Tuesday, September 27, 2005

plan a and plan b

the economist takes a look at how prepared CA is when the big one hits (not if, when). in the wake of katrina, everyone is looking at us next. the scary but obligatory stat:

The Southern California Earthquake Centre reckons that there is an 80% to 90% chance of a tremor of seven or higher on the Richter scale hitting Los Angeles within the next 20 years. According to the US Geological Survey, an earthquake of that magnitude would kill up to 18,000 in Los Angeles.

the verdict is mixed: most hospitals still have at least one building that hasn't been retrofitted and plenty of schools are lagging as well. but the freeway is looking pretty good, the gas company claims its pipes can withstand "strong tremors," and dept of water and power says it could double its pumping. (hehe).

and more importantly, the economist argues, we've had a lot of practice with disasters, unlike louisiana. um, I guess that's a good thing....?

as I move into my new place, john has been offering unsolicited earthquake-proofing advice. most of practical. some of it a little too survivalist, every-man-for-himself, run-to-the-hills scary. in fact, he's got not one, but two, disaster preparedness kits. the first is the hunker down and wait it out kit - water, canned goods, etc. the second is the escape kit - he hasn't bought all the supplies yet but they include a motor bike and propane. I think. I mock him now, will likely respect him later as this post become prophetic.


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