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Something that has been on the back of the mind for some time prompted this. Well, that and reading a ton of the social aspects of a major disaster. Some my own study, but also some material from my wife and sister (education and neuroscience, respectively), both of whom had interesting contributions. (A return to a deep study of what went down in the Hurricane Katrina in various communities has brought the concept more to the fore as well.)

More on the point; we have a lot of good folks here spread around the Pacific Northwest (and elsewhere), who live in a multiplicity of communities. From the major metro centers, to remote locations, to the rural communities, and all points in between. Some highly diverse, others not.

Queries:

  • How do you foresee things going down in your community in the event of a major disaster (e.g., a Cascadia event, nuclear exchange, et al.)? Naturally there is no way knowing for sure, sans experiencing it, or a crystal ball. But an educated guess can be made.
  • With this in mind how are you preparing, networking, etc.?
  • Do you see the present social structures helping or hurting? Why?
  • What rôle do you see you and your family playing? (Or, perhaps none at all.)
  • How do you see present community organizations responding? Positive, negative, or irrelevant?
  • What's your game plan regardless?
Thanks for sharing. :s0155:
 

arakboss

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Wilsonvillians will,

1636529106363.png
 
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As far as disruption to infrastructure, not very well. The utility companies (like power and communications) have been hollowed out steadily to where they don't have the resources to do much of anything. No local crews, equipment, etc. They now rely on contractors, and only keep enough of them to do normal repairs and upgrades.

As far as transportation, the County has a good crew and enough equipment for minor repairs, like removing fallen trees and such. The County Commissioners would likely enlist help from logging crews to make roads passable in a major earthquake-type situation. (I often laugh when I read that the Coast would be isolated from the Valley for years after a major earthquake. Loggers could make a passable road in a few weeks (worst case) if there was no paperwork, inspectors, or protesters involved. You would have to provide them with diesel, culverts, crushed rock, and such. Then get out of the way!)

The local water system could be affected if the pumps (or the backup generator) failed. The supply pipeline is less than five miles long, but some parts of it are on unstable ground. They still haven't realized that they should have a backup line. The creek that supplies the water flows through town, so untreated water will still be available, but very limited in summer.

The water is supplied by a dam and reservoir that is critical in the summer months. From October through June there is plenty of water in the creek. After July 15 it would not have enough flow. If the dam was destroyed by an earthquake, the flooding might do serious damage to 10% of the town, plus rural residences near the creek. Loss of the storage would trigger the water problems mentioned above.

There is a pretty good CERT team locally, and the County Sheriff and Public Works Department could be relied upon to step up with competent responses to any challenge, subject to the resources available. As I mentioned above, the Commissioners can be expected to be creative in making resources available.

The major problems are going to be food, power, and transportation. All of those are intertwined, and are not controllable by the local authorities. I don't have much faith in the ability of the State of Oregon to coordinate a viable response.
 
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Living in Redmond we have the biggest airport for bringing in supplies and relief workers when the rest of yall fall into the ocean. So I expect a huge increase in traffic and a lot of floaters seeking refuge here. I will take care of my family and friends first then do what ever I am able to do to help refugees.

I have a well and generator but gasoline will be one of the first things to run out and be rationed. So I will be at the gas station filling everything up even before yall stop shakin. And just so you guys don't get any ideas I won't be walking around town with an AR-15 or my HK91 hanging on my shoulder but I will be packen my .45acp XD mod 2 subcompact with the extended clip and a spare magazing in my pocket.

When friends were evacuated due to the big fires they stayed with me for a week until they were able to return to their residence which was fortunately intact.
 
