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#205550 - 08/03/10 07:57 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: wolfepack]
xbanker Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 484
Loc: Anthem, AZ USA
OK, maybe I'm getting a little carried away here, but in the spirit of 'what ifs' since crossing that water is vital to travels home. I see on Google maps what appear to be numerous small-boat slips scattered along the canal. Are you familiar with the area? Any sense of likelihood a small boat -- not necessarily powered -- might be available to 'borrow' in emergency situation (even a serviceable rowboat), or is that area likely to be a high-visibility beehive of activity post-earthquake?

As an afterthought -- speaking to the 'should I attempt to swim' question -- have you decided on a water-tight bag for your gear-pack? Is the likely crossing-point narrow enough that a water-tight bag would be a viable flotation device? How are the currents there? Water temperature? Lot of boat travel (especially in emergency situation) that would make water-crossing even more perilous?
_________________________
"Things that have never happened before happen all the time." Scott Sagan, The Limits of Safety

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#205553 - 08/03/10 09:29 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: xbanker]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
I would like to clear up some of the misconceptions of the Seattle Ship Canal - near the Fremont bridge its narrow, as little as 30-40 meters, and not terribly deep, but its moderately cold water - swim it, and you need to dry off afterward, a nice trick in October-May in Seattle. FWIW I wouldn't swim it on a dare in August. There is no current, and plenty of pollution - not to mention that after an EQ event, raw sewage is expected to spill into the Canal and Lake Union from ruptured lines in nearby Ballard and Lake Union neighborhoods. But its generally not necessary to swim - the Fremont bridge should still span it, and the Ballard Bridge, and maybe the University Bridge and the Montlake - although the University risks collapse from the I5 Ship Canal bridge collapsing overhead. Of these, the Fremont bridge received the most recent retrofit designed in part to secure the bridge's sideways motion in the event of an EQ, and keep it intact. The Ballard bridge is a double bascule, and the University Bridge hasn't had the retrofits yet (I think), and the Montlake won't be retrofit until later when they finish the Sound Transit rail line across the Montlake Cut. Given their overall distance from the Seattle Fault though, most or all of these spans are expected to survive an M6.5. If we're hit by an enormo subduction zone (e.g. along the Pacific Coast, 200 miles away) EQ, which is probably overdue, all bets are off apparently (no engineering studies conducted for that).

As for boats to carry you across if there is no bridge, maybe - but you have to think like the walking refugee that you are. If you're walking north, so are thousands of others, and the first refugees to spot an opportunistic row boat will have already rowed it to the other side. The best you can hope for is someone who willingly stays in their boat, ferrying passengers across. In Seattle that's the nice thing to do, and increasingly it would be the Seattle thing to charge a ferryman's fee (Nordstroms clothing didn't get their start in the Alaska Gold Rush, they made their early fortune selling grubstakes to miners). It would be an unusual situation for someone to sit on their boat providing that service to strangers.

As for tsumani or seiche risks in the Ship Canal, the data is mixed but tends to minimize possible damge, or loss of life anyway - as you can see on this 2003 Tsunami study of the area, the Ship Canal imposes alot of deflection on incoming waves, so the odds of a tsunami impacting the ship canal doesn't seem high. http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/PDF/wals2794/wals2794.pdf However, seiche studies (sloshing from distant EQs) record historical impacts on Lake Union and Lake Washington, the bodies of water immediatley inside the Ship Canal, and the record M9.2 Good Friday (Alaska) EQ in 1964 ripped Lake Union houseboats from their moorings, but caused no injuries. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20021104&slug=quake04m. More recent studies though show that a tsunami originating from the Seattle Fault itself could cause a significant tsunami, wasting for instance the building that Wolfepack works in along Western Avenue, within minutes of the EQ itself. As I said, his work neighborhood will resemble a war zone, and his best bet may be to climb for his life up the hillside, obstacles and landslides permitting. And his climb is complicated depending on how near he is to the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a 1950s era structure that will at best pancake but at worst may fall sideways, toppling and crushing adjacent structures. But you don't need me to fill your head with scary visions of the EQ future for the Viaduct, local politicians have been doing that for years, to the point that Seattle has decided to drill a *tunnel* to replace the viaduct, despite all the soil studies indicating it to be expensive, possibly impossible, and incapable of surviving any sort of EQ. But that's political, and I digress...

This idea of a life line across the Ship Canal is a very real one for emergency planners - the only Level 4 Trauma Center in the PNW, Harborview, is located south of the Canal, whereas a fair number of the injured will be located North of it. So you can bet that it is a priority to secure a crossing point just as soon after an EQ occurs, and survivability has had some priority in SDOT's engineering plan.

