Author: Joshua Patterson
Date: February 5, 2013
by Bill Steele
The Last Cascadia Great Earthquake and Tsunami;
313 Years and Ticking
Thousands of coastal residents settled in for the night on January 26th 1700 when the ground began to shake. For most, the first signs were subtle, dogs barked nervously as the primary or “P” wave vibrations passed by. The earthquake became unmistakable when the “S” (secondary or shear) waves arrived at village after village traveling at about 6 kilometers a second as the entire Cascadia Subduction Zone ruptured. The 1000 km long fault rupture propagated from its origin at about 3 km a second, generating fresh seismic waves as the fault continued to unzip and slip. Assuming the rupture began in Northern California, it likely took over 5 minutes break the entire fault to northern Vancouver Island.
The earthquake that released about 1500 times the seismic energy than the 2001 M 6.8 Nisqually Earthquake, and can be seen as a connected series of large earthquakes at least one of which produced very low frequency waves with 10s of meters of displacement, and a dramatic popping up of the sea floor that lifted a great column of water. That uplifted column of water then collapsed producing a series of tsunami waves that would batter the coastline through the night and cross the pacific basin. Though all people west of the Cascades were disrupted by the shaking and some injured by falling logs and possessions, it was the water that likely claimed the hundreds of lives lost that night when villages were overtopped by tsunami generated floods.
You Can’t Live Without It
(And it’s not your cell phone)
To understand the importance of water in the event of a major disaster such as an earthquake, we can do no better than look at one of California’s great Shakeout exercises.
In the USGS’ 2008 ShakeOut scenario, it was estimated that 2,000 people were killed and 50,000 injured, with damage costing something over $200 billion.
Whether the earthquake happens on the East Coast, the New Madrid Fault, in California, Seattle, Portland, or the entire West Coast, hundreds if not thousands will be killed in collapsing old buildings.
At the same time, bridges tumble, water lines are ruptured so firefighters have no water while broken gas lines start instant fires (as happened when Superstorm Sandy hit New York). Vehicles that don’t plunge into rivers as the bridges break apart will find themselves in gridlock on useless freeways, possibly miles if not days away from home.
Railway lines will bend like putty, airport runways will become instant death traps, phone services will be non-existent – and in a matter of minutes, life will suddenly never be the same – for those who survive.
Experts say that a California ‘quake would result in as many as 1600 fires, just for starters, while literally millions of people would be either trapped or in desperate circumstances, simply because they are not prepared for such an emergency.
Hopefully, with this article, we are preaching to the converted. You will understand that in such a disaster, emergency services will be totally overwhelmed. Think about that. Emergency services are just as likely to be put out of action as anyone else. So why would anyone expect them to come to their aid?
Only the foolish hang on to that idea, and they use it as an excuse to not be prepared.
California’s Shakeout exercise led to the conclusion that at least 95 per cent of rescues would be undertaken by other survivors.
Then comes the hard part. Contacting loved ones. Getting home. Creating some sort of shelter, Digging in to your emergency supplies. And making it through the following weeks. Yes, weeks.
Anyone who thinks they can stop when they’ve put up enough emergency supplies for the FEMA-recommended 72-hour scenario, is deluding themselves.
Sure, it’s a start.
But we’re talking about being prepared for the aftermath of a BIG earthquake. If you’re not doing everything you can to be self-sufficient for two weeks, a month, two months and more, then as soon as what you have runs out, you’ll be no better off than those who didn’t prepare at all.
Now let’s answer a truly critical question.
How much attention have you given to the need for an adequate supply of potable water? Where do you think it is going to come from when the water lines are ruptured?
Image at right – San Francisco, California, Earthquake April 18, 1906. Broken water pipe showing lateral movement. May 15, 1906.
We take water so much for granted that most of us think having enough food on hand is all we need to do to cope in such an emergency. But without water, death is not far away. Three days away in fact.
Sure, this is blunt talk. But having enough water on hand for your needs is, honestly, a matter of life and death. In an emergency, water is going to become more valuable than gold.
In an emergency, city supplies will be gone. And even if you have a well, you could find it suddenly quits running, not just because the power has gone out, but because earthquakes rupture underground streams and reservoirs. It happened last week (November 2012) to several hot springs in the Canadian national park north of Vancouver Island after a 7.2 earthquake out to sea.
Maybe your steel six-inch well pipe will survive the quake, but we know for a fact that an earthquake can suddenly turn well water into a rusty sludge.
