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Earthquake

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by isher, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. isher

    isher Clallam County Member

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    All -

    There are various threads scattered all over this forum

    About bug-in, bug-out, SHTF, Natch Disasters etc. etc.

    And there is a lot of good content in them.

    However, if I were to have a complaint, they

    All are speculative, and lack specificity.

    So I am going to suggest a collective thread

    Based on a single event.

    I make my living as a strategic planner, and,

    Yes, I live on a rural dead-end road off of another

    Dead-end road. Seven neighbors; the combined skillset

    Is pretty awesome. And, yes, I am a Prep Perp.

    OK.

    December 31st, 2009.

    The Pacific NW coast gets hit by an 8.2 subductive earthquake,

    With accompanying Tsunami.

    And, by the way, the geological Johnnies and Jennies say

    We are due for one.

    So game it out, whether you are city mouse or country mouse,

    From where you live right now.

    My intention is to analyze a single event here, and all its subsets,

    From multiple viewpoints.

    From there, like the process of Triage, people should be able

    To pick their own best set of plans and choices.

    Some detail:

    I-5 is shattered in multiple places from the BC border to somewhere South of Portland,

    As are the secondary highways off the I-5 corridor.

    Regional power is out, major BPA transmission lines are simply wrecked.

    The coastline subsided anywhere from 10' to 130'.

    Land line phone is out, cell is sketchy at best.

    Internet is down.

    The biggest problem that FEMA has is they can't even get in,

    Except by chopper.

    Seattle, as a city, took the biggest structural damage.

    Portland took a lesser hit.

    A number of smaller coastal communities are simply not there any more.

    And its winter.

    isher
     
  2. Mr.510

    Mr.510 Belfair Washington Member

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    Ok, I'll play. Since it's a holiday I'm at my home in Belfair with my wife. This eliminates my worst disaster fear: Being at work in Everett and having the peninsula cut off so I can't get home.

    We'll be staying at home.

    It's both Winter and the holidays so the population density is very low in Belfair. Like a couple thousand people tops within a 10 mile radius or our property. If a tsunami came down Hood Canal "downtown" is probably gone along with half the population and there is likely no way out of the valley without blazing a trail with one or both of the Unimogs I keep at that house.

    First thing check for injuries, both ours and our neighbors. Next assess structural damage to our house and two outbuildings. If none of the buildings appear safe to occupy move the '55 Fairlane out of the insulated 20' cargo container it lives in so we can live in there instead. Open the garage door so that building will drop to ambient temperature, reducing the amount of generator run time required to keep the freezer cold. Move the generator to the garage, plug it in, and chain it down.

    If the house has suffered massive damage things get tricky as that's where most of the supplies, and almost all the food are. Worst case, if the structure hasn't burned but has collapsed, I fire up the trackloader and start dismantling the rubble to recover food and gear. I've got at least 100 gallons of diesel on-site so I could run that machine full-out for two weeks if I ever needed to. (For reference, I could cut a road the 7 miles to town, overland through the forest, in less than a week if I *had* to.)

    We've got a really deep well but it's at the lower edge of the property. The worst-case tsunami simulations have the flood stopping 20 vertical feet short of our well cap. If the well were to become contaminated we would filter water from the rain barrels for drinking and flush the toilet with a bucket of water if the well were polluted enough to kill the well pump. We're on a septic so thankfully we don't have to worry much about disposing of human waste.

    If for some reason the generator fails we can run the freezer and/or well pump (one at a time) from an inverter hooked to any of our vehicles, including the diesel trackloader. And yes, it's a commercial generator and I have two inverters! If I steal the batteries out of most of the vehicles I can come up with eight or ten 12 volt car batteries. I can improvise a generator/battery/inverter system and run a pellet stove for a year. I've got fifty bags of pellets going into every Winter and we didn't use either stove last year. There's an easy month worth of food in the freezer. I would guess we have enough food for two solid meals a day for three months. The third month would be lots of pancakes, rice, and canned soup! If we lose the food in the freezer we're down to two months. Did I mention that deer wander through the yard almost every day? :O)

    Of course we have ammo and weapons and know how to use them. The property is highly defensible, living on a hill is good! The buildings are six hundred feet up a steep S-curved blind driveway. I built the gate specifically so it cannot be breached by ramming, even with a semi tractor or firetruck. I would set up trip wires with pull-string firecrackers to give us advanced warning of possible intruders on foot.