Wolfepack mentioned he thinks of the Superdome as a model for future shelters - we don't have a Kingdome (enclosed stadium) in Seattle anymore, and the football and baseball stadia are on some of the most compromised and prone to liquefaction ground in the entire world - worthless as potential shelters. The plan is to employ city parks as temporary shelters, similar to what you see on the TV from Haiti. A certain number of enclosed shelters will also be opened in secure buildings, meant primarily for wounded in Alternate Care Facilities. For the most part, instead of some enormo stadium sheltering folks, they will be directed to neighborhood parks, which will each shelter 200-500 people at most, but there should be alot of them. Again though, alot of the shelter inventory (cots, blankets, supplies) are pre-cached north of the Ship Canal, although I believe they have relocated some of it to south of the Canal since we last looked at their plan. Anyone who actually lives in Seattle knows that sleeping in a park surrounded by 400 neighbors and residents is about as safe as you can get - folks who assume otherwise must not be from around here. But if you don't like the parks, look for a church or business that's intact, and ask politely to be let in, odds are on your side. That's Seattle Nice for ya.

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#205554 - 08/03/10 09:32 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: xbanker]
LesSnyder Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1521
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
Wolfepack...Sorry to have misled you with only part of the story... the tuna was cooked with some Uncle Bens converted rice + chicken bouillon cube (stored in 35mm film cans). Made a nice mid day meal and cooked fairly quickly. IIRC the little esbit tabs were found in the miniature model "steam engines" and too expensive for us to use...we used the cardboard/paraffin or paraffin/tuna oil for fuel....our tent lights were home made candles in Gerber baby food jars... regards Les

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#205565 - 08/04/10 04:33 AM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: wolfepack]
Yuccahead Offline
Member

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 199
Loc: W. Texas
Originally Posted By: wolfepack
Originally Posted By: Yuccahead


Quote:
6) I would add something more palatable than datrex bars -- but I wouldn't have to carry them as far.


This was mentioned by somebody someplace else as well. They recommended Tiger's Milk bars. Any other suggestions? Personally I have found the Datrex bars to be reasonably good, though certainly not candy bars.

[quote]7) I don't believe the Aquamira Frontier is very good at filtering out pathogens and would consider better water purification options besides the Porta-Aqua tablets (such as Micropur). Have you scouted out water sources for your route (beyond the obvious canal)?


Hmmm. I don't have any personal experience with filter straws and picked the Aquamira Frontier based on some reviews and price. Can you recommend something you would think is better? The same thing for the purification tablets. You recommend the Micropur's?


It has been a while since I researched the Aquamira Frontier but I believe I found that its filter size was just too big to catch many of things you would be trying to avoid. The ETS gear section written by Doug Ritter has some good advice on water filtration and purification. (see http://www.equipped.org/watrfood.htm ). In your situation, I would look for a filter that also had an charcoal element that would help with chemical pollution as well biological threats.

Having said all that, my own 'hands-on' experience with water filters is limited. After doing my research, I ended up buying a then new product that was designed for military use. It never found any success in the civilian market place and I've never seen any independent reviews of its capabilities so I shouldn't recommend it. Like many other filters, it is used in combination with Porta Aqua or other purification tablets to ensure protection against the smallest and hardiest nasties.

My preference for the Micropur tablets is based on its packaging, unique EPA rating and supposedly better taste. They are however more expensive and Porta Aqua tablets will get the job done. My main concern with them was that once the bottle was open, shelf life was reduced quite a bit. In your situation, this probably does not matter.

Finally, I'm not familiar with Tigermilk. Within reason, I like Cliff Bars but as you said, they still aren't as good (tasting) as candy bars.
_________________________
-- David.

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#205580 - 08/04/10 05:33 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: Lono]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Lono, thank you very much for that detailed information. I'm printing it out and putting it in my work van.

Do you happen to have any info or links on getting from South Seattle through Tacoma?

My usual work area is between Centralia and Balmer Yard at Interbay, so you can see that my survival during a shake would be iffy, and getting home, well... what's half a notch below 'impossible'? I guess it would all be in the timing. I hope I'm at home, throwing the ball for the dog the field if it happens.

Thanks again!

Sue

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#205591 - 08/04/10 07:36 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: wolfepack]
LoneWolf Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 101
Hello wolfpack and welcome to the forum.

Just wanted to jump in here with a few comments.

In my opinion, I would leave the cell phone chargers, and the high visibility vest out of the bag. Based on what I have read, you are preparing for a true SHTF situation. My guess is that cell phone towers will be off line along with electricity. I am also of the opinion that you should adopt the "grey" man mindset when you travel. Don't stand out. Move quietly and get home quickly, hence my thought to leave the vest. I would suspect that in the SHTF situation that you are describing, there are going to be a lot of people who will want what you are carrying in your pack. Might want to think some more about security. Again, just my opinion. I would also throw in a few coffee filters. You can use them to filter out some of the nasties in the water (bugs, mud, etc....) before you use your water purification system.