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My network is minimal so wouldn't be a hindrance, also not much help.
Haven't talked or discussed much with neighbors. Neighbor on the corner is very capable, and the one around the corner and his old man are both MGTOW and well suited for doomsday scenarios. The rest seem to be pacifists or old.
Game plan - would check in with neighbors.
I'd then check in with my kids (mental reminder to give them a short wave). Getting to them may be problematic. The house they live in is pretty exposed but has an excellent 360 for a 1/2 mile or more. Oldest would dig in with their church group in a compound out near Molalla, like when they had to evacuate from the fires. Son is in the top floor of his dorm at OSU, so may be a goner if *the* big one hits.
There are a few NWFA members within walking distance - haven't discussed any plans with them.
 
I am only generalizing, but I believe that community emergency response will resemble a decapitated fowl in a barnyard.
I was on the ground in Houston four days after Harvey, and your description would apply to the the scenario I saw there.
Every hotel for a ~20 mile radius was booked by FEMA but *no one* was in them. People were fending for themselves. I passed hundreds of houses where it seemed the entire contents were out front in a heap.
Were something like that to happen now, with our supply chain issues, it would compound the problem ten-fold.
 

ma96782

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Some are depending on the hard work of others. Like in.....


BUT THEN......
There will be someone along to claim .......
thats-racist.gif


Aloha, Mark
 
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Aero Denezol

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In the event of a Cascadia quake, my community would sit on their buns and wait for the gov't. Some people are part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The CERT people will probably go around checking on neighbors etc. There are CERT caches all over town. They contain food/water etc. This is some kind of FEMA program, if memory serves.

I don't plan to do anything except set up a perimeter. We have enough supplies for a few months if we ration. I grew up with not much and I'm used to the hard way.

Anything beyond 3-4 months without food/water all bets are probably off. If it comes to that I'm confident my wife will loose her nerve and get me killed.
 
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Great questions and a good thought exercise. Here's my response:

• How do you foresee things going down in your community in the event of a major disaster (e.g., a Cascadia event, nuclear exchange, et al.)? Naturally there is no way knowing for sure, sans experiencing it, or a crystal ball. But an educated guess can be made.

Currently I'm in Portland (not for long.....please Cascadia, hold off for a bit longer, please!). I'm a member of the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a ham radio operator for the team, assistant team lead, and one of the few members with the gear the inexperienced city EM bureaucrats recommend --- actually a very comprehensive and modular response kit). Our team actually does some decent exercises and some creative, likely ineffective training, but most of the members are 60+, un- or poorly equipped, and have no practical disaster experience (and, it sometimes seems, little common sense).

Using the Cascadia quake as the example, I expect that our CERT team will......do little or nothing of value. We're supposed to respond within 24-48 hours (many on the team think we'll be responding within mere hours), but I know that's not likely. I know I'll be focused on my family and my immediate neighbors (most are 70+ and not that physically capable), as I'm trained to do. Then, if I decide my family and home is safe (there's a drug addict community about 200 feet away -- so I'm doubtful), maybe after 2 or 3 days I'll be able to either communicate with my CERT via ham radio or go to the Staging area. Maybe.

The operations plan for our team is worthless; it lacks clear steps and specificity, no one (except me, most likely) has even read it. Team members will try to respond post-Cascadia, but with few personal or team resources, limited or no communication (much of the time our members forget their FRS radio or batteries or how to use it), I don't see them nothing much of anything useful. There is no provision for how (or if) to respond after dark (I have encouraged the team to not do this--far too many hazards), the CERT training is unrealistic -- the training calls for a CERT to establish a medical triage and collection/treatment point near the Incident Command Post (ICP), but --- for a Cascadia event, why? ---- there will be no transport to a hospital and why move injured people across the neighborhood, away from their home and family, so we can do ..... what exactly? There are no team medical supplies, no shelter, and I'm the most well trained team member who has only taken a wilderness first aid course. Perhaps they will be some medical people from the community available, but with out supplies or shelter what will they do? In March. When it's raining and 42 degrees F.

CERTS are supposed to work for no more than 12 hours per operational period, if a team sets up an ICP as trained and sets up a medical treatment area, what happens at the end of the 12th hour of operation? Do we just walk away, tell the injured we'll be back in 12 hours, good luck with that? When I ask that question of my team or the city EM staff, I see deer-in-the-headlights and hear only crickets. Many on the team, based on our live field exercises, are completely unprepared for and ignorant of the actual conditions they'll have to deal with in the field post-disaster.