    Here's a trick for perimeter alarms in the NW: Take a pull-string firecracker and tie a tight knot in each string about an inch out from the body of the boomer. Dip the boomer and strings in candle wax out past the knots. Sealed this way they will work, even in the rain, for several months. A spool of sewing thread and some pull-string firecrackers will go a long way toward getting a good night's sleep.

    That's all I can think of at the moment without giving too much away. How am I doing Isher?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  3. Wenis

    Wenis Tri-Cities, WA Member

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    Since my place is on high ground in the south sound, I'm not and never have been worried about a tsunami. Earthquakes can happen anywhere and the tallest structure within blocks of me is not higher than two stories. Assuming all major highways are down to go north/south I-5, I'll also assume for the scenario that I-90, HWY 12, HWY 410, etc are also cut off so driving is not an option.

    The easiest thing would be to grab my hiking pack (full of 5 day supply of food, tent, sleeping bag, water filter, etc.) and get on my mountain bike and ride to the east side of the state where we have family. Carry the bike in places I can't ride and use my gear until I get to family. You can't go wrong with human propulsion. Materials left behind are just that, and can be replaced.

    It wasn't until this year that I started acquiring hiking gear/survival gear, like a large pack, water filter, hiking stove, lightweight tent and sleeping bag, large knife, guns, and even buying things as a just-in-case, like water containers (which always stay full), a cord of wood, propane, mantles, coleman fuel, small gasoline cans, and long-term storage food. I have yet to buy a generator because frankly, they are really expensive and I am of the opinion to buy a good something once instead of a bad something a couple times. We rent in a close quarters complex right now and in a situation like a long-term outage, a loud generator would just draw attention from thieves or the unprepared.

    Good scenario, but I think a more likely and realistic situation for the near future is the dam on the Green River breaking this winter and flooding the Auburn/Kent valley all the way to Tukwila and south Seattle. Business like Boeing are already building barrier walls around their properties. There will be many unprepared to deal with this despite the multiple written warnings and news reports.
     
  4. PDXGS

    PDXGS Aloha... yes, Aloha, Oregon Member

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    I lived through Loma Prieta in 1989. I've lived in the PDX area for 7.5 years and I'm frankly stunned by how many folks dont have an earthquake kit or at least a plan in place in the event one should strike. While I lived in the Bay Area I also helped to plan my company's response capabilities. Because we were on the bay-side of a large freeway we encourage all of our 200+ employees to make a plan and keep some basic supplies at their desk including water, water purification tablets, medication, extra clothing and some good walking shoes...because our only way out was likely to be by foot. We alsohad several SAT phones to continue operating with our parent company in Japan...."all commerce must go on!"
    During Loma Prieta several things became hard to live without.

    • a battery powered or hand crank radio
    • an external shelter- a tent or RV
    • a latrine or composting toilet
    • fresh water
    • high calorie food
    • a heat source
    • fuel for the heat source
    • a bicycle or motorcycle
    • batteries (4 X what your think you need
    • candles
    • toilet paper
    • a good sleeping bag and pad
    The rest will fall into place. Humans can pull together through a common disaster and help each other to deal with the circumstances as long as there are not a lot of casualties or a really long delay in relief supplies (Katrina)....once that happens, all bets are off and you'll have to add a decent shotgun, rifle and plenty of ammo to the list.

    As for now, I have all of the above and more and I can walk/jog the five miles from work to home in about an hour.
    If this event were to happen as proposed there wouldnt be enough body bags for all of the dead....particularly if it happened at night.
    Sweet dreams!
    J
    PS Im 800 ft above sea level....
     
  5. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Hmm, I might not be here anymore. I sit at 200' above sea level and approximately 1 mile fom the beach. OK dungeon master, what do the cards say?
     
  6. isher

    isher Clallam County Member

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    Right -

    You just barely escaped the waters

    (I'm at 250' and 1 1/2 miles inland)

    But you have no power, no comm, and no

    Vehicular roadway.

    So what have you got at home for the interim?


    isher
     
  7. isher

    isher Clallam County Member

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    Therefore, your strategy is to bug out to the East side,

    If I understand correctly.