On a slightly different note. You stated that you are somewhat out of shape. Is it permissible to wear your boots at work? My thoughts are that if you can wear them to and from work you will keep them broken in along with having your feet used to wearing them. Starting a 20 mile trek in new boots just doesn't sound like a terribly good idea. Also, for a little extra exercise, could you add some weight to what you are currently carrying and get off the bus a stop or two earlier so you get a better walk? What I have done in the past when training for a long hike is to take several water bladders and fill them up and toss them in the pack. This gives you the option if you find that something doesn't fit right or you have bit off more than you can chew then you can just dump the water and lighten the pack to finish up.

Best of luck.

LW

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#205612 - 08/04/10 11:14 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: LoneWolf]
wolfepack Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/25/07
Posts: 52
Loc: Lynnwood, WA, USA
Originally Posted By: LoneWolf
Hello wolfpack and welcome to the forum.

Just wanted to jump in here with a few comments.

In my opinion, I would leave the cell phone chargers, and the high visibility vest out of the bag. Based on what I have read, you are preparing for a true SHTF situation. My guess is that cell phone towers will be off line along with electricity. I am also of the opinion that you should adopt the "grey" man mindset when you travel. Don't stand out. Move quietly and get home quickly, hence my thought to leave the vest. I would suspect that in the SHTF situation that you are describing, there are going to be a lot of people who will want what you are carrying in your pack. Might want to think some more about security. Again, just my opinion. I would also throw in a few coffee filters. You can use them to filter out some of the nasties in the water (bugs, mud, etc....) before you use your water purification system.


There have been several suggestions to drop the cell chargers. I'm still mentally debating this. Probably more of an emotional rather than logical debate. The only real thing that doesn't make me dump them immediately is I purposely selected very small, and very lightweight charges. The two chargers together plus cable are only about the size of a deck of cards. Altogether they only about about 2 oz. So I don't save a lot of weight or space by jettisoning them. Like I said, I am still debating. I'll add your vote to the "No" pile.

As to the reflective vest. It is actually a small (6"x6") reflective cloth triangular slow moving vehicle sign. It consists of just the triangular sign and waist belt. (originally there was also a flashing bicycle tail light for the same purpose, but a friend of mine convinced me to drop that already) I have used this reflective sign in the past to strap around my pack to help drivers keep from hitting me on the narrow, winding, shoulderless road I live on. It works well, weighs nothing, and takes up no space. My intention was leave it inside my pack and only use it if I reached an area that still had moving vehicles. It would be used only if I thought the situation warranted. I would hate to survive a major earthquake, hike 20 miles home, and be killed a block from my house by a panicked driver racing to get home to their cat. Especially if, as is thought, damage up north of Seattle could be considerably less than to Seattle proper. Of course if cars are moving, I may decide to flag one down and try to get a lift. In that case I could also use the sign as a signal.

Quote:
On a slightly different note. You stated that you are somewhat out of shape. Is it permissible to wear your boots at work? My thoughts are that if you can wear them to and from work you will keep them broken in along with having your feet used to wearing them. Starting a 20 mile trek in new boots just doesn't sound like a terribly good idea. Also, for a little extra exercise, could you add some weight to what you are currently carrying and get off the bus a stop or two earlier so you get a better walk? What I have done in the past when training for a long hike is to take several water bladders and fill them up and toss them in the pack. This gives you the option if you find that something doesn't fit right or you have bit off more than you can chew then you can just dump the water and lighten the pack to finish up.


Yes, I can and have been wearing my boots to work. As you suggested, I have been working on breaking them in this way. They are to heavy and hot to want to wear all the time though. Funny how they feel fine when hiking all day, but feel heavy and tight when sitting at a desk all day. AI t some point will just leave them at work so they are ready to go. Wearing them once a month or so to keep them broken in and to keep my feet used to them is an excellent idea though.

As to getting into better shape. Using a farther bus stop is an excellent easy to do suggestion and one that I am already doing. There is one bus stop 5 blocks away, and a second seven. The one I go to is 14 blocks. About 3/4 of the distance is up the fairly steep hills we have in downtown Seattle. I also try to take the stairs up and down from the ground to my 5th floor office. Actually I go to the 7th floor which is as tall as my building is. (though I am much less consistent about this) I can definitely tell it helps.

A backpack is my bag of choice for going to/from work. What with various EDC items, water, books, etc. it usually weighs between 12-15 pounds. Adding another bottle or two of water would get more into the range of my GHB. Good idea. In addition to walking and stairs, I also play B level volleyball 2-3 times a week. All of it helps, but it is not like spending an hour at the gym, running 5 miles, or biking 20 five times a week. I'm not a total couch potato, but I certainly couldn't climb five 14'ers in Colorado before 1pm like used to do when I was 30.

