial sun and clay or sandy soil. It may require some light watering during the summer; consider mulching around its base to lock in moisture for the soil. The soil should be well-draining.

Add these plants to your Southern California summer garden to add instant visual appeal to your landscape. Their vibrant hues or interesting growth habits promise to endow your garden with loads of attention-getting charm.

From Twitter Circle to Starlink Internet Anywhere and More | Tech News

It’s time for our weekly round-up of the world’s leading tech news. From Twitter Circle to Starlink Internet Anywhere and more, we have you covered. Read on for a bit-sized addition of the week’s top tech headlines.

Twitter Test New Close Friends Feature ‘Twitter Circle’

The days of Myspace Top 8 might be coming back soon in Twitter form. The company is currently testing its Twitter Circle feature for a small group of beta testers. Likewise, the feature will allow users to tweet to a smaller group of people instead of tweeting to the masses. Twitter Circle allows users to pick up to 150 people to join their Circle, including followers and non-followers. The company has stated that this feature is different from Communities which is aimed at more group-type discussions. In addition, the company added that the same community rules will stand even in Twitter Circle, meaning Twitter will still see all tweets tweeted.

Sonos Developing Alexa Competing Voice Assistant

Audio company Sonos has announced it is working on its own voice assistant. The company, whose products support Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, is looking to compete in the voice assistant market. Reportedly called Sonos Voice, the device will let customers control music with voice commands. In addition, the device will also work with audio streaming services like Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more (minus Spotify and Youtube Music). Sonos plans to release the software update onto its speakers on June 1 for US device owners. All Sonos devices with the company’s S2 software will support assistants, according to the report. At this time, no further information has been released on when the update will release in other markets. 

‘Global Digital Community’ Being Planned By Starbucks with NFT Release

Another day, another company releasing its own NFTs. In a Q2 2022 earnings presentation, Starbucks executives announced plans for new concepts within the Web 3 space. CMO Brady Brewer, stating  “Imagine acquiring a new digital collectible from Starbucks, where that product also serves as your access pass to a global Starbucks community….” The company elaborated on the news in a blog post this week, stating plans for a branded NFT collection. Likewise, the ownership of said NFTs would initiate community membership and exclusive access to experiences and perks. Furthermore, the NFT themes will come from Starbucks’ artistic expressions, including both heritage and newly created designs. Starbucks has not yet established what type of blockchain it will use for its initiative into the new digital frontier. 

T-Mobile Launches New ‘Test Drive’ Feature for Home Internet Service

After the launch of its 5G home internet service last year, T-mobile is looking at new ways to draw in customers. The company has announced its latest acquisition initiative, a 15-day free trial period. While offers such as this are usually for tangible products, the company hopes it will give customers a chance to see the difference in its internet offering. Likewise, customers will have the option to cancel within 15 days of starting the service if they are dissatisfied with T-mobile’s 5G. The 15-day trial period will be in addition to covering the cost of termination fees up to $500 for users who choose to switch over. Users will need to check if their address is approved for the offer as some locations in the US do not yet support 5G.

New Portability Feature from Starlink Provides Internet for those on the Road

The SpaceX internet service Starlink has introduced an ew Portability feature. Access to the internet will work so long as the continent they are on provides active internet coverage. Likewise, this new Starlink feature will offer internet to remote places likely to never be covered by 5G. While the service does not work on vehicles in motion, Starlink has stated that an upgrade is in the works. In addition, the company is working on a power-efficient solution that can plug the dish into a car’s 12V cigarette lighter while maintaining connectivity. Subscribers to the Starlink service will be able to access the internet everywhere with a new dish device and a monthly fee.

Meta in Process of Releasing New VR Headset Equipment

Fans of Meta’s VR sets will soon get a series of new VR products. The company announced its plans to release four more VR headsets between now and 2024. Of the four, the first release will be of Meta’s new high-end VR headset, titled Project Cambria. A spokesperson for Meta stated the price will be significantly higher than current headsets. In addition to Cambria, Meta will release another high-end headset, ‘Funston’, in 2024. The company’s lower-cost Quest headsets will debut in 2023 and 2024. At this time, the company has not confirmed any other information on the previously unannounced products.

Weekend Events: May 6-8

Explore all that your local neighborhood has to offer this Friday through Sunday! We’re rounding up all the best fun to be had for a fun May weekend as we head into warmer days and hopefully less Zoom’s.

