How Long Should You Expect to Wait For Help From the .gov After a Disaster?

It is strange to see an article about prepping in Wired. The Science Behind Home Disaster Preparedness Kits Is a Disaster.

Wired is a Left-leaning publication, so they are all upset that “You might be telling people that they have to rely on themselves and their neighbors and not the government.”

Everybody from the Feds on down agrees you need to be prepared. But not many are.

Government agencies don’t have the money to send a fire truck to every house after an earthquake or hurricane. People have to be able to help themselves.

But what to put in the kits, how many days to plan for varies widely.

A couple of years ago things got even more complicated. In 2016 the Washington Military Department, essentially that state’s National Guard, ran an exercise called Cascadia Rising. The idea was to simulate a response to an earthquake and subsequent tsunami emanating from the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Pacific Northwest, subject of a much-read New Yorker article from the previous year. “Cascadia Rising was a massive eye-opener,” says Karina Shagren, spokesperson for the Washington Military Department. “We realized there would be pockets of communities that won’t receive help for several days, if not several weeks.” Washington’s coastal communities would lose the bridges that connect them to the rest of the world. They’d have to wait for help by air or sea.

Washington State now recommends that you are prepared to be on your own for 14 days. The Federal .gov is still saying “more than 3 days.” Most people aren’t even prepared for that.

Wired gets wound up in Social Justice, worried that poor people can’t afford to prepare. But canned food, if you rotate through things you like doesn’t have to cost any extra. You don’t need to buy expensive dehydrated food. Yes, if you need to evacuate, cans are heavy, but do your kids have a wagon? Do you have a non-electric can-opener? Do you already own some sturdy walking shoes? A backpack?

The article even makes some valid observations.

Is there stuff you should probably definitely have access to in your home? Sure. Copies of personal identification documents. Prescription medications. A good whistle. Lightsticks. Water purification tech. A crowbar. (The time you need a crowbar is the time you really, really need a crowbar.)

Water purification is key. You can survive quite a while without food, if you aren’t trying to march 20 miles a day. But you need water. Continue reading

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Hurricane Florence: You Should Be Prepared

If you live in hurricane country, you should have been prepared in March, but since probably less than 10% thought about it, now would be a good time. Hurricane FLORENCE: Public Advisory Number 43

This is looking like a major hurricane, and there are days for it to strengthen.

Satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts. Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday night, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.

The image is from GOES East satellite imagery tropical storm floaters. It is from 10 Sep 2018 at 2:30 UTC. It is a collection of long-wave infrared images given the Rainbow Image Enhancement. (It is one of the better views at night, when visual spectrum isn’t such a good choice.) Click to enlarge.

People won’t prepare. They won’t evacuate when told to do so. They will remember the last tropical storm, or category 1 hurricane and think it wasn’t that bad. It’s what people do. And maybe this storm will swing north out into the Atlantic. (They can’t predict the weather, not between now and Friday.) Or maybe it will be Helene that strikes the Eastern Seaboard as a major hurricane. Or maybe none of them. But it isn’t if, it’s when the next storm will hit. Which is why you should be prepared.

When Hurricane Gordon Comes Ashore in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi or Florida…

The fact that no one is preparing, or getting the hell out of Dodge, will be all Trump’s fault. (Either that or it will be Bush’s fault.) Tropical Storm Gordon Public Advisory.

Gordon is currently a tropical storm. At 1500 UTC it was about 145 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi river, heading northwest at 15 miles per hour.

The GOES satellite imagery shows that the storm is strengthening.

Even though they are predicting up to 5 feet of storm surge in some areas, no one will evacuate. Even though a huge swath of territory could experience as much as 8 inches of rain (and the flash flooding that goes with that) no one will evacuate. Because I sort of remember a hurricane in Texas, but did it really do that much damage? And besides, evacuating so much WORK.

If (when?) someone is in trouble because they didn’t prepare or evacuate, it will be all the .gov’s fault and in particular, Trump’s fault. (Or Bush’s fault.)