At one exercise, a team mate who, (bless her heart for her evident passion for this role) is extremely pleased with her role as documentarian--she has many copies of every form we're supposed to used during a disaster--- was quite distraught to find that the wind blew her forms off the table and the pop-up canopy she setup blew over. She had no idea what to plan for but, hopefully, she learned and is better prepared. I didn't have the heart to tell her that paperwork was the primary concern of the city's EM staff who (thinking first and foremost of getting reimbursed by FEMA) would be sitting in their multi-million dollar, bomb-proof, solar-powered, super-duper green energy standard operations center, complete with showers, hot/cold water, food, bunks to sleep in, and communication with the outside world. Post-Cascadia, paperwork for me, the volunteer in the field, isn't even my last priority.

No one working for the city EM department has any real world, in-the-field disaster experience. No one on my team does, except me. There are a few with experience scattered amongst the teams around Portland, but the city EM staff are working from plans that aren't grounded in reality, they have no actual experience, and until recently hadn't even completed the training that the volunteer CERTS had completed --- and these were the same public employees who were teaching the CERT classes and critiquing us at trainings and exercises.

For all the boasting by Portland’s EM office, the reality is that a Cascadia event will overwhelm the town, the first responders, the EM office and everything in between. The CERTs will try, at least some, but there will be too many in need, too few who can actually help, and too few resources. Help, when it comes, will be small groups of locals, including Portland CERTs, and organized resources from outside the region.

One of the most unsettling statements I heard at a team meeting was in regards to the local homeless population, "We can most certainly use them as Spontaneous Volunteers. I know they'll want to help and they live in our community. There's all kinds of things they can help with." I didn't even bother to question this or ask for an example, but that view made me even less likely to respond with my team to a major event. It's bad enough that my team members are poorly trained, with no or incomplete equipment, and unfamiliar with the reality of working on the ground in the aftermath of a major disaster; to add the mentally ill and/or drug addicted to a disaster response team is unhinged.

• With this in mind how are you preparing, networking, etc.?

I've prepared my home and family as best I can, food, water (and ways to get/filter/sterilize it), medical training (wife's is an RN), medical supplies (a surgeon or ER doc could make use of much of my supplies --- which is exactly why I invested in it, so someone with the right training could help, even if they didn't have the supplies), multiple shelter options if the house is damaged, heat and cooking options, safety equipment, personal protection in a variety of forms or a wide range of needs/uses, short and long range communications, food and shelter kits for the pets, skills and knowledge that will help my family (and perhaps some neighbors) survive. I'm planning that there will be no way to leave town for several months. It's going to be ugly, very challenging, and I pray I can move before the mega-quake happens. (Not that the impact of the quake at my can't-wait-to-get-there home won't be serious, but at least it won't be the level of devastation I suspect Portland will see.)

• Do you see the present social structures helping or hurting? Why?

I'm a bit concerned that in my area, that the "tolerant, inclusive, equity-based, quasi-socialist" viewpoint may put me at odds with some of my neighbors. I'm not going to help the homeless drug addicts down the block with food, water, medical attention, etc. I'm only to going to provide limited support (depending on the attitude, perhaps none) to those who could have prepared --- but didn't, yet want me to "do it for the children, oh, please, won't you do it for the children?" The elderly neighbors, some who I know have made preparations, will be, after my family, my first priority.

• What rôle do you see you and your family playing? (Or, perhaps none at all.)

In my neighborhood (a few blocks at most), I see myself as being the one to check on others, maybe organize a limited response to immediate households, offering advice, assistance, training, perhaps even providing some limited level of security to one of my elderly neighbors. I know that some neighbors will pitch in, it's just that many don't have the physical ability or the safety awareness that I think will be needed. And I can, and will, only do just so much. I won't jeopardize my family's safety.

