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.

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