If and when Gordon becomes a hurricane in the next 24 hours, it will be the 4th Atlantic hurricane this year. (The 3rd which is a category 1 hurricane, is currently churning in the Atlantic.)

Potential for Earthquakes in the SF Bay Area Should Not Be a Surprise to Anyone

The Hayward Fault, in the eastern part of the San Francisco Bay (Running through Berkley and Fremont) has a major earthquake every 100 to 220 years. It has been 150 years since the last one. The Haywired scenario, OR OutsmartDisaster.com.

When the federal government is telling you that you should be prepared for a disaster, you might want to listen. The video below is from the United State Geologic Survey (in part). FEMA will tell you that you are going to be on your own for AT LEAST 3 days. In a situation like this – where bridges may be destroyed – it could be longer. (AT LEAST not Maximum).

But I doubt that 3 percent of the people in the San Francisco Bay Area have any kinds of preparations or plans. Prepping is too “right wing” or something. So like when Super Storm Sandy hit New York, they will be shocked to find they can’t use their smart phone to buy a coffee, because the internet is broken.

Hat tip to Blue Collar Prepping.

Stop The Bleed

There seems to be a concerted effort to teach people basic trauma first aid. Blue Collar Prepping: Stop the Bleed

Details at the link including a resource to find local classes. There are several offered near me (at local hospitals and a few fire stations) that are free. I suppose I will sign up.

The top cause of preventable death in trauma is bleeding. 20% of people who have died from traumatic injuries could have survived with quick bleeding control.

It has been a very long time since I had a first aid class, though I do carry a fairly extensive kit in my vehicle. I think anyone who spends time a range should be prepared for accidents. They do happen. Or is that negligent discharges?

Nuclear North Korea. Missile Warnings. Random Thoughts.

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” Edmund Burke, (1729-1797)

Bill Clinton’s administration signed a “deal” with North Korea that was supposed to ensure they didn’t get nuclear weapons. (How’s that working out?) The political class loves deals. They love to talk. Because ultimately, it means they don’t have to deal with the issues, but can kick them down the road. This is true of local politics (look at Chicago’s pension crisis as an example) as it is in geopolitics.

The video below is of Clinton. He is so sure that this deal will ensure “peace for our time.” He didn’t say that, exactly. I don’t think any politician will utter those exact words since the travesty of the Munich Agreement, when Neville Chamberlain told the Brits to “go home, and sleep quietly in your beds.” That was right before the Germans kicked off World War II. They didn’t get peace in their time. We didn’t get a nuclear-free North Korea. (And I doubt we will see a nuclear-free Iran, but that is story for another day.)

On the subject of nuclear weapons. Americans never learned the lesson of the Cold War. The US government’s position that any preparation in the face of nuclear war was pointless. Hollywood was ready to lend a hand with that myth. (Actually, I think they just wanted to spend the money in other ways.) Russia didn’t hold that idea. They had (have) substantial shelters – at least near Moscow. And the Swiss have fallout shelters for their entire population. I believe it was written into their building code sometime during the Cold War. (It isn’t tough to build fallout shelters, and not impossible to build blast shelters. Though you do need time.) The Swiss even considered relaxing the requirement for shelters (2005), but ultimately decided it was worth the cost to be prepared for war or terrorism.

In terms of being prepared. It is important – even if you don’t have a prebuilt shelter – to know what to do. The BBC, of all places, has a reasonable article on the topic. How to survive a missile attack: What’s the official advice?

Secondly, don’t try to run. You’re safer inside the closest, most protective building – below ground if possible, somewhere like a concrete basement.

The goal should be to put the maximum space between yourself and potential nuclear fallout.

Not “distance.” Matter. Concrete and earth. Books. Anything. And take some food, and water. While radiation can travel through stuff, fallout is in the form of dust. Breathing it in, or getting it in your eyes, or a cut is bad. I won’t give you info on shelters, because that info is easy enough to find with your favorite search engine. (I hope that’s not Google, but hey…)