By Ron-Gong Lin II & Rosanna Xia | The Los Angeles Times | March 10, 2015
Estimates of the chance of a magnitude 8.0 or greater earthquake hitting California in the next three decades have been raised from about 4.7% to 7%, the U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday.
Scientists said the reason for the increased estimate was because of the growing understanding that earthquakes aren’t limited to separate faults, but can start on one fault and jump to others. The result could be multiple faults rupturing in a simultaneous mega-quake.
Stated another way, the chance of an 8.0 or greater quake in California can be expected once every 494 years. The old forecast calculated a rate of one 8.0 or greater earthquake every 617 years.
“The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously,” said USGS seismologist Ned Field, the lead author of the report.
“This is a significant advancement in terms of representing a broader range of earthquakes throughout California’s complex fault system.”
The report says that past models generally assumed that earthquakes were confined to separate faults, or that long faults like the San Andreas ruptured in separate segments.
But recent large California earthquakes showed how earthquakes can rupture across multiple faults simultaneously. Many are in the Los Angeles area.
The Whittier Narrows earthquake, a magnitude 5.9, struck on the Puente Hills thrust fault system on Oct. 1, 1987. Three days later, a magnitude 5.6 aftershock hit on a different fault. That aftershock killed one person, twisted several chimneys and broke windows. Damage was reported in Whittier, Pico Rivera, Los Angeles and Alhambra.
Much larger quakes also showed how this could occur, including two that hit the Mojave Desert in the 1990s: the 1992 magnitude 7.3 Landers earthquake and the 1999 magnitude 7.2 Hector Mine earthquake.
It also happened in the 7.2 earthquake that hit along the California-Mexico border on Easter Sunday in 2010. Scientists said the border quake directed tectonic stress toward Southern California, putting the region at a higher risk for a future quake.
Data showed the April 4, 2010, quake and its aftershocks triggered movement on at least six faults, including the Elsinore and San Jacinto faults. Those faults run close to heavily populated areas in eastern Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire.
At the time, scientists said the imagery gave proof that earthquakes zipping along a fault can jump over gaps as long as seven miles. Previously, only jumps of three miles had been observed. There was also proof that earthquakes can reverse directions, an observation that had never been seen before.
Continue reading at The Los Angeles Times
by Bill Pope | February 17, 2015
MOUNT CARBON, W.Va.- A train derailment in West Virginia raises an important preparedness question, “How can I be prepared in the event my water supply is compromised?”
According to the Associated Press–
A train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed during a snowstorm in southern West Virginia on Monday, sending at least one tanker into a river, igniting at least 14 in all and sending a fireball hundreds of feet into the sky, officials and residents said.
Part of the derailed train slammed into a house, residents said. Officials evacuated hundreds of families and shut down two water treatment plants threatened by oil seeping into the river. And fires were still burning nearly nine hours after the accident, according to state public safety division spokesman Lawrence Messina. The plan is to let those tankers on fire burn out, he said.
The Kanawha River supplies the drinking water to both Kanawha and Fayette Counties. No word yet on the effect this will have on the citizens who depend on the river for their water supply. However, Governor Tomblin’s declared State of Emergency for both counties suggests an ominous outlook.
The West Virginia train derailment is a classic reminder that disasters take many forms and can strike without warning. It’s a lesson that survival preparedness is a good idea for everyone no matter where they live. So how can one prepare for the event that your main water supply is compromised?
Let’s review a few simple precautions you can take to help protect you and your family.
FEMA guidelines suggest you store at least 3 days water supply for emergencies. That is, 1 Gallon, per person, per day, for hydration and sanitation purposes. Personally, I believe this is far too low. Even your average disaster could leave you without water for much longer than that. If I didn’t have at least a months worth of water, along with multiple options for locating and filtering at least a years worth, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Understandably, for a lot of people, space and money could be an issue when it comes to storing emergency supplies. Those living in larger cities tend to have less space, yet ironically seem to be the most susceptible. A 2 week supply and a simple hiking water filter are good starting points. The cost could be kept to a minimum, and space could be found if you get creative. I defy you to tell me you don’t feel better already just thinking about it.
Bottled water is the easiest, but conversely, the most expensive. It’s extremely portable, which is a plus in the event the situation is so dire, you need to bug out.
Empty soda and drink bottles are the poor man’s means to water storage by refilling with tap water. Just remember to wash out the bottles thoroughly with dish soap and hot water, fill them completely and seal them tight.
5 & 7 gallon jugs are already familiar to hunters and campers alike, and can easily be stored in a garage or closet. They are made from food grade plastic, and are usually a dark blue or green color to help prevent light from penetrating, thus stopping algae growth. They can generally be found for under $10 a piece.