LOS ANGELES MAY WEEKEND EVENTS

LA County Fair

When: May 5 – May 30

Where: Pomona

What: The LA County Fair returns right in time for warm May weekend weather! Make your way to the Pomona fairgrounds for what has been a local tradition since 1921. While there won’t be much livestock at the former agricultural fair, there will be plenty of fun, rides, performances, and more!

L.A. Underwater

When: Until May 30 

Where: USC/Exposition Park

What: Once upon a time Los Angeles was underwater – 90 million years ago to be exact. Get a close-up look at 40 locally-discovered fossils from when LA was a prehistoric ocean.

Unique LA Market

When: May 7-May 8

Where: Downtown Fashion District

What: The annual Unique market returns to downtown’s Fashion District this May weekend only. Described as the largest made-in-America shopping event in the country, there are a number of unique finds at this one-of-a-kind event. Peruse through clothes, accessories, and art pieces from a number of quality handmade brands. In addition, there will be local products to browse and different designers and artists showcasing their work to meet.

 

WESTSIDE & BEACH COMMUNITIES MAY WEEKEND EVENTS

David Sedaris

When: May 8

Where: Westwood

What: Prodigious satirist David Sedaris grew up believing that the whole world wanted to hear what he had to say. He was right. The rock star of writing is a master scribe and author of more than a dozen collections of essays, short stories, and diary entries. Join him for an evening of conversation and watch him work his self-deprecating comedy live in front of a throng of fans.

Rooftop Cinema Club

When: July 4 

Where: El Segundo

What: This Friday catch a screening of ‘Sing 2’, ‘The Goonies’ or ‘10 Things I hate About You’ at El Segundo’s Rooftop Cinema Club series. The masters of alfresco rooftop movies provide the perfect setting for warm May weekend weather and an evening of fun under the stars.

Flamboyance: A Topiary Menagerie

When: Until July 31 

Where: Rancho Palos Verdes/Rolling Hills Estates

What: Over 100 topiary animals will be on view at the South Coast Botanic Garden now through July 31. The colorful installation, ‘Flamboyance’ includes 70 pink flamingos filled with begonias, as well as floral recreations of dogs, rabbits, monkeys, butterflies, and dolphins.

 

CONEJO VALLEY MAY WEEKEND EVENTS

Kathleen Madigan 

When: May 6 

Where: B of A Performing Arts Plaza Thousand Oaks

What: Award-winning comic and TV personality Kathleen Madigan will bring her uproarious stand-up show to Thousand Oaks. Madigan’s comedy resume includes 25 appearances on the Tonight Show, along with other late-night shows. In addition, the comedian most recently appeared with JerrySeinfeld on his internet series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

CSU Channel Islands Arts Under the Stars Event

When: May 7 

Where: California State University Channel Islands | Camarillo

What: Enjoy CSUCI’s Arts Under the Stars this Friday! The event will have dancing, singing, acting, and a performance by a Ukrainian dance troupe for an evening to remember. “Inertia” is the theme for the 2022 CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI)’s Arts Under the Stars (AUTS) extravaganza.

Mother’s Day Brunch at Reagan Library

When: May 8 

Where: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library  Simi Valley

What: Attend the 15th annual Mother’s Day Brunch at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library this Sunday! The library’s champagne brunch will feature a gourmet meal and a tour of the museum. In addition,  a professional photographer will be available to take your picture to commemorate this Mother’s Day. For more information, please call 805-577-4057.

 

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY MAY WEEKEND EVENTS

Electric Dusk Drive-In Presents: Dirty Dancing

When: May 7 

Where: Electric Dusk Drive-In | 236 n central ave | Glendale

What: Dance your way over to Electric Dusk Drive-In this weekend for a screening of the cult classic ‘Dirty Dancing. Enjoy a perfect May evening under the stars with a beloved film that all can enjoy.

Mother’s Day Brunch & Mimosas!

When: May 8

Where: Violet Cactus Studio | Burbank

What: Cheers to Mom! Enjoy a delightful brunch and mimosa soiree this Sunday to celebrate Mother’s Day. The event will feature live music, a photo booth, and delicious food.

Mother’s Day Meditation

When: May 8 

Where: Villa Bodhaya | Woodland Hills

What: Even mom deserves an ‘om’ moment! Treat the special lady in your life to a relaxed and rejuvenating meditation and sound healing experience in Woodland Hills. 