• How do you see present community organizations responding? Positive, negative, or irrelevant?

Despite the formation, training, and presence of CERT teams, I am not optimistic that these very well intended volunteers will actually accomplish much. There will be the team here and there which will exceed expectations, but I believe that their work will be short-lived as volunteering effectively (if you have a home and/or family inside the affected area) means you have to be certain that their needs are met and that they are safe. Plus, working on the ground in a disaster zone is exhausting, even if you're 30 years old, have solid meals, water, and a support system, none of which are likely to be available post-Casadia. Otherwise, any organized response will come from outside the region, be it the DoD, FEMA, Red Cross, etc.

• What's your game plan regardless

Move out of Portland, out of Western Oregon, out of Oregon completely. Not soon enough, but soon. Until then, I'm as prepared as I can/am willing to be since I'm leaving shortly.

While there are other factors that have convinced me to leave the state, the Cascadia Quake has been a big factor. I'm involved with 5 different disaster response organizations, logging more than 80 in-the-field disaster responses since 2005, have a graduate degree in the field, and have studied the Cascadia event thoroughly and disaster responses in general; I'm convinced I don't want to be here when it happens. It's going to be a monumentally devastating event that will ruin the value of my biggest investment, my house (but I'll still have a mortgage and owe taxes on it), and put my family in harms way.

"Predictable is preventable", a phrase I heard once at an EM conference and it's definitely applicable in the case of Cascadia. I can prevent harm to my family from a predictable event and that's what I'm going to do. Just wish it could be sooner rather than later.
 

Siglvr

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.....have studied the Cascadia event thoroughly and disaster responses in general; I'm convinced I don't want to be here when it happens. It's going to be a monumentally devastating event that will ruin the value of my biggest investment, my house (but I'll still have a mortgage and owe taxes on it), and put my family in harms way.

"Predictable is preventable", a phrase I heard once at an EM conference and it's definitely applicable in the case of Cascadia. I can prevent harm to my family from a predictable event and that's what I'm going to do. Just wish it could be sooner rather than later.
The crazy that is Portland can be stunning at times. I hear you brother. I looked into CERT, and thought that their best capability would be communicating with the first responders who entered from outside of the area. So I passed on that, but stay in touch with some CERT folks so I can tap that source if and when. I pitched moving outside of town to my wife...nope. Finally I hit the right note which was "lets build an outbuilding to the highest standards out there and we'll rent it out until we need it"...say, if we were sitting on the san andreas fault and wanted a place to live after a horrific quake. That's what we did and it's being rented month to month and providing income. Likely that everything will burn down anyway in the catastrophe of a massive quake.

Have water and multiple filter styles (steripen, MSR, Lifestraw etc) enough for us and a few others, enough food for near a year. Finally we bought a remote place we go vacation to that's about a 4 day walk with packs, and stocked that as well. Last night the car in front of the house had it's window smashed some some lowlife. She's finally starting to look at out of town options in Washington...the acreage with a stream thing. I've worked on her for years, so maybe it will happen.
 
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"The crazy that is Portland can be stunning at times. I hear you brother. I looked into CERT, and thought that their best capability would be communicating with the first responders who entered from outside of the area. So I passed on that, but stay in touch with some CERT folks so I can tap that source if and when. I pitched moving outside of town to my wife...nope. Finally I hit the right note which was "lets build an outbuilding to the highest standards out there and we'll rent it out until we need it"...say, if we were sitting on the san andreas fault and wanted a place to live after a horrific quake. That's what we did and it's being rented month to month and providing income. Likely that everything will burn down anyway in the catastrophe of a massive quake.

Have water and multiple filter styles (steripen, MSR, Lifestraw etc) enough for us and a few others, enough food for near a year. Finally we bought a remote place we go vacation to that's about a 4 day walk with packs, and stocked that as well. Last night the car in front of the house had it's window smashed some some lowlife. She's finally starting to look at out of town options in Washington...the acreage with a stream thing. I've worked on her for years, so maybe it will happen"

Boy, I do hear ya. And applaud your efforts to mitigate a Cascadia event.

