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#232393 - 09/18/11 10:50 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: ]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1360
Izzy ... I agree. I think that the military bases could be a tremendous boost to any relief efforts. I'm hoping that someone has got a plan to take over local air traffic control, so relief flights can be landing at multiple military bases (without the risk of collisions). I'm expecting that some control towers, such as those as LAX, could be damaged by a quake. Some of the military towers could be out of action too, and I dunno if they have backup generator power. But if someone could direct relief flights in and out of Los Angeles, it would speed things up tremendously.

i also expect that the city could have serious problems with fires, at least in some neighborhoods. That will put a lot of smoke into the air, and complicate the flight paths for airplanes with relief supplies. So the overall job of air traffic control could be a challenge. But there are definitely people in the USA who know how to do this. The Air Force has guys who can parachute into remote areas and do flight control - maybe the Marines and Navy have these guys too. It would be really helpful if someone put this whole plan together.

cheers,
Pete2

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#232410 - 09/19/11 03:00 AM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Pete]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
When people discuss a mega-quake on the west coast, no one ever seems to consider that transportation is going to come to a dead stop. A DEAD STOP.

The Sylmar Quake (6.6) lasted about 60 seconds, a long one.

The Loma Prieta (6.9) lasted 10-15 seconds.

The Northridge Quake (6.7) lasted between 10 and 20 seconds.

The ground dropped about 3 feet in some of these 6+ earthquakes.

Geologists say that the length of a mega quake (9+)is going to be in MINUTES, like around five (Japan's was over 5). They say that the un-reinforced buildings can last about a minute, but the rest of them will start coming apart at the 2-minute mark.

The mega-quake that hit Anchorage in 1964 (9.2) lasted about 4 minutes, and the land displacement was more than 35 feet at the surface!

Very, very few buildings have been built to withstand a mega quake, so the entire area for miles will just be piles of rubble. I can't imagine that the freeways are going to be any better -- I doubt that many overpasses are going to be left.

So, exactly where are the C-5s, that need 6000 ft of runway to land, going to come down? And if they can land, how will the water and supplies going to be distributed to the 22 million people who need it?

I've never even heard of a whisper of a plan for this. Nothing whatsoever.

In other words, folks, you'll be on your own. And it's going to UGLY!

Sue

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#232414 - 09/19/11 04:18 AM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Susan]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Hey Sue,That Juan de Fuca in Seattle I think is going to be the Mega-Monster of All,like you've said many times before,there will be Nowhere to go,I just saw a special on the weather channel lastnight about it,Tsunami City!That last Northridge Quake we had here,damaged every single overpass from Sylmar to Santa Monica on the 405 fwy,& Dropped the overpasses in alot of places from Santa monica to Hancock Park on The 10 fwy,Suprisingly the Tunnel on Sepulveda near the Mulholland Pass was unscathed,short of a few rockslides in the pass.A 9.0 centered in The Inglewood fault would shut down Everything from Orange County to Canyon Country,& LAX/Burbank airports would probably be destroyed at best,Ugly would be a Nice/Kind description!FEMA would be pitching pennies on the curb!

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#232438 - 09/19/11 05:32 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Richlacal]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1360
Susan and Rich .... YES it's very likely that all major transportation routes will be down after a BIG quake in L.A. or S.F.. I'm certainly expecting all freeways in L.A. to be closed, and also probably most major roads. Likewise, as you point out it's likely that cracks will develop (maybe big ones!) in long runways.

There are potential solutions to everything - but I just don't see anyone putting together the BIG SOLUTION. I do think that if the current plan is that local cities are going to "piecemeal" their way thru' the crisis" then we're probably going to be toast. But let's look at possible solutions:

1. Airports: Runways get bombed and destroyed during war. The military has "quick-fix" ways of dealing with this ... by patching holes and getting things working again. The question is - does the USA have a plan for how these military teams will be dropped into L.A., San Francisco, Portland or Seattle in the evnt of a major west coast quake? Someone needs to do the damage assessment promptly, and then get these teams moving. These teams could have runways fixed in 3-4 days if this was done right. Otherwise we're looking at 2-4 weeks, and that's way too slow. It CAN be done if people get on the ball.

2. We can bypass C-5 airplanes if we have a fleet of heavy-haul helicopters. So the relief goods from around the USA could be funneled to an airport outside the disaster zone, and then the helo's could carry the supplies to military airports and other designated drop-off points in the disaster zone. BUT once again - the BIG PLAN needs to be figured out now. Advance planning could have this entire network ready to go.

3. I was thinking this morning, while driving to work, that emergency services inside L.A. should have certain major streets designated as "emergency corridors". This means that after the earthquake, everyone focuses on getting these particular streets cleared of rubble, patched up, and running as soon as possible. The idea is not to facilitate civilian traffic - the intention is to be able to mobilize convoys of trucks carrying relief goods. Once again, if some smart thinking was done at the top-level, and the right streets were chosen for clearance, then relief efforts could be faciliated in a major way.

