Well, it seems that everyone is talking about it now, thanks to an article written by Kathryn Shultz and published on NewYorker.com yesterday. It’s the talk of the town, especially if your town happens to be located somewhere along the Pacific Northwest shoreline.
The Really Big One is a detailed article about an area off the coast known as the Cascadia subduction zone and how plates are moving and bad stuff is going to happen to you if you live there because no one is prepared and no one cares to prepare.
My response: Yeah, and your point is?
If I am coming across as somewhat casual and dispassionate then good, it’s by design. Google my hometown and this is what you get.
I’m sorry, when you grow up on a supervolcano…a few rocks sliding up on each other doesn’t do much to raise the ole’ blood pressure and let me tell you, this dressmaker has an issue with that lady’s figure on people not being prepared. People ARE prepared.
(That’s what the 20,000 plus eFoods Community members dotted up and down the Pacific coast are saying anyway.)
This, like most of these other reports of gloom and doom, attempt to paint pictures of the utter failures of “the people” to prepare for tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, supervolcanoes, or in the case of California, just falling into the sea.
Pop quiz: you’re walking down the Willamette River Walk in Portland and you look up to see a 100-foot tsunami bearing down on you with a vengeance. What do you do?
Exactly…not much. There’s not much anyone could do in that situation. When things like this happen, the people who get taken in the initial onslaught are more than likely the lucky ones. The real atrocities are what follow in the aftermath. Imagine the horror – no food, no potable water, no sanitation services and no shelter for days…if not weeks or months.
Seriously, if a 100 foot wave took out everything west of I-5 like the article describes it would be no less than 30 days before any large scale coordinated effort could be put into place by the FEMA police to help any of the surviving, now sick and starving people devastated by the disaster. That fact is you don’t have to be as sharp as a marble to see that. Our government agencies have never really been in the businesses of “getting it right” nor have they ever “making it fast.”
So why are the figures wrong? Simple. We used to have this old country saying where I’m from that goes something like this,
“Just because no one complained, doesn’t mean that the parachute manufacturer has a five-star rating.”
People are prepared…and just because they aren’t on the news or some college professor hasn’t decided to do a study about them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
…and when it comes to helping those in need, it won’t be big daddy government. It will be the people who had the foresight and a little gumption to set aside a little “just in case supplies” for a rainy day that will be busy at work cleaning up the mess.
These people, they’ll come from across the street and from around the block, and even next door. Why? Because they are we and we come from all walks and all neighborhoods and our common thread is that we prepare.
So what do you do? How do you prepare for the big one? Honestly that’s the easiest preparation question I’ve ever answered. Make sure you’ve paid a full tithe to your church and get ready for the ride.
However, if the question is what are the basic things I need to have if I am lucky enough to be one of the embattled survivors to make it through the aftermath…I would say you gotta have the BIG 3 covered. If you do, you’ll have a fighting chance.
The BIG 3
#1. Food – You need a MINIMUM of thirty days of food storage. This conflicts with some of the other expert opinions out there, right? The recommendations are all over the board. So who do you trust?
I have yet to run into someone who has any experience surviving the apocalypse or even a 9.4 earthquake that sends the entire West Coast plunging into the Pacific Ocean so thanks, but no thanks.
I’ll just stick with what I know and that is that if the entire supply chain was disrupted in such a catastrophic manner it would be a fools errand to believe that there would be any significant influx of goods and products in anything less than a month. Seriously, last time I registered my car, the DMV took more than 30 days to get me my license plates…and that was only across town!
RULE OF THUMB: 30-day supply food per person – MINIMUM
#2. Water – You need a minimum of 1 gallon of clean drinkable water per day. This could be problematic if you have no place to store 30 gallons of water and remember…this is again per person in your family. So, 5 family members in total? You’re going to need 150 gallons of safe potable water on hand…or you could just get each family member their own personal water filter so they could just filter water as they needed it.
RULE OF THUMB: 30-day supply water* per person – MINIMUM
*Plan for one gallon of potable water for each person per day
#3. Fire – The only thing that will kill faster than no water is no heat. It takes 3 days to die of dehydration but hypothermia kills in as little as 30 minutes. Obviously, shelter is of key importance. However, conventional shelter may not be available if a 100-foot wave comes crashing down on your home and in those situations you’re going to need a way to start a fire. Go with some wax dipped matches if you are brave. I myself use a flint and steel…with a little Boy Scout juice. (Google it if you are curious.)
RULE OF THUMB: Find a dependable and reusable source of fire – PERIOD
At the end of the day, these basic items will not ensure your survival if the big one comes smashing down on your house, but if you’ve been living right and your ticket doesn’t get punched you’ll be able to make a warm fire, cook a healthy nutritious meal, and wash it all down with a crystal clear glass of water.
Stay Safe, Be Prepared, and volunteer this week. It will not only be good for your community but it will be good for you too!