Took me years of slowly working to persuade my wife to move, will be gone next year.

I believe that CERT is useful, has a place, and could be effectively utilized but there are a lot of "ifs" during a Cascadia. I think Portland city government is optimistic about the usefulness of CERTs.

I think CERT can be very useful in less catastrophic events, and indeed, around the nation there are examples of that. There have been a few medium sized events in Portland during which CERTs were very useful.

But Cascadia will be...... well, it's impossible to describe how devastating it will be, how widespread and far reaching, but I'm convinced that I don't want to be here when it happens.

One of my CERT members was proud they had had their home retro-fitted to withstand X level of shaking (which is laudable, if very, very expensive) but hadn't considered what Portland and the region will be like for months and years, post-Cascadia. No utilities, no jobs, no security, difficult to travel - even by foot - - slowly that will change. But when I mentioned that she will likely still have a mortgage and property taxes to pay (maybe there would be some debt forgiveness but, I for one, wouldn't count on it), I could see the realization of that (plus the home equity loan for the seismic upgrade) flowing across her face and she sort of croaked, "Oh, my, I hadn thought of that".

The problem with a Cascadia event is that it is expected to occur along an 800 mile front and will seriously affect the entirety of Oregon, Washington, a large part of N California and much of Idaho. It's not just the west side of those states, roads, bridges, overpasses, some buildings on the east will be damaged, closed, fuel, food, etc, will suddenly be limited to what's on the shelves. The closer to the Cascades the greater the impact.

So much comes through the ports (well, pre-Biden, anyway) in Oregon and Washington that supplies the region, things everywhere in the PNW will be unavailable or severely limited for an undetermined period.

The scale of it has convinced me that, especially as I age, I don't want to be in Portland. It's a plus that I've been wanting to move to an area I like way better, especially for the outdoor activities, so I'm seeing this as a giant win-win for me and the family.

Edit to add this: The training provided the CERTs in Portland continues to be disappointing, and likely dangerous as a recent example from a fellow CERT demonstrates. This furthers my belief that these volunteers will less effective than the city thinks they will be. And may be harmed in the process of helping others.

My friend went to a CPR training presented by an employee of the city's emergency management department. My friend is an experienced volunteer disaster responder and a volunteer fireman. He's done CPR and used AEDs.

The employee said that you don't need a barrier device, taught that you do mouth to mouth, you will not bruise or break any ribs doing compressions, your first step should be to get the AED that is in every building (they aren't), use the device without doing a preliminary assessment of the patient, that the AED will work on a full dressed person(it won't) , that a patients body does not involuntarily move when shocked by an AED, and that a patient will vomit.

My friend politely challenged the employee on some of these points. He was told that the employee "was an EMT-B" as though that explained everything. Except that the employee is not working for the city as a medical person. The employee works in a office, primarily as a trainer. As my friend told me, "anyone can take the EMT-B training but it doesn't mean you're certified by the state of Oregon as an EMT-B". This is an example of volunteers being trained by a city employee with zero emergency medical experience. But if there's a difference of opinion the employee gets the last word.
 
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Something that has been on the back of the mind for some time prompted this. Well, that and reading a ton of the social aspects of a major disaster. Some my own study, but also some material from my wife and sister (education and neuroscience, respectively), both of whom had interesting contributions. (A return to a deep study of what went down in the Hurricane Katrina in various communities has brought the concept more to the fore as well.)

More on the point; we have a lot of good folks here spread around the Pacific Northwest (and elsewhere), who live in a multiplicity of communities. From the major metro centers, to remote locations, to the rural communities, and all points in between. Some highly diverse, others not.