Your idea on the coffee filters is another excellent idea. That is something I have run across at various times but had forgotten about. Thanks for the reminder and will add the coffee filters.

Keep all these great ideas and opinions coming. I like having lots of ideas to think about and decide among.


Edited by wolfepack (08/04/10 11:15 PM)

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#205627 - 08/05/10 03:26 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: wolfepack]
sak45acp Offline
Stranger

Registered: 02/19/09
Posts: 16
Loc: ct
My .02: Keep the phone chargers. Many, if not all cellphone towers are designed to stay upright during ground movement, and have backup generators. If there is not enough signal for cell conversations there may be enough for text messages. As you said, the size and wieght of the chargers you have is small enough to keep with you. Just try to keep the phone charged at all times so you don't get stuck at the beginning with a down battery.

You may also wnat to be visible at times, you mentioned traffic. If you can't get out of your building,you can use it to mark your location for rescuers. There are other scenarios where you may find it useful. If you don't need it or want to remain "gray" just keep it in your pack.

Get in shape now. You've already started on that, but try a walking/running program and try to up your upper body strength. Depending on the damage in the city and what you have to do to "escape" to your home, you may have to be stronger than you are now.

Do a dry run or two. Pick a weekend and have someone to support you with a car and do the walk from work to the house. Break it into several sections for several weekends if you have to. The purpose here is recon, not to get into shape. You will find out what obstacles are, or could be, on your planned route and where you may have to change your plans. You will be able to see which bridge is your best bet, or where you might be able to "acquire" alternate transportation. You will see if your chosen gear will actually be worth carrying or if it is just crap. Maybe speak to business owners on the way before hand to establish sleeping/resupply points. It will also give you an idea what you are actually in shape to do and allow you to have a more realistic time table.

I would also add a small, flat wrecking bar to your pack. It will make it easier to get into the vending machine at work wink

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#205635 - 08/05/10 05:48 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: sak45acp]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"I would also add a small, flat wrecking bar to your pack. It will make it easier to get into the vending machine at work"

DO NOT make a dry run to see if it works!

Back to the socks... I didn't see that you had four pair, that should be enough.

Pack whatever you think you'll need. You can always go through your stuff after the event (such as when you're resting, or waiting for daylight to start) and leave behind what you aren't likely to need. Leave it in an obvious place, someone else might have a use for it.

Sue

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#205640 - 08/05/10 06:46 PM Re: Seattle GHB [Re: sak45acp]
wolfepack Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/25/07
Posts: 52
Loc: Lynnwood, WA, USA
Originally Posted By: sak45acp
My .02: Keep the phone chargers. Many, if not all cellphone towers are designed to stay upright during ground movement, and have backup generators. If there is not enough signal for cell conversations there may be enough for text messages. As you said, the size and wieght of the chargers you have is small enough to keep with you. Just try to keep the phone charged at all times so you don't get stuck at the beginning with a down battery.

You may also wnat to be visible at times, you mentioned traffic. If you can't get out of your building,you can use it to mark your location for rescuers. There are other scenarios where you may find it useful. If you don't need it or want to remain "gray" just keep it in your pack.

Get in shape now. You've already started on that, but try a walking/running program and try to up your upper body strength. Depending on the damage in the city and what you have to do to "escape" to your home, you may have to be stronger than you are now.

Do a dry run or two. Pick a weekend and have someone to support you with a car and do the walk from work to the house. Break it into several sections for several weekends if you have to. The purpose here is recon, not to get into shape. You will find out what obstacles are, or could be, on your planned route and where you may have to change your plans. You will be able to see which bridge is your best bet, or where you might be able to "acquire" alternate transportation. You will see if your chosen gear will actually be worth carrying or if it is just crap. Maybe speak to business owners on the way before hand to establish sleeping/resupply points. It will also give you an idea what you are actually in shape to do and allow you to have a more realistic time table.

I would also add a small, flat wrecking bar to your pack. It will make it easier to get into the vending machine at work wink


Good ideas on the practice runs home. I had thought about it, but had not considered doing it in sections over a couple of weekends. That sounds much easier to schedule.

I already have a full-size crowbar as part of the gear I have at the office. The idea was to use it as needed there, then leave it behind. Are you suggesting a smaller wrecking bar to add to my pack to take with me on the trip home? This was something I had thought about before, but decided the weight of anything big enough to be useful would not be useful enough to actually carry. The tiny key-chain and 6 inch pry bars I ran across just seemed to limited for the situations where they would work, but something else improvised would not.

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