At the heart of the Great Shakeout project is the idea that individuals need to be prepared, because government agencies will be overwhelmed.
California learned from its Shakeout that “In the case of a large earthquake, it is possible that help will not come for two weeks.”
What does that mean? It means the unprepared will become a burden on those who have prepared. It’s happening right now in New Jersey and other places devastated by Sandy. We can certainly have compassion for those who find themselves in such dire circumstances. And yet, we can but wonder why the vast majority of people seem to think that “the authorities” will rescue them.
Frankly, it’s rather ironic that those of us who have spent years encouraging people to be prepared have been labeled as scaremongers and doomsayers – and here we have a real-world disaster which is exactly what we were trying to alert people to be prepared for!
Further, doomsayer or not, we can expect more such superstorms, and bigger and nastier earthquakes in the months ahead.
Which brings us back to water.
If there is one thing that should be taking priority in anyone’s prep planning, water is it.
You need water to cook. To drink. To stay alive. (And let’s not forget your pets and chickens and livestock).
You need stored water.
You need a minimum of one gallon per person per day.
You need to store water now.
The best way to do this, and we have to thank modern technology for the means to do so, is in polyethylene (plastic) drums. These are manufactured to very exacting standards. They are food grade, which means they are certified as safe for water storage. You do not want to be using used drums (food grade or not) for water storage. That’s because it’s impossible to guarantee that bacteria will not grow in them, even if you rinse them out with bleach.
Potable water drums are usually blue. This makes them ultra-violet resistant. They also come in a range of capacities, such as 5 gallons, 15 gallons, 30 gallons, 55 gallons and up.
A 55 gallon drum of water will last one person eight weeks if using one gallon a day. That’s two people for four weeks, four people two weeks, eight people one week, and so on.
At the other end of the scale, a five gallon drum might be stretched to last seven days for one person. Even though they weigh something like 40 pounds when full, these small drums are easier to store and move around than the bigger ones. It’s a matter of individual choice and circumstances as to what size you choose to buy.
But whatever the choice, you should fill them with fresh clean (and in the city, treated) water and add O7 liquid oxygen (one teaspoon for five gallons or one ounce treats 55 gallons) to ensure freshness for at least five years – provided the drum stays sealed.
Without such treatment, water can become stagnant and start to grow algae after about six months – even though it is in a food grade drum.
For the bigger drums, above five gallons, it’s imperative that you have a bung wrench to open it and a msiphon pump to remove the water.With five gallon drums, you can cut out the center of the screw-on cap and insert a plastic tap (faucet). Then you can lay them on their side on a counter to simply open the tap and get water into a pot or other receptacle. But be aware that these drums also have a a second very small screw-on cap. Before first use after storage, you need to pierce the plastic underneath that cap to allow air to get into the drum when you’re extracting water. Otherwise you’ll end up with a vacuum lock.
As far as storage is concerned, all drums should be kept inside or under shade if outside.
Throw a tarp over them too, because even though they’re UV resistant, the tarp gives added protection.. Also, avoid direct contact with the ground, or concrete. Put a couple of pieces of wood under them. If allowed to sit on concrete, natural condensation from the air will cause dampness under the drum and lime in the concrete will eventually begin to etch into the bottom of the drum.
You might go so far as to buy much bigger containers, such as above-ground or underground tanks that hold a thousand gallons or more. You should also consider capturing rainwater (any old drum would do for that) to use for flushing the toilet (if it still works), for personal washing, or for pets and livestock.
In fact, we highly recommend that you purchase a quality water purification system, such as the Black Berkey (left) or one of the Katadyn filters - or a Sawyer bucket filterthat takes out viruses and bacteria.These filters could be a life-saver – and would certainly be essential for treating or purifying whatever water you can get hold of once your own supplies run out – which they will eventually.
Going back to the disaster scenario, you can clearly foresee that the unprepared will be asking for help from those who have prepared. How you handle that is up to you.
Hopefully you get on well with your neighbors, and you have all chosen to store water for your own needs – for as much as a month, at least.
“But they’re so expensive,” we hear somebody say.
To which we reply – “No they’re not. What’s your life worth – and that of your family?”
Please don’t let the gossip of the day (meaning CNN and Fox etc) distract you from the importance of completing your preparations.
And please feel free to pass this on.
The Portland Preparedness Center.
It means buying a raincoat before it rains.
Packing your suitcase before a trip.
Buying bacon before you cook it.
Studying to pass a test.
Buying gas before you run out.