Queries:

  • How do you foresee things going down in your community in the event of a major disaster (e.g., a Cascadia event, nuclear exchange, et al.)? Naturally there is no way knowing for sure, sans experiencing it, or a crystal ball. But an educated guess can be made.
  • With this in mind how are you preparing, networking, etc.?
  • Do you see the present social structures helping or hurting? Why?
  • What rôle do you see you and your family playing? (Or, perhaps none at all.)
  • How do you see present community organizations responding? Positive, negative, or irrelevant?
  • What's your game plan regardless?
Thanks for sharing. :s0155:
How do you foresee things going down in your community in the event of a major disaster (e.g., a Cascadia event, nuclear exchange, et al.)?

This depends on the type of event. Natural disasters depend on the size and scale of the event, but a major quake or similar activity would likely result in a kind of "controlled chaos" to start with (people assuming help will be forthcoming), and devolve into outright panic as federal and state disaster response efforts are overwhelmed by the need for support from the unprepared members of the community. Eventually it would settle down as aid and resources finally make their way into the area and cleanup efforts kick into gear, followed by return to normalcy as cleanup and restoration of services are completed.

A nuclear detonation by a foreign power would probably kill us all outright. If not, it would cause an immediate descent into full-blown panic for about 30 minutes, after which we'll all die in the retaliatory or follow-up strike that would undoubtedly follow. A nuclear detonation by a non-nation state threat actor such as a terror group would depend on the type of detonation - more likely than not it would by a dirty bomb, so it would primarily spread radiological contaminants rather than actually create a fission or fusion reaction. This would cause panic mostly due to peoples' lack of understanding about how radioactivity works.

A war involving invasion of US soil by foreign troops is highly unlikely as there would be countless pockets of resistance against the invading force. If it were to occur it would result in panic and chaos from most (and probably a healthy dose of grim determination from the armed citizenry).

With this in mind how are you preparing, networking, etc.?

Preparedness needs are pretty consistent from one crisis to the next - do I have food, water, shelter, sanitation, clothing, power, communications, security, etc? The main thing that changes the equation is whether I have to shelter in place or hit the road. For most crises sheltering in place will be the way to go, but if I have to get out of dodge I'm prepared for that option as well.

Do you see the present social structures helping or hurting? Why?

If you're referring to the communities we live in (not the government agencies that might support them, but the individuals who live there) I suspect they will be a mixed bag. Some people will have the resources to help their fellow community members, but they will likely be overwhelmed by the need. Most will likely hunker down and wait the crisis out. Once they start to run out of food... all bets are off.

What role do you see you and your family playing? (Or, perhaps none at all.)

I would likely reach out to the neighbors and see if they agree on the need for enhanced security in the neighborhood to discourage looting and unrest. If so I would probably coordinate and oversee the implementation of those efforts - for example, creating checkpoints at the entry to the neighborhood, reinforcing fencelines, organizing armed patrols, providing rudimentary training to volunteers, coordinating with local law enforcement or emergency management, etc.

How do you see present community organizations responding? Positive, negative, or irrelevant?

While others' mileage may vary, I've found that most "communities" are less connected than they might have been 20+ years ago. Populations are far more transient today than ever before, with a significant number of people renting and moving after a short duration (i.e. < 3 years). As a result most of the communities I've lived in over the past decade are not something that I would rely upon to band together in times of hardship. Instead, I tend to view most of them as sources of risk - environments filled with unknown persons that have unknown intentions and unknown resource needs.

Only recently have I moved into an area that I would consider a "community" in the more traditional sense. I have higher hopes for this one because most residents seem to be pretty well prepared. We had a power outage recently, and half of the homes had generators that were up and running within an hour. Overall I think it's more likely that my current neighborhood would be able to band together and support its members, though to what extent is anyone's guess. As a result I'd call it "neutral / positive" for my neighborhood, but a net "negative" for most others due to the lack of social ties and relationships between community members.

What's your game plan regardless?

If sheltering in place: engage the neighbors to see if support is needed, and help out if I can without compromising the security of my family or resources. If evacuating: hit the road, head for a "safe" area, and try not to die.
 
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