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Old 01-16-2010, 02:10 PM   #21
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Seeing Ha's vision of Seattle in an earthquake, I am going to stay right here in AZ.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:13 PM   #22
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Seeing Ha's vision of Seattle in an earthquake, I am going to stay right here in AZ.
That will be a major factor in deciding where to relocate to when we retire. Looking for a place with low disaster incidence and likely consequences.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:14 PM   #23
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Frank and I saw everything, too much, in the days following Katrina here in New Orleans. It was worse than the worst disaster movie you have ever seen, and impossible to describe completely to those who weren't living here and also present here during those dark days. The destruction and misery was beyond my capacity to articulate. I just cannot bring myself to watch the television coverage in Haiti. It is an absolute nightmare.

You can't avