Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back to survival

RNS had this on what it would be like protecting your house/family in hot weather with no power(also general notes on the suckiness of replacing a central a/c unit). I guarantee, it would suck. A few years ago my neighborhood lost power due to a windstorm. In July. In Oklahoma. I guarantee it is bloody miserable: even with all windows open you can’t cool off the inside, unless you can get dry ice you can’t open the fridge or freezer(hoping to save what’s in it as long as possible). If your stove is electric, no cooking: if it’s gas you can cook, at the cost of more heat in the house. It can get downright nasty. A generator would make a BIG difference, with one caveat: you have to worry about someone trying to steal it, or- if they’re of a nasty turn of mind- breaking it(“If I can’t have it, you can’t either!”).

And let’s not forget that if it’s a widespread power outage, water supply depends on generators at the city water facility, so you’d better have some stored. And, preferably, a way to clean rain or other water available to stretch the supply.

I mentioned the other day the New Madrid fault system turning loose again. Ever read about the last time it did? 1811/1812, the main shock was about 8.something, the major aftershocks were over 8 if I remember right. Records from the time report the ground moving in standing waves six feet high ‘like the ocean in a storm’. Imagine that happening now. Highways, power lines, water & gas lines, all of it trashed over a wide area. If you thought FEMA had problems dealing with the Katrina aftermath… Make no mistake, if an event of that level happens you will very likely be on your own for anywhere from a couple of days to months. A lot of people will die in the event and a lot more after(numbers depending on weather: imagine this mess in January or July) from many causes, and you’re talking about ‘shoot, shovel and shut up’ being applied to looters/rapists/robbers. In large numbers over the area. Because you can’t call the police: no matter how dedicated, they won’t be there, they’re going to be busy and spread real damn thin.

On that last, during the Katrina mess a lot of people were surprised that some of the people looted of their arms by the authorities didn’t fight. Well, there you had a relatively small area and a large number of LE/troops, which kind of overpowered people: you have some uniforms show up saying “Surrender your guns” after an event of the level we’re discussing, that’ll be a whole ‘nother thing. You want to talk about pushing a reset button…

I remember seeing pictures a few years back after a bad hurricane hit Florida of neighborhoods with signs “You loot, we shoot”. Seems like the local cops generally left them alone: the cops couldn’t take care of them, and having people looking out for each other took a big weight off.* And, as pointed out in one of the links the other day, you have a neighborhood/town that’s managed to keep themselves taken care of, some gummint clown with shiny shoes appears and says “We will take over now”, the language used is likely to be impolite, improper and heartfelt. And backed with guns. And any official who tries to push for troops to ‘discipline’ those people is going to be remembered, not fondly, and eventually dealt with. In one way or another.

No, I’m not looking forward to something of this nature. An event like this would not only be lethal for many, it would encourage every nutcase terrorist in the world(“See! Allah strikes the godless infidels!”) and people like Putin and the PRC to try to spread their influence, and some of the clowns in the mideast to think this would be a good time to wipe out the Jews. Unpleasant as hell to think about, but ignoring it doesn’t help.

*Anyone doubt that there were some unmarked graves in the woods during that period? I didn’t think so.


Mattexian said...

This (amongst other reasons) is why I buy at least one box of ammo for one of my guns each payday. I'm not shooting it (altho I should practice more), and stocking up is always a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget The main pipelines from the Gulf to the midwest and points east run right through that faultline.
This will cause problems from the Mississippi east.
If it happens in late fall or winter, the death toll in most Northeastern states will be horrendous.

keith said...

Great post,

One of the things which increased damage in the Kobe earthquake was poorly compacted fill material liquifying.

What is the Mississipi valley full of?

I cant remember the name of the lake in southern TN where the bald eagles winter.

It formed in 1812, when the underlying sands and silts liquified and settled.

WHEN the next quake on that fault comes, I think your figure of months is about right.

Road (and runway)surfaces will be buckled cracked and frequently submerged. Collapsed drains, burst utilities pipes and collapsed leveees will add to damage and chaos.

I can't remember if there are building codes for earthquake resistance in that area, but the Memphis city authorities seem to be corrupt enough that they weren't enforced.

I wouldn't fancy the chances of folks in or surrounding the shittier areas of Memphis. I have Friends among them, so I'm not hoping for the day.

John Lott had a link to an interesting old paper, looking at how Settlers, miners and cattlemen in the West formed their own (very effective)systems of law and order before the US Govt caught up with them.

It's well worth reading

Brigid said...

I felt the last little trembler from that fault last month way up in Cornland.

I'm close to civilization which is too close for me if all goes to hell. I keep enough .223 ammo to fend off tax collectors or zombies, ammo for a colt and 1911 and anothers. Food for a month, and water for two. The GSP (gas sucking pig) four wheel if I have to flee Dodge with some stuff and a couple extra bags of dog chow for my current room mate.

Probably not enough.