    What about an encounter with bad people?

    Assuming you escape with your life, you have

    No bike, no food, no water.

    No gear.

    isher
     
  8. isher

    isher Clallam County Member

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    "If this event were to happen as proposed there wouldnt be enough body bags for all of the dead....particularly if it happened at night."

    You are exactly right on that one..............

    isher
     
  9. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    well, lets see. we have only a woodstove for heat, and we have wood put away for the winter. we can also cook on top of the stove, so that's a plus. I also have a 2.5lb propane tank hooked to the barbeque, so that's convenient.
    I suppose I would go out straight away and shut the water off at the meter, until I determined if it had been corrupted or broken, so we would then have the hotwater tank, toilet tank, hose, and pipes full of water. We also have about 2 cases of seltzer water in the cabinet.
    we have a fair selection of canned foods, back-of-the-pantry noodles and stuff, enough to get by for three weeks, but we'd be down to eating pumpkin filling and refried beans and rice pretty fast. That would suck.
    We saved all the candles we were ever given or found, and have a big container of kitchen matches, 1000's... as well as a few lighters.
    I have a pretty well stocked woodshop and a regular set of automotive tools...
    I also have the trappings of years and years of backpacking, road tripping, mountain climbing, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, and camping in the shed and house... headlamps, carabiners, down bags, raingear, backpacks... as well as fishing poles, crab traps, and rifles. I have bullets powder and primers to reload about 350 .308 rounds, and about a thousand .22lr, and about 125 round balls and percussion caps for the 1860 Army...
    If we stay in, we are pretty ok for a while. Our back yard edges up to a canyon that is undeveloped, an easy place to fashion a latrine...
    I know the forest roads pretty well, and have 12 minute quadrangles and topos to get me to Eugene, Corvallis etc on backroads, but gas is a crapshoot. Who knows how much would be in our tanks?

    edit: we also have two 4x4 trucks, and bicycles. If this really happened in winter, w have a variety of ways of catching fresh water, but we'd have to boil it...
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2009
  10. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    to venture down into town after the dawn would be a sight I'd just as soon not see. it sits at 12' elev, and has lots of homes, apartments, motels.... Bayshore is the name of a community built on a sandspit (no #$%@), 100's of homes that bear the full brunt of winter storms at about 10' elevation, edged on the NE by the Alsea river and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.... total devestation.

    I was in New Orleans after Katrina for reconstruction, it was really other-worldly, like something out of Resident Evil. Blackwater guys, dead animals in trees, the whole deal. yuck.
     
  11. Wenis

    Wenis Tri-Cities, WA Member

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    With the proposed kind of devastation, it doesn't make sense for me to hang around and deal with limited resources while I have a support system 200 miles away. As far as no supplies, it just is not true. Of course I have supplies at home, and if I'm not at home, I am somewhere in my truck (which contains a days food ration, a pistol, flashlight, first aid kit, ropes, water, hand tools, multi-tool). If I wasn't at home at the time, I would still have this stuff available and would try to get back to my place (which wouldn't be affected by flooding). I always carry a gun, knife, water and some form of food with me anywhere, so I feel I'm more prepared on a daily basis than, dare I say, I typical Seattlite. My wife carries similar items in her car, minus the gun, but also keeps her sleeping bag in the trunk (ever been stuck on the pass?).

    My greatest fear in a situation like this is being cut off from your spouse/kids. We had to develop a plan in case of such an event where communication did not work, to what our plan of action was to get to one another. It's definitely worth talking about with each other.
     
  12. coyoteman5

    coyoteman5 North south east west Active Member

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    well i live in a travel trailer hoping it wont get thrashed by the quake i do have a 4x4 and a bicycle i am also a ham operator that can help in getting info or giving it i also have a generator which is only good as long as the gas last. I live inland/forest grove area that can be good or bad when crap hits the fan but have a friend that lives a few miles south of here with 60 acres im hoping to make it there if it gos bad.
     