Taking out insurance on your new car – or your house – or your life.
Getting prepared means all of the above, and everyone does those things without a second thought.
So what’s the big deal about being a “prepper?”
“Preppers” are people who have the good sense to have more than a few days food in the fridge.
In fact, “Preppers” are probably the most sensible people around, because they know no-one should be relied on to come and help them when the power goes out – and for who knows how long?
The Portland Preparedness Center is here for those people.
We’re here for you (Sounds like a cliche, but it happens to be true).
We have what you need for short or longterm storage. Everything from food to water barrels to water filters, and books and 72-hr kits and rocket stoves and freeze dried foods and medical kits – and even underground shelters if that takes your fancy.
Preparedness means making sure you’re really hungry before you start eating the elephant….NOT!
It means getting prepared one bite at a time, but you just keep at it.
Author: Michael Knight
Date: September 10, 2012
Some people buy emergency food supplies on the basis of price, and some suppliers advertise their products by the number of “servings” in a container.
This means you can find some product lines that look like a bargain price-wise.
You’ll notice that the highlighted print on the product will (quite honestly) tell you that “servings” are as recommended by the US Department of Agriculture (the USDA).
You will also see that there are as many as 80 “servings” in the container you’re looking at.
The price may also be almost irresistible.
But what are you really getting for your money? Are you really getting a bargain? Are you really getting good food? Is there any real nutrition in this cheap product? And will a “serving” equal a good meal?
The fact is that there is a huge difference between a “serving” and a good meal.
We’ll explain that. But first, let’s look at the USDA pyramid and learn something about both nutrition, and servings. You should know as much as you can about both of these subjects if you are serious about being prepared.
There is no point in spending money on cheap products if they are not going to sustain you, or if it means living (???) on thin soups and pasta for meal after meal.
They also use the term “servings”, although it is a questionable way of explaining the system, as you will see in a minute.
Starting at the bottom of the pyramid, we have the Bread, Cereal, Rice, & Pasta Group, and they suggest you need 6-11 Servings per day.
They say …..
- To get the fiber you need, choose several servings a day of foods made from whole grains.
- Choose most often foods that are made with little fat or sugars, like bread, English muffins, rice, and pasta.
- Go easy on the fat and sugars you add as spreads, seasonings, or toppings.
- When preparing pasta, stuffing, and sauce from packaged mixes, use only half the butter or margarine suggested; if milk or cream is called for, use lowfat milk.
Next comes the Fruit Group, of which they suggest 2-4 Servings daily
- Choose fresh fruits, fruit juices, and frozen, canned, or dried fruit. Go easy on fruits canned or frozen in heavy syrups and sweetened fruit juices.
- Eat whole fruits often–they are higher in fiber than fruit juices.
- Count only 100 percent fruit juice as fruit. Punches, ades, and most fruit “drinks” contain only a little juice and lots of added sugars.
And then the Vegetable Group and 3-5 Servings
- Different types of vegetables provide different nutrients.
Eat a variety.
- Include dark-green leafy vegetables and legumes several times a week–they are especially good sources of vitamins and minerals. Legumes also provide protein and can be used in place of meat.
- Go easy on the fat you add to vegetables at the table or during cooking. Added spreads or toppings, such as butter, mayonnaise, and salad dressing, count as fat.
Milk, Yogurt, & Cheese, 2-3 Servings
- Choose skim milk and nonfat yogurt often. They are lowest in fat.
- 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of cheese and 8 ounces of yogurt count as a serving from this group because they supply the same amount of calcium as 1 cup of milk.
- Choose “part skim” or lowfat cheeses when available and lower fat milk desserts, like ice milk or frozen yogurt. Read labels.
Meat, Poultry, Fish, 2-3 Servings
- Choose lean meat, poultry without skin, fish, and dry beans and peas often. they are the choices lowest in fat.
- Prepare meats in lowfat ways:
- Trim away all the fat you can see.
- Remove skin from poultry.
- Broil, roast, or boil these foods instead of frying them.
- Nuts and seeds are high in fat, so eat them in moderation
Fats, Oils, & Sweets Use Sparingly
- Go easy on fats and sugars added to foods in cooking or at the table–butter, margarine, gravy, salad dressing, sugar, and jelly.
- · Choose fewer foods that are high in sugars–candy, sweet desserts, and soft drinks.
- The most effective way to moderate the amount of fat and added sugars in your diet is to cut down on “extras” (foods in this group). Also choose lower fat and lower sugar foods from the other five food groups often.
