In case you didn’t know, April is Earthquake Preparedness Month, and in light of the recent 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan it couldn’t be more appropriate timing. Coincidentally, the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region had been preparing an original web series about earthquake preparedness since February that was set to premiere March 13—two days, it turns out, after the Japan disaster.
The Magnitude, “a web series about love and other natural disasters,” actually premiered on March 11—the day of the Japan earthquake—on PrepareLA, a site developed by the Red Cross of Greater LA to facilitate disaster preparedness education for Southern California.
The five episode romantic comedy follows a group of young Angelenos as they prepare for a major earthquake. “From a scavenger hunt for emergency supplies to earthquake drills before watching the Sunday game, the overall message in each episode is that disaster preparedness is fun, easy and important, reads the show’s website.
The series was created by Jordan Melograna, a Red Cross volunteer who wanted to convince his friends there is an urgent need for individual earthquake preparedness—quite a prescient impulse.
The Magnitude hasn’t gotten a lot of traction on YouTube, which is too bad since the series is well written with compelling characters and performances. Perhaps it was a matter of timing: the show may have been drowned out by the attention surrounding Japan quake, or we’re not ready for a comedy about ‘The Big One’ quite yet.