  13. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    I live in Medford which is a city of 80,000 people. Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass and several smaller cities are situated in the Rogue Valley. All transportation in and out of here has to cross mountain passes. This is how we get most of our food. Anything that blocked these passes for more than a few days would probably mean that the stores would begin to run out of food.
    In 1948 a tremendous snow storm struck the western USA. (I was living in Denver, Colorado at the time and the snow reached the top of our house! They even canceled school which they do very rarely there!) My brother in law told me that here in Oregon the snow was 4 feet deep on his property which is about 15 miles from here. It flattened his barn!
    So, how long would the people of this area survive a storm like that today? If no food was to come into this area for a number of days, what would the people do? If a storm like that happened once, it could happen again. Medford only had about 8,000 to 10,000 people then. There are more that 10 times that now. How many are prepared for an disaster like that?
     
  14. NWBear

    NWBear Oak Harbor, WA New Member

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    I lived in the LA area during the last large quake - 7.6?? Freeways collapsed so if you were on the other side the commute was 4-5 hours. (Yes, people returned to work.) I was in a city of ~100K but my neighborhood without "running" water for almost a week - the govt.did bring in GI water trucks. Canned water is OK for toilet flushing etc. but hard to take a shower. I think people should think less apocalyptic and more "loss of 'taken for granted' services". If you prepare for the worst you are fine; but even some stored water, food, normal supplies and medicine, and a porta-potty is nice. Think camping for a week or so, until services return - that would go a long way.
     
  15. FisherPhil

    FisherPhil Albany, OR New Member

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    OK, I'm not an earthquake expert so please forgive my ignorance. My dad is a doomsday type survivalist and so I've had preperation pounded in my head for a long time now. Huge stores of rice, beans, and ammo... Water purification systems, fuels and tools.

    My question is if a quake that size hits the coast, will all of the dams survive without damage? I have sort of a bad feeling when it comes to man made structures failing in unexpected and catastrophic ways. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that if we loose only one on the Columbia a million or so of us can kiss our behinds goodbye.
     
  16. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    At about 40' above sea level, my house is gone, if we survive the quake hopefully we will have time to make the 1 mile hike to the highest point in the city before any waves hit. We would have to pack light, so grab water and energy bars we have stored, packs, pistols, and blankets. Hit dad's house along the route and pick him up for the hike, I would probably have the others go on and we would catch up. The grade school is at top of the hill and would more than likely be used for mass shelter as long as it survived the quake.

    I live in North Bend, Oregon, we would be cut off from the rest of the state for our bridges would be out and more than likely the back roads would be out as well. All the local stores and warehouses are located in the lower elevations. Predictably, there would be very minimal supplies of food and water if the tsunami waves were large enough to enter into the main city.

    I'm not sure whether the spit would slow a tsunami down enough to save some of our city; if so, there is a possibility that Wal-Mart might make it through and provide food supply and shelter.

    In such a small community, the possibility of crime is lower, especially considering most of the scumbags live on lower ground and will be wiped out when the marshes that were filled to build homes and trailer parks on, return to a gelatinous state.

    What is left is a hungry community that knows how to work well together, hunt our own food, and live off the land.
     
  17. MikeIsh

    MikeIsh Portland Member

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  18. NWBear

    NWBear Oak Harbor, WA New Member

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    I am certainly not an expert on dams, BUT... If they give way it will more than likely start with a crack getting bigger, maybe quickly, but not like a wall of water coming down a canyon(Columbia below Tri-cites). The locks are only so high 40-50' and once they go the water will start to fall from this height (the water behind the dam). Also the Columbia is fairly wide below Bonneville at least at Rooster rock and beyond, so by then the rush should be much less. Portland Vancouver etc may get VERY bad flooding but I don't think millions will lose it. That said - it is very inconvenient to be without water, food etc. and people could get nasty - look at how they are when their team loses the Superbowl or a job fair is held in Detroit... My thought is be prepared, be mentally alert, but don't EXPECT to die. Survival is as much mental as preparation. If you have preparation and the correct mental attitude you will probably survive. L.U.C.K. = Labor under correct knowledge.

    Good luck to everyone, my last quake scared the S*#T out of me; I thought we were being bombed (seriously) and under attack. It happened in the early morning so it was dark and the transformers on the power lines were arcing - looked like explosions.
     
  19. Platt05

    Platt05 Washington Member

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    Good points. What sorts of medicine would be the best to store?
     
  20. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    Makes me wonder if OFA should do a preparedness course, with guest speakers who lived through a few of these disasters.