Whichever way you go make sure to rotate your water on a regular basis. Generally tap water should be rotated and replaced every 6 months to a year. Store bought bottled water will generally keep a bit longer but you want to make sure to keep rotating these as well. The last thing you want is big mouthful of stagnant water.
Water filters can range in size from portable units that can fit into one’s pocket or bag all the way to large family size units that are less portable but usually more effective. Most quality filters will do a good job of filtering out most bacteria, parasites, and possibly even viruses. In a pinch, you can also make your own water filter with a combination of sand, rocks, charcoal and some other basic items. Combine that with a chemical treatment or boiling and you can make almost any source of water drinkable. Although standard water filters aren’t recommended for oil contaminated water (you’re better off using a separator funnel), they could still prove to be an invaluable tool in the event you have to bug out and leave your stored water supply behind, have to eventually find a water source once you run out, or if the water you have becomes compromised in any way.
You can go all out, and create your own elaborate system, or it could be as simple as placing a rain barrel, or 55 gallon drum under your rain gutter. Since this water is running through your gutters and collecting in an open pool, this might be where you put you filter to good use. Water purification tabs are also a handy method for producing clean drinking water. Bleach can also be used once you familiarize yourself with proper dosage. Lastly you can also boil it with a simple backpack stove kept in your camping supplies, or bug out bag.
However far you take it depends on a number of factors, including budget, space and commitment level. One thing is for certain, when it comes to emergency preparedness it is up to you to protect your family from disaster. Be Prepared, Be Confident, Be Chaos Ready!
The time has come for the ideas of liberty to prevail.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.
With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.
It was all based on lies and ignorance. Many came to believe that their best interests were served by giving up a little freedom now and then to gain a better life.
The trap was set. At the beginning of a cycle that systematically undermines liberty with delusions of easy prosperity, the change may actually seem to be beneficial to a few. But to me that’s like excusing embezzlement as a road to leisure and wealth — eventually payment and punishment always come due. One cannot escape the fact that a society’s wealth cannot be sustained or increased without work and productive effort. Yes, some criminal elements can benefit for a while, but reality always sets in.
Reality is now setting in for America and for that matter for most of the world. The piper will get his due even if “the children” have to suffer. The deception of promising “success” has lasted for quite a while. It was accomplished by ever-increasing taxes, deficits, borrowing, and printing press money. In the meantime the policing powers of the federal government were systematically and significantly expanded. No one cared much, as there seemed to be enough “gravy” for the rich, the poor, the politicians, and the bureaucrats.
by JAMES GERKEN & AMBER GENUSKE | HUFFINGTON POST | DECEMBER 19, 2014
This story is part of “Eat The Enemy,” a HuffPost series on edible invasive species, non-native plants and animals you can help contain from the comfort of your dinner table. Not all invasive species are edible, and some included in this series can be dangerous, includinglionfish and wild boar. Please take caution when foraging or hunting for your own food.
Millions of Americans love pork products. On average, we eat more than 40 pounds of pork per person every year and the U.S. issecond only to China in pork consumption. That’s a lot of pigs.
More than 100 million pigs are killed every year in the U.S. and the pork industry produced over 23 billion pounds of meat in 2012. The massive industrial operationsneeded to supply America’s pork hunger also have a significant environmental impact. Agriculture, including animal feeding operations, is the most common pollutant of U.S. rivers and streams, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The enormous, toxic waste lagoons attached to some animal feedlots can even be seen from satellites.
A less destructive, but still frustrating, problem also exists in the U.S.: feral hogs. Over the past several decades, the offspring of escaped domestic pigs, invasive Eurasian wild boars, and hybrids of the two have proliferated across parts of the U.S. In Texas, which may be the epicenter of the problem, an estimated 2.6 million hogs roam free, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Editors note: The Following article, although localized to the Southern California region still highlights the importance a water supply can have for major cities. A regional disaster, no matter the cause, can have similar detrimental effects for the most basic human need, water.
by, Rosanna Xia & Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times | December 15, 2014
Los Angeles gets 88% of its water from three major aqueducts, flowing from the Colorado River, Owens Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
But as they make their way into the region, the aqueducts cross the San Andreas fault a total of 32 times.
Officials have long warned that a massive temblor on the San Andreas could destroy key sections of the aqueducts, cutting off the water supply for more than 22 million people in Southern California.
L.A. officials are for the first time taking concrete steps to address the problem. Making L.A.’s water supply less vulnerable in a huge quake will probably cost billions, and it remains unclear where that money would come from.
by Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon | December 12, 2014
Millions of Americans face catastrophic loss of electrical power during a future magnetic space storm that will disrupt the electric grid and cause cascading infrastructure failures, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document.
DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stated in an internal 2012 fact sheet outlining its response plan for severe “space weather” that the actual impact and damage from a future solar storm is not known.
“An analysis of the space weather impacts indicates that the greatest challenge will be to provide life-saving and life-sustaining resources for large numbers of people that experience long-term power outage from damage to the US electrical grid,” the FEMA document, dated March 1, 2012, states.
The FEMA fact sheet noted the findings of a 2010 study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency that monitors sun storms, warning that an extreme solar storm could leave “130 million people without power for years,” and destroy or damage more than 300 hard-to-replace electrical grid transformers.
The CDC’s lackluster response to upwards of 40 calls a day regarding potential Ebola cases is disturbing to the medical professionals who spoke to Dr. Group and it follows a similar pattern of performance by CDC officials who were slow to decontaminate both the apartment of the late Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncanand the ambulance used to transport him to the hospital.
When asked to comment on the response rate to these calls, the CDC Media Relations office at first referred us to its unrelated “CDC Hotline” and then refused to connect us directly to a public information officer on a sequential call because the office is screening questions from the press.
It’s no wonder then that doctors are having similar problems reaching the CDC, and such behavior is typical of the agency, which has so far placed more emphasis on the proper burial of Ebola victims than following proper disease protocols meant to prevent the virus from spreading in the first place.
Case in point, the CDC is now instructing funeral homes to bury Ebola victims in sealed caskets and had previously warned funeral workers not to embalm corpses.
Additionally, previous reports suggested the CDC had purchased thousands of airtight coffin liners and were storing them in Madison, Georgia.
“Owners of the property leased to store the hermetically sealing plastic coffins stated that it was the CDC that had rented the land for storage of the coffins,” wrote journalist Brandon Smith. “Confirmation from the CDC has not been forthcoming.”
But when it comes to preventing the spread of Ebola, the CDC’s director, Dr. Tom Frieden, is against stopping travelers from Ebola-struck countries who were potentially exposed to the disease and want to enter the U.S.
“I have been asked whether we should stop travel to Liberia,” he said. “The answer is no: to keep Americans and people in non-affected countries safe, we must continue to work to support efforts to stop the spread of Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.”
It’s a stretch for Dr. Frieden to suggest that Americans are being kept safe from Ebola considering that multiple people are still in quarantine after coming into close contact with Duncan, a Liberian national who died from the disease a few weeks after arriving in Dallas, Texas on Sept. 20.
This would never have happened had the Obama administration restricted travel from Liberia and other West African nations in the first place.
“…If you’re prepared for a zombie, you’re really prepared for…an infectious disease,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in 2012
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed more emphasis on a “zombie preparedness” campaign than preparations for Ebola despite a $6.6 billion yearly budget.
A simple Google search on the CDC web site reveals more search results for “zombie preparedness” (253 results) than “Ebola preparedness” (178 results), highlighting the misplaced priorities of the health agency which admitted Tuesday it did little to contain Ebola in Dallas, Texas.
The CDC’s “zombie preparedness” documents stem from a public awareness campaign the agency launched in 2011 to take advantage of the popularity of the TV show The Walking Dead.
“It was actually a great way to get people to think about, you know if you’re prepared for a zombie, you’re really prepared for a hurricane, a tornado, an infectious disease, just about anything,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told NPR in 2012.
The then-Director of the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Dr. Ali Khan, echoed a similar statement.
“If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse, you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack,” he wrote.
But it would appear this “zombie preparedness” campaign did little to prepare U.S. health workers for the Ebola pandemic in Dallas, Texas, now that a second nurse has the disease after treating the late Thomas Eric Duncan, who was the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.
Additionally, the CDC only beefed up information regarding Ebola on its web site around Aug. 19, weeks after an American who contracted Ebola in Liberia died after flying through an international airport, underscoring the agency’s tendency to react poorly to pandemics instead of preventing them from occurring.
And the CDC’s poor response to U.S. Ebola cases occurred despite the agency’s $6.6 billion budget.
“With so much money being thrown at emergency preparedness, one would think these agencies would have a plan to deal with something like a pandemic outbreak, but they don’t,” Robert Richardson of Off-Grid Survival wrote. “With [the first] case of Ebola showing up in the U.S., we have witnessed the complete breakdown of the entire federal preparedness system.”
“From DHS and Border Patrol failing to shut down air travel during an active epidemic in West Africa, to the CDC’s complete failure to manage a single case of Ebola, no one in government seems to have an actual plan in place to deal with this type of emergency.”
“In fact, day after day the CDC comes out during their daily press conference basically admitting they’re making it up as they go,” he added.