But Sue - you are also right that a threat of major urban breakdown does exist in our large cities ... esp. places like L.A. that have comparatively few sources of drinkable fresh water. I have heard several residents of this city say to me - over the last few months - that they are stockpiling ammo and are willing to defend their own resources with firepower if necessary. So it could indeed get ugly, once people get seriously thirsty and hungry. And this doesn't even include the major problems associated with fires (or firestorms) immediately after the quake, or the problems with broken water mains (hence no H2O for fire trucks), gas mains etc.

And by the way Rich - have to agree with you that the Cascadia subduction zone is also one nasty animal !! :-)

Right now L.A. is overdue for two major earthquales:
1. Newport-Inglewood fault running under many high-density communities in the city.
2. San Andreas southern rupture.

Pete2


Edited by Pete (09/19/11 05:39 PM)

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#232456 - 09/19/11 07:59 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Pete]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Quote:
Runways get bombed and destroyed during war. The military has "quick-fix" ways of dealing with this ... by patching holes and getting things working again.


War is holes, holes can be patched. How do you deal with runways where half of it has dropped 20 or 30 feet? NOT an easy fix!

Quote:
We can bypass C-5 airplanes if we have a fleet of heavy-haul helicopters. So the relief goods from around the USA could be funneled to an airport outside the disaster zone, and then the helo's could carry the supplies to military airports and other designated drop-off points in the disaster zone.


I think reality is going to get in the way. For instance, the UH-60 Black Hawk can carry (drumroll!) 11 fully equipped soldiers, or a max. weight of about 12,000 lbs. That's about 1450 gallons of drinking water, minus the weight of the containers. If they give out 5 gallons per person, that's... 290 people. They only need to make 75,862 trips per day! If they have 20 Black Hawks, they each only have to make 3,793 trips per day.

And that just gets it to the secondary drop-off points. Anyone who is mobile is probably going to be afoot, working their way through debris, so how far can they go for 5 gals of water (40+ lbs)?

And that's just water, no food or medical supplies. I just don't think that is going to cut it.

Your idea of 'emergency corridors' is a good one, but even if the military jumps right in, how long will that take? SoCal in the summer, around 20 million people with no water for 3+ days...

The first wave of deaths comes with the earthquake, the second wave due to dehydration? YUCK! The place is gonna stink, for sure! So what's the plan for all the dead bodies?

Early in this thread, Izzy said,
Quote:
In the middle of my county (Volusia) they're building a giant 35,000 square foot "Command Center" that he pushed through. It looks like Fort Knox and it's not even halfway built.


THAT'S what is needed! Maybe not that big, but strong, stable bunker/warehouses of pre-planned stored water, food and medical supplies. Have them spotted around so people could get to them while FEMA and the military are deciding what to do.

Seattle? Seattle is probably going to consist of piles of rubble crowning seven islands (formerly called 'hills'), with the Space Needle overlooking it. And I hope I'm nowhere nearby at the time.

Sue

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#232464 - 09/19/11 09:08 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Susan]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Thats why they emphasize the first responders in a major crisis are going to be those closest to you. Neighbors, volunteers, etc. Thats why its important to know your neighbors.

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#232468 - 09/19/11 10:05 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Susan]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1928
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: Susan
Quote:
Runways get bombed and destroyed during war. The military has "quick-fix" ways of dealing with this ... by patching holes and getting things working again.


War is holes, holes can be patched. How do you deal with runways where half of it has dropped 20 or 30 feet? NOT an easy fix!

File this under "Something Is Better Than Nothing." Depending on the location of the drop off, small planes may be able to take off where large planes cannot.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble." -- Frederick Henry Royce

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#232470 - 09/19/11 11:23 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Susan]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1360
Sue - you made a number of good responses there. You've convinced me that the likely outcome could be even worse than I was expecting. I do get the feeling that most residents of Los Angeles believe that "help will be on the way" - in some fashion. It's not clear that most of them will receive such help in time. It would require an amazing airlift operation - which as you point out may not really be feasible (though I don't want to stop people from trying). I have to believe that death from dehydration, sickness & injuries, and fire/smoke will be leading causes of fatalities in the week(s) after a big quake.

By the way - your point about what is going to happen to the bodies is also well taken. How could they be collected and disposed of by the city authorities? Again ... I think this planning falls through the cracks. In which case the city will smell like a war zone.

The idea of building a special disaster relief center, complete with seismically reinforced runways - is quite interesting. But we would probably need several such zones. And since Los Angeles, like many metropolitan areas, is becoming bankrupt - I'm not sure it's going to happen.

Maybe the option is just to air-drop relief supplies directly into the "war zone" city. And just hope for the best. It's probably a lot better than doing nothing.

cheers,
Pete2


Edited by Pete (09/19/11 11:24 PM)

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#232472 - 09/19/11 11:42 PM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Pete]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 900
Loc: NW NJ
_________________________
- Tom S.

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

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#232477 - 09/20/11 01:28 AM Re: FEMA rethinks its approach... [Re: Andy]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC

The 2011 great California "Shake Out" is scheduled for October 20

http://www.shakeout.org/history/

FEMA is one of the sponsors. Hopefully these drills are drilling the notion of preparedness into some heads and prompting more locals to ask these questions.

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