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#193707 - 01/17/10 02:44 AM Re: Question for the mods: Lessons from Haiti [Re: Alex]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"...if this type of disaster were to hit a large population center in the US, similar situations would ensue."

Look at the section of SoCal from the Los Angeles metro area east to the Riverside/San Bernardino area, as a possible site of a major disaster area. Sixteen million people. Add a major earthquake. This is mostly a desert area. There are a few dams, but most of the water is piped in, and both those sources could be damaged or destroyed in a major quake.

Is there anyone naive enough who thinks even water (never mind medical help or food or toilet paper) could be distributed to all of those people within a week? Yes, many.

Having been born and raised there, I can visualize a disaster of incredible size. And what if it happened in summer?

Sue, shuddering

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#193709 - 01/17/10 03:03 AM Re: Question for the mods: Lessons from Haiti [Re: Susan]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1918
Loc: Washington, DC
The New Madrid fault could unleash an unimaginable horror in several states that until recently didn't take earthquakes into account when devising building codes.

One moment life is good and the mighty Mississippi is rolling along.

The next moment portions of the Mississippi could be flowing backward.

How many days should Memphis and St. Louis residents -- and those in proximity -- be prepared to go it alone?


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#193710 - 01/17/10 03:31 AM Re: Question for the mods: Lessons from Haiti [Re: Dagny]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
The lovely thing about that part of the country is that the probability of a tornado is quite significant, as well.

At least in southern California, hurricanes and tornadoes are not issues (extremely rare).
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#193720 - 01/17/10 01:13 PM Re: Question for the mods: Lessons from Haiti [Re: hikermor]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
There was a thread some time ago discussing if the "three day" rule for supplies that is recommended in various emergency preparedness publications was adequate. IMO, we see in Haiti clear evidence that in a regional disaster, three days is totally inadequate. This is not new information to members of this forum.

Perhaps our emergency preparedness organizations, private and government, need to re-think the "three day" recommendation and replace it with something more realistic. Maybe 30 days????

In any case, we can all re-evaluate our own plans with an eye to increasing the duration of our "go it alone" stocks.
_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#193725 - 01/17/10 02:38 PM Re: Question for the mods: Lessons from Haiti [Re: bws48]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
If only we could get a significant fraction of the population to stock up for the admittedly minimal three days, which hasn't happened yet.

A three day supply in a developed area isn't too bad - it can always be stretched a day or two with only moderate discomfort. Once someone has the mindset of emergency preparedness, it is obvious that being prepared for seven, or twenty, or forty days isn't that hard to achieve - it is basically more food, water, and meds.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#193727 - 01/17/10 03:23 PM Re: Question for the mods: Lessons from Haiti [Re: bws48]
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1204
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Originally Posted By: bws48
IMO, we see in Haiti clear evidence that in a regional disaster, three days is totally inadequate.
Although Haiti is surely a peculiar because it's an island. The aid has to be flown in, to a single point, and distributed from there. It's a bottleneck even (especially) when there is plenty of aid on hand. A region of mainland America wouldn't have the same bottleneck, I'd have thought. (Which isn't to say that 3 days is adequate, of course.)
_________________________
Quality is addictive.

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#193737 - 01/17/10 06:22 PM Re: Question for the mods: Lessons from Haiti [Re: Brangdon]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
6. The community response in Haiti shows that there is a need for Community Based Emergency Management training. It takes less time to teach someone to respond with what they have, than it does to change the economy/government.

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#193740 - 01/17/10 06:49 PM Re: Question for the mods: Lessons from Haiti [Re: Brangdon]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1416
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: Brangdon
Originally Posted By: bws48
IMO, we see in Haiti clear evidence that in a regional disaster, three days is totally inadequate.
Although Haiti is surely a peculiar because it's an island. The aid has to be flown in, to a single point, and distributed from there. It's a bottleneck even (especially) when there is plenty of aid on hand.


Brangdon is correct. There is currently, epic logistical challenges in getting our people into Haiti and it looks like there is going to be a delay of several days and in fact, it may not happen at all.

For those who have been following the news, the small airport there is completely overwhelmed and is limiting flights in from all countries...both civilian and military. This website shows the air traffic in/out of Port Au Prince.

Contrary to many news reports, there is plenty of aid in country and more in transit both by air and sea but the logistics of getting this aid out where it needs to be is proving to be very difficult now and into the near future.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#193741 - 01/17/10 07:04 PM Re: Question for the mods: Lessons from Haiti [Re: Teslinhiker]
Tarzan Offline
Member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 146
Loc: Washington
In the event of a catastrophic earthquake, the region affected would, for all intents and purposes, become an island. If the LA region got hit with the big one, the bridges, both car and railroad, would be damaged or destroyed. That leaves air and sea as the only viable ways of providing resupply in quantities adequate to even begin to approximate that which would be necessary to sustain the huge numbers of folks needing provisioning.
I believe that 30 day supply is probably a minimum number to look at for any area prone to earthquakes. Which pretty much means earth and all the territory encompassed therein.
Even having put the supplies back, we still have to hope, wish, pray and do the best we can that we store them in a location which will not be destroyed when the shaking starts. But it also has to be accessible and not prone to being pillaged by others. In such a situation, as I have said before, it's hard to call someone a bad guy because he is trying to provide for his family.
The Seattle area is another area easily segregated by a good sized earthquake. That's why I am doing my best to get up to that 30 day mark. We don't have a lot of roadways and railways coming in and out of the area. Who knows if the ports would be functioning if such an event occured.

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#193747 - 01/17/10 08:15 PM Re: Question for the mods: Lessons from Haiti [Re: Tarzan]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland

It seems that there are lots of supplies stacking up at the airport. The problem is getting them out of the supply depot to the various parts of the area that need it. So I don't see the problem as being an island, but rather the destruction of the local roads and associated infrastructure. If things were working as they should, the airport should be getting emptied of supplies as fast as the planes arrive.

I just saw films of them dropping supplies from a Blackhawk, with the folks on the ground making a mad dash to grab what they can. This is not going to sustain a large population, even with lots of helicopters.

What is needed is lots of supply trucks to go to lots of different neighborhoods. That is obvious. But it is not happening and that is the bottleneck now. One that could last a while. Until such an effort is up and running, your on your own.

It is this type of destruction of the local transportation infrastructure that I think is the danger/problem even in the USA in the event of a large regional disaster. We depend more than we realize on the daily arrivals of thousands of tractor-trailers of food to our neighborhoods. If all or almost all of the roads are out, your going to be in for a long wait for the network to recover.
_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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