According to their numbers, you need as many as 24 servings in a day.
If you are preparing for who-knows-what up ahead you need to buy and store foods that definitely will sustain you and provide optimum nutrition, because you’re going to need all the good health, vitality and strength you can muster. On that basis, the USDA pyramid is an excellent nutritional guide.
This brings us back to “servings” versus nutrition and a good meal. It is, quite frankly, unfortunate that the term “servings” has been intentionally “spun” by some advertisers to give the impression that a “serving” is a meal.
We’ll start by pointing out that advertising copy is intended to persuade you that you are getting a very good deal. That’s why the focus is always on “benefits.” Therefore the use of the word “servings” is highlighted to convince you that this is a real benefit, especially when it comes with a price tag that is much cheaper than some other brand.
But whoa. Step back.
The USDA also says (but the big print on the product omits this) that If you eat a larger portion, count it as more than 1 serving.
In other words, the average person is NOT going to get anything like a decent meal from ONE serving of ANY item. In reality, you’ll starve to death eating your emergency supplies if you expect a meal to be a “serving,” or a “serving” to be a meal.
So what does constitute a “serving” in this USDA pyramid?
Here’s the reality.
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese
|1 cup of milk or yogurt||1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese||2 ounces of process cheese|
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts
|2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish||1/2 cup of cooked dry beans, 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter count as 1 ounce of lean meat|
|1 cup of raw leafy vegetables||1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or chopped raw||3/4 cup of vegetable juice|
|1 medium apple, banana, orange||1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit||3/4 cup of fruit juice|
Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta
|1 slice of bread||1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal||1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta|
If you buy cheap kits that contain only vegetable soups (3/4 cup = a “serving”) and macaroni and cheese (1/2 ounce of cheese and 1/2 cup of pasta) you are not going to keep your tummy happy for more than a New York Minute.
Trust us. We are NOT saying you should not buy the cheap products. We ARE saying “you get what you pay for.” Summing it all up, we’d repeat that a “serving” is NOT a meal. In fact, depending on your appetite and the food of your choice, you can realistically expect to eat at least three and possibly four “servings” for any one meal.
What does that mean to your pocket book? It means if you see something advertised as containing a certain number of “servings” you can divide the price by three, or four, to figure the real cost per meal. A $60 product that touts itself as having say 60 “servings” will in reality give you only 15 or 20 meals, not the 60 that is implied by the use of the word “servings.”.
And even then, they’re not real meals if it’s only vegetable soup or cheese and pasta.
Considering that in this example the price equates to as much as $4 per meal – well, what do you think? Is it a bargain? For soup and pasta?
Wouldn’t you prefer to buy the Be Ready Pantry with its 42 real meals, freeze dried, in pouches and a tub, good for storage in optimum conditions (50 to 70F) for 20 years or more – knowing they’ll be as nutritious when you prepare them as they were the day they were packed.
Current price from us (September 2012 but subject to change without notice because of droughts and rising prices) is $165.
For that, you get 42 real meals – breakfasts, lunches and dinners – enough for one person for two full weeks.
Yes, that’s an average of $4.00 per meal – but it’s a real meal – with each pouch containing what the USDA would say is at least four “servings.” In other words, your $165 gets you at least 168 “servings” – but they will be fruit and cereal for breakfast, tasty rice and beans for lunch, and Tamale pie for dinner (just a few examples) and they are going to give you a full stomach and plenty of energy, rather than leaving you empty and looking for more.
(BTW – we personally tested Tamale Pie recently, and found that one pouch was enough for two people).
We hope this article has clearly explained the difference between “servings” and “real meals.”
And that it will help you in your food preparedness endeavors by encouraging you to understand that difference, and buy very wisely in future.
By all means, compare prices between vendors, especially on the Internet – but remember, we will meet or beat (within reason) any price for same-type or similar products. And you could save on shipping as well.
Lastly – to help you even further - the comprehensive book, “Basic Preparedness,” not only includes a chart of the nutrition values of many long-term storage foods, but also helps you decide how much of each you will need for children, teenagers and adults for an extended period of time.
It condenses 35 years’ preparedness experience into a book that will save you an enormous amount of time and money. It is the “bible” for beginning Preppers, and a boon to the more experienced. You won’t find anything like this anywhere else.
Copyright: The Portland Preparedness Center. 7202 NE Glisan St. Portland. Oregon. (Cnr 72nd and Glisan).
Phone 503 252 2525. www.getreadyportland.com
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