Monday, September 19, 2005

Seismic slip event underway: Are you ready to be Katrina'd?

The two big 'plates' which generate our greatest risk of major earthquake are moving. Here's the Toronto Globe and Mail story.

If the Big One hits, or even a Little One, best be prepared to take care of yourself for a week. Do you have that much bottled water (a gallon per day per person; includes rudimentary sanitation needs) and enough unfrozen, unrefrigerated food on hand (please do include a can opener), with the means to stay warm, when the electricity and gas lines go out if it doesn't hit until, say, January?

It's been four times that long since Katrina hit the Big Easy, and the majority of New Orleans still has no drinkable water... and, having been in multiple harricanes, they're pikers compared to what an 8.0 quake would do, which we see in the PNW about every 500 years. The last Big One was 305 years ago, BTW, so we have a 10-20% chance of another Big One in the next decade.

9.0? My imagination is not that good. But, here's what the Oregonian predicted for an 8.0, so just make everything 100 times worse for a 9.0.

Wouldn't hurt to check your insurance, too. I go out to too many fires where folks don't have insurance, let it lapse, or the agent screwed up. It's heartbreaking when that happens.

Get ready now and visit the Oregon Trail Chapter, American Red Cross, preparation site. Start with the water, then the food (Grocery Outlet has some marvelous bargains). You don't need the fancy schmancy MREs, just stuff you like to eat, comfort food. Then, work on heat, first aid supplies, and the knowledge on how to use them.

Don't count on 911 to save you; even Portland's center can only handle 40 calls at a time; Washington County 16 calls at once; more than ten calls crashes C-Com in Clackamas Co.

911 systems fail (and there's lots more where that came from). Columbia County's 911 center crashed last year without any crisis underway, and ham radio operators had to provide emergency communications. Gee, the beefed up system designed to handle an 'incident' at Trojan? Yep.

Therefore, knowing the 'back door' number into the 911 Center may be very useful. Here's the 'non-emergency' number, which may (no promises) work if 911 fails:
503.655.8211 Clackamas Co
503.397.1521 Columbia Co
503.823.3333 Portland/Multnomah Co
503.635.0238 Lake Oswego
503.538.8321 Newberg/Dundee
503.629.0111 Washington Co
503.434.6500 Yamhill Co

That presumes the fire trucks can roll. Has your fire station been upgraded to Zone Three quake specs? MANY HAVE NOT. FIND OUT NOW Call the non-emergency number for your fire department and ask.

Clackamas County Fire District Number One, Lake Oswego FD, Portland Fire Bureau fire stations map (large & requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) or list (no Adobe required) and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.

Wouldn't hurt to ask your local FD about free CERT training: Here's a list of CERT programs around the state.

Of the 22 specific recommendations from a major quake exercise & study in 2002, exactly one (1) has been adopted by local government. One.

There were oodles of warnings to folks about hurricanes before Katrina, just like this warning. Do you want to be a victim, or a casualty? Your choice.

Oh. Have an interactive quake map.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

OREGONIAN's owner praised for work on saving people in New Orleans

The New Orleans Times-Picayune is owned by Newhouse, who also owns the Oregonian. Those Newhouse papers have websites which at times are not as good as they could be, but in Katrina, NOLA.COM really shined. Here's an Online Journalism Review article about that NOLA.COM website, and a very relevant quote from its editor:

Donley: It was weird because we couldn't figure out where these pleas were coming from. We'd get e-mails from Idaho, there's a guy at this address and he's in the upstairs bedroom of his place in New Orleans. And then we figured out that even in the poorest part of town, people have a cell phone. And it's a text-enabled cell phone. And they were sending out text messages to friends or family, and they were putting it in our forums or sending it in e-mails to us.

The cell service didn't work, but they could send text. They're saying now that the body counts won't be as bad as they thought, and I know at least some of that is that people figured out how to hack the system, to use this kludge to save people's lives.

This stresses the importance of the SMS capability of your cellphone. See a previous article for details you, and your family, should know about SMS.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Mil-Blogs: What the grunts think

Blogs. Gotta love 'em. No better way to find out what's really going on? Or, a supreme test of your ability to separate fact from fiction and recalibrate your BS detector? YMMV.

Anway, here's an index to milblogs, web logs from the guys and gals with their boots on the ground.

Free CERT Disaster Training

CERT training is offered free by the Clackamas Co. Fire District No. 1. CERT was created after the World Series and Mexico City quakes when firefighters discovered spontaneous volunteers rescued a lot of people, but many of those volunteers were hurt or killed in the process.

Training teaches you how to effectively deal with disasters, while not becoming part of the disaster. Won't turn you into a firefigter, but will teach you how to deal with many disaster problems without getting hurt.
Google search on CERT

The classes will be held at:

Clackamas County Fire District #1 Training Center
15990 SE 130th, Clackamas, OR 97015 (off 212/224)

The available CERT training dates are:
October 15th, November 12th & December 3rd

You can sign up for the class by calling 503-742-2652.

Friday, September 02, 2005

News from the Southron Apocalypse

The Interdictor is a data center guy, blogging, with webcams, from, an ISP in a Central Business District highrise in New Orleans. Guess who I'm picking as my next web host, for this trial by fire shows they will be up and on line with my trivial babble until the Last Trump.

If there was a Pulitzer for blogging (present company excepted, of course), he'd be my recommendation for this year's ballot (last year being A View From A Broad, a female milblogger who just re-upped. (And, yes, as S.M. Sterling would say, I am distressingly liberal.)

This Wiki also gives you some idea about what's going on. There are other good Wikis, too; gotta get back to the phone bank.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

[Health] Providence once more makes 'Most Wired' list

7.2 percent difference in risk-adjusted mortality rates after controling for size and teaching status, was found in this year's American Hospital Association study the impact of IT on hospital quality and patient survival. This is published in their current Hospitals and Health Networks magazine, itself an interesting read.

The Wall Street Journal analysis (by Laurie Kawakamia) of the HHN article also noted
Among the findings, the survey reports that 41% of the most-wired hospitals have most of their physicians using computerized systems for drug orders. That compares with 27% of all hospitals surveyed and 8% of the 100 least-wired hospitals. For medications ordered at the most-wired hospitals, 28% of all orders are performed by physicians electronically, up slightly from 27% last year and more than twice the average of all hospitals surveyed. At the least-wired hospitals, less than 2% of medication orders are entered electronically by doctors.

Electronic medication alerts, which warn of complications like duplicate orders, drug interactions or wrong dosages, also are more common at the most-wired hospitals. These hospitals are more likely to link their alert systems to electronic surveillance systems that monitor a patient's vital signs, lab-test results and other clinical information designed to notify caregivers if the patient's condition deteriorates.

Getting the hospital fully-integrated is an important step in the process, and I'm very pleased to see Portland Providence leading the way.