Best Local Ice Cream Shops | L.A. Eats

Whether it is the hottest day of the year or freezing cold, you can still go for that ice cream treat. Lucky for you, there are many spots for an ice-cold treat in Southern California that we’re spotlighting in this week’s blog!

Dear Bella Creamery

Let’s start with Hollywood. The Dear Creamery is a premium ice cream shop steering clear of artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and even artificial colors. In the place of artificial ingredients, the Dear Bella Creamery embraces fresh produce from the farmers’ market. So if you prefer an all-natural experience of flavors such as the Taiwanese Pineapple or Sweet Red Bean, this is the place for you.

Fata Morgana Gelato

You can enjoy the famous Italian gelato from either the West Coast or Beverly Hills. The gelato shop pulls many customers for their iconic stracciatella, although you can swing by and enjoy an array of flavors from their seasonal menu. It is a fantastic choice if you enjoy Italian treats.

Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery

This location is the definition of taking control of your ice cream. Here you get to choose what you want on top of your tasty dessert. You can choose toppings from cookie crumble, puppy chow, or seasonal fruit. There is your reason to come back. The Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery, with multiple locations in Southern California, serves ice cream both as dessert and you can have them as a full meal, your choice.

Bumsan Organic Milk Bar

This shop focuses on providing a personalized experience. Flavors such as milk tea, pineapple mango, and matcha produced at the Bumsan Organic Milk Bar are unique flavors that set the shop apart from its competition. And if you fancy an accompaniment, the shop can serve croissants and waffles.

Mashti Malone’s Ice Cream

Located in Westwood and Hollywood is an ice cream shop providing exotic flavors such as Rosewater, Orange Blossom, and Lavender. The flavors are Persian-inspired, using ingredients from other countries such as India and Lebanon. Here you can have fun with the presentations of your sweet treat. For instance, instead of the usual, you can enjoy your treat with waffles rolled in pistachios. Yum!!

Staycation in Long Beach | Out & About

As one of our nearby coastal cities, Long Beach, is known for its alluring beaches and beautiful attractions. From various water sports to being a short distance from Catalina Island, there’s much to do in LB. Read this guide to help you explore the best of Long Beach.

Where to stay:

The Westin Long Beach

Come to The Westin Long Beach for a staycation and enjoy 5-star comforts. The hotel has a gift shop, outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurants serving different cuisines. You can choose luxury accommodations with calming ocean views or bustling city views. With the Catalina Express just a few minutes away, it’ll be easier to explore Two Harbors for a rustic getaway.

Hyatt Regency Long Beach

Experience luxury at Hyatt Regency Long Beach, the only 4 Diamond Award-winning CA hotel situated on the waterfront in the heart of the city. Amenities include a 6-mile beach, golf courses, whirlpool, fire pit, heated pool, fitness centers, and onsite restaurants. You have everything you need for a fun and memorable staycation.

Things to do:

Aquarium of the Pacific

Explore the beauty of the coral reefs or the intriguing world of sea jellies at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Several exhibits are available to ocean enthusiasts or those who want to learn more about marine life. They have virtual field trips for your little ones, live exhibits, boat adventures, animal encounters, and much more! There’s something for the entire family at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Long Beach Antique Market

Do you fancy antique items? Visit Long Beach Antique Market and explore over 20 acres of collectibles, antiques, jewelry, decor, and vintage clothing! The antique market is close to Hollywood, which is why it attracts film stars, directors, and producers. If you’re looking for quality pieces of interesting items guaranteed to wow guests, this is the place. You’ll be spoilt for choice at the Long Beach Antique Market!

Where to eat and drink:

The Ordinaire

Want a 17th-18th century tavern experience in Long Beach? Then head to The Ordinaire and order your favorite drinks! The El Guapo made with tequila, lime, mezcal, pineapple, honey, and firewater bitters is a must-try! If you’re having brunch, the Whiskey Sours is the perfect brunch cocktail. And guess what, they even have Scotch-based cocktails! The Ordinaire offers both indoor and outdoor heated seating. Don’t forget to make a reservation if you’re booking for 10 or more of your friends or family!

Parker’s Lighthouse

Whether it’s for a private event or a romantic dinner for two, Parker’s Lighthouse is the place to be! Indulge yourself in different types of wines at their two-story wine cellar. And you can never go wrong with their grilled fresh seafood. With the breathtaking views as a backdrop, you’d never want to leave.

Queensview Steakhouse

Try California’s seafood dishes and delectable wines at the Queensview Steakhouse. Fresh lobster, prime steaks, and grilled fish are a must-try. On top of that, you get to also enjoy romantic views. Queensview Steakhouse is open from Wednesday to Sunday between 5 pm to 9 pm. Live entertainment is also available on Thursdays to Sundays.

Visit Long Beach Today!

Whether you live in Long Beach or just visiting, there is something for everyone in the city! Beach activities, fine dining restaurants, 5-star hotels. You name it, Long Beach’s got it!

Our Earthquake Preparedness Tips | Home Tips

Earthquakes occur without notice, especially in the earthquake capital of the U.S., California. Since you cannot predict when and where the next major earthquake will hit, you can only prepare in advance to survive it and minimize its impact. Preparing for an earthquake is not a difficult task. Read on for tips on how to organize simple resources to create a safety plan for you and your family.

1. Get Your Earthquake Go-bag

It’s possible to have inadequate access to water, food, electricity, or other essentials after an earthquake. Stock up on disaster supplies that will help you get through for up to 3 days. Store enough water, food, and a first aid kit and manual. Other necessities that may help after an earthquake include a flashlight, portable, battery-powered radio and extra batteries, cash and credit cards, and a tow or rescue rope.

Keep the emergency kit in a convenient place where you spend most of your time so that it is readily accessible in the event of an earthquake. Also, do not forget to change the water and food items in the kit every six months.

2. Know Your Local Emergency Numbers

It is an excellent idea to develop an emergency communication plan. Teach your children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information. Make sure everyone in the family knows the personal phone numbers of a contact person who can also send help.

3. Secure Items That Can Tip in Your Home During an Earthquake

Most deaths and injuries result from heavy objects and collapsing building materials, such as cabinets and heating units. Before an earthquake, take measures to decrease your risk of damage and injury from an earthquake by identifying and securing the following possible home hazards:

  • Breakable items such as bottled foods and glass should be stored in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Items such as bookcases should be securely fastened down or attached to the wall.
  • Hanging plants, paintings, or mirrors must be placed away from beds or sitting areas.

4. Educate Yourself and Your Family Members About Earthquakes

Inform yourself and your family about earthquakes through newspapers, television, radio, and the internet. You can also attend meetings and classes at fire stations to learn about safety precautions and lessons from past earthquakes. Learn skills for self-defense, rescue, first aid, emergency alerts, and evacuation. For more information on protecting your property from earthquakes, contact your local emergency management office or the American Red Cross chapter.

5. Practice Disaster Drills

To train yourself for emergencies, get the entire family to practice an earthquake drill. Teach all family members how and when to turn off utilities such as gas, electricity, and water at the main switches or valves. Planning and practicing an earthquake drill will help you and your loved ones understand what to do if you are not with them when an earthquake strikes.

6. Minimize financial hardship by strengthening your property and considering insurance

To fix potential structural defects in your home:

  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Eliminate potential fire risks by repairing defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections.
  • Reinforce the ceiling surrounding the chimney to protect yourself from falling chimney bricks that might penetrate the roof.

Contact your city or county government office for information on structural safety standards and qualified contractors in your area. Additionally, to protect your home investment, consider high-quality earthquake insurance.

Economic Update For The Week Ending April 30, 2022

Stock markets fell for a fifth straight week – U.S. stocks suffered steep losses again on Friday to close out a brutal month. The Nasdaq had its worst month since 2008 as the technology stock sell-off continued. The Nasdaq is now in bear territory, down more than 20% for the year. The Dow and S&P 500 did not fare much better this week with the Dow plunging 939 points on Friday. The S&P had its worst month since March 2020 when the pandemic shutdown was enacted. Higher interest rates, higher fuel costs, supply shortages, and higher employment costs have investors feeling that earnings, while strong in the first quarter, will be lower in the future. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 32,977.21, down 2.5% from 33,811.40 last week. It’s down 9.25% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 4,131.93, down 3.3% from 4,271.78 last week. The S&P is down 13.3% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 12,334.64, down 3.8% from 12,839.29 last week. It is down 21.2%, year-to-date. 

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.89%, unchanged from 2.90% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.96%, unchanged from 2.95% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields. 

Mortgage rates – Home mortgage rates have continued to increase. Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that mortgage rates as of April 28, 2022 for the most popular loan products were as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 5.10%, unchanged from 5.11% last week. The 15-year fixed was 4.40% almost unchanged from 4.38% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.78%, almost unchanged from 3.75% last week.