Prepping for the Big One, by Jim Y.

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There are obvious reasons for prepping, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, civil unrest, financial collapse, or just the event of an intruder into your home. Prepping is just basic insurance and just like insurance you hope you never have to use it but, need it in case of a severe raining day. I’ve found that most people will not listen to you when you tell them they should prep, they usually look at you like your some insane person who listens to every conspiracy theory that comes by. These same people in an event will be over at your house.

 “Oh my! They are killing people and I don’t have a gun!” I heard this statement from the mouth of an avid and vocal anti-gunner just after he was watching Reginald Denny being dragged out of his truck and beaten during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. I offered to sell this gentleman a single shot .22 caliber rifle for $1,000 and ammo for $5 per round. All sporting goods stores quit selling ammo during the riots at law enforcement request. When times get tough, eyes open, opinions change and inflation kicks in.

The big one. Two years ago out here in California the USGS had a statewide earthquake drill for a magnitude 7.8 quake nicknamed The Shakeout. I worked as a Land Surveyor for 10 years and am really good at making maps. A few years ago I came across Geographic Informational Systems (GIS) and started learning it and actually improved my map making skills. A few of the folks involved in the Shakeout knew I enjoyed GIS and enlisted me into the drill for my GIS skill set. The original data from the USGS stated that we would have 30 feet of lateral movement and 10 feet vertical movement along the San Andreas Fault line. This data was later revised by USGS but, the Engineer involved in the drill and I went to work on this data. The greatest thing about GIS is that you can look at how events (like earthquakes) will affect systems geographically.

Let’s examine the path of the San Andreas Fault line, it runs from the Salton Sea just north of the Interstate 10 (I-10) freeway along the mountain range (and is the reason that mountain range is there) in an Northwest direction all the way up to Grapevine on the 5 freeway. This feature basically cuts off everything from Palm Springs to Northridge and everything west of there to the ocean from the rest of the world. A lateral movement bifurcates anything crossing the fault line and moves it 30 feet in opposite directions. Everything we depend on for modern living in Southern California crosses San Andreas including major electric transmission lines, water aqueducts, major gas transmission lines and many major freeways that supplies cross on a daily basis.

What happens to modern living when we lose our power? Most of Southern California energy is generated outside of Southern California. Your home wireless telephones quit working, your lights go out, your central air stops, your laptop works until your battery dies, traffic lights stop working, hospitals start using their generator backups, the water pumps that pump water to the water towers will stop working, the equipment at the sewage treatment plants stop working, refrigeration stops working, gas station pumps quit working and so do the cash registers.  This is just the power, gas lines and water aqueducts cross the fault too. This really means no water, no heat, no food, no medical, no sanitation and no transportation.

Bug Out? Sure, If you can. Did I mention the 10 foot vertical shift? This would place a 10 foot cliff along the fault line and the I-15 freeway, the 2 freeway, the I-14 freeway and the I-5 freeway all cross the fault line. These freeways are all the major corridors out of Southern California. At the I-5 freeway and the 210 freeway interchange the overpass failed in the Northridge quake of 1994 (magnitude 6.7) and the San Fernando quake of 1971 (magnitude 6.6). The freeways in Southern California are bad in rush hour or when it rains, imagine how bad it will be when everyone is trying to get out of town. I do not believe bugging out of Southern California will be possible. The transportation system will be in shambles. It would be impossible to evacuate Southern California. With the number of inhabitants and the freeway congestion on a good day this would be impossible.

Bugging In? How long can you last? Water supplies will soon stop. Human beings can live without water for three days. How much water do you have on hand? In Southern California our food is shipped in and distributed via several key distribution centers. With refrigeration out fruit, vegetables, eggs, milk, frozen dinners, etc. will not be available. With the roads out how much food will reach the grocery stores. With everyone in a panic how much food will be at the grocery store? Out of the folks who are not preppers how many will be on your doorstep? The people that live day to day with their supplies will be looking for more supplies and they will be desperate, their lives as well as yours will be on the line.

It is a pretty scary issue once you start diving into the details. Southern California will not be a pretty place to be, it will be a death trap.  Eyes need to be opened before an event not after when it is too late. Please preach to that family member or friend. Get them to do at least the bare minimum of prepping, at least to keep them off of your doorstep for a few days.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim Rawles published on November 5, 2010 8:12 PM.

Letter Re: Our Experience with a Chimney Fire was the previous entry in this blog.

Built-in Obsolescence, by Margaret G. is the next entry in this blog.

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