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Check Your L.A. Home's Likelihood of Collapsing During an Earthquake With This Tool Check Your L.A. Home's Likelihood of Collapsing During an Earthquake With This Tool

The recent earthquakes in Mexico, including a 7.1 that just decimated Mexico City, are raising eyebrows in Southern California, where a “big one” has been expected for years. If you live in the Los Angeles area, you might want to know how safe your building is.

How, and Why, to Try Running Totally Barefoot How, and Why, to Try Running Totally Barefoot

Barefoot running is like skinny-dipping: Something that’s already pretty fun becomes exhilarating and memorable when you’re more deeply connected to the environment and your body. You can’t help feeling the nuances of the water temperature and noticing your skin when sans swimsuit, and running without shoes forces you…

Turn Your Outgoing Voicemail Into a Status Update During Emergencies Turn Your Outgoing Voicemail Into a Status Update During Emergencies

If you’ve been affected by either Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey, you don’t want to worry about far away loved ones trying to get in touch with you, on top of everything else. Here’s a way you can keep everyone abreast of your whereabouts and safety status in one simple step: put it on your outgoing voicemail…

Scammers Are Targeting People With Lost Pets Scammers Are Targeting People With Lost Pets

Losing a pet feels terrible. You’re sad, scared, and desperate—you’d do anything to get your furry friend back. And that makes you the perfect target for a scam artist.

Nearly 1.5 Million Acres Are Burning Across the West: What You Need to Know Right Now Nearly 1.5 Million Acres Are Burning Across the West: What You Need to Know Right Now

While states in the South struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the potential damage-to-come of Hurricane Irma, the hot and too-dry West continues to battle a mass of post-Labor Day wildfires unlike any other year. Flames have displaced families, destroyed homes and property, closed highways and roads,…

How to Stay Safe on a Subway That's Stuck Underground How to Stay Safe on a Subway That's Stuck Underground

The ongoing subway crisis in New York City this summer has evolved into a potent cocktail mixing commuters’ worst fears together in a hot, claustrophobic, underground nightmare tube. Delays are on the rise, creaky equipment dating back to the 1930s is in dire need of replacement, and actual PTSD might be setting in.…

How to Stay Safe During a Hurricane How to Stay Safe During a Hurricane

Hurricane Harvey is careening through the Gulf of Mexico and planning to make landfall in Texas. It might even be the first category 3 hurricane to hit that part of the U.S. in nearly 12 years. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe during the storm.

Airlines Are Waiving Flight Change Fees So You Can Avoid Tropical Storm Harvey Airlines Are Waiving Flight Change Fees So You Can Avoid Tropical Storm Harvey

Tropical Storm Harvey is bearing down on the Texas coast, poised to strike as a powerful hurricane Friday evening. Local authorities are preparing for emergency conditions, but if you’re not already on the Gulf Coast, the best thing you can do is stay away.

How to Keep Track of Your Kid at a Crowded Event How to Keep Track of Your Kid at a Crowded Event

I have one kid who’s a darter. He’s four now, so he’s a little better than he was when he was two or three, but still, visits to crowded museums and outdoor concerts cause me a certain amount of anxiety. My most recent terrifying episode was at a crowded park, where I saw him go into the monkey bars area, then I…

Anyone Can Forget a Child in a Hot Car—Even You Anyone Can Forget a Child in a Hot Car—Even You

We’ve all seen the gut-wrenching headline: “Child dies after overheating in car.” And it’s likely, as parents ourselves or not, we’ve all had some negative reaction to this type of news and wondered how could a caregiver of any sort forget that a child was still buckled into the back of the car and just leave them…

These Beauty Products Are Extra-Hazardous for Women of Color These Beauty Products Are Extra-Hazardous for Women of Color

As if it weren’t bad enough that makeup companies rarely offer enough shades for women of color, a new review found that women of color also face the greatest risks of unsafe chemical exposures from personal care products.

Eclipse-Watching Towns Are Going to Be Absolutely Slammed Eclipse-Watching Towns Are Going to Be Absolutely Slammed

The solar eclipse is rapidly approaching and, for the towns that happen to be in the narrow 70-mile band of best observation, this means gearing up for quite the influx of people and traffic.

How to Survive Nuclear Fallout How to Survive Nuclear Fallout

It happened. Bright, white light flashed before your eyes, the power of the sun licked your skin, and you felt a shock wave of dust and debris plow through the city you call home. You’re one of the lucky ones, for now, but your struggle isn’t over yet—not even close.

Should You Be Worried About Sinkholes? Should You Be Worried About Sinkholes?

There’s currently a hungry sinkhole in Florida that’s consumed seven homes over the past month—the largest in the past 30 years. It’s a troubling sight, but how much should you actually worry about them?

How to Avoid Getting Sick on a Cruise Ship How to Avoid Getting Sick on a Cruise Ship

Cruise ships are considered to be notorious hotbeds for illness, especially the “firing out both ends” kind. If you’d rather spend your trip soaking up sun and drinking Bahama Mamas than seeing your buffet dinner in reverse, follow these tips.

Are Fair Rides More Dangerous Than Amusement Park Rides? Are Fair Rides More Dangerous Than Amusement Park Rides?

Fair rides or “mobile rides,” the simple kind that travel from town to town, have a reputation for being a little sketchy. But are they really any more dangerous than the rides you’d find in a year-round amusement park?

How Much Should You Worry About Your Tap Water? How Much Should You Worry About Your Tap Water?

Last week the Environmental Working Group unveiled an updated database where you can plug in your zip code and get a report on the contaminants in your tap water. It’s a great tool, in some ways—but it has some serious caveats, too.

How to Avoid Calamity, With Steve Casner  How to Avoid Calamity, With Steve Casner 

This week on The Upgrade, we spoke with Steve Casner, author of the book Careful: A User’s Guide to Our Injury-Prone Minds. Steve is a research psychologist with NASA who studies how and why we get hurt in our everyday activities: whether we’re chopping vegetables, climbing ladders, or just walking down the street. We…

Use the "Dutch Reach" to Avoid Hitting Cyclists With Your Car Door

As someone who lives in a city with a veritable assload of cyclists, I live in constant fear of hitting one with a car door. But no more, for there is an easy way to make sure this tragedy never befalls you or your friendly neighborhood bike enthusiasts.

When and How to Smash a Window to Rescue a Child or Pet Locked in a Hot Car When and How to Smash a Window to Rescue a Child or Pet Locked in a Hot Car

More states are enacting laws allowing people to break into hot cars to save a child or pet without having to face certain legal liabilities. Oregon enacted one this summer. Arizona’s goes into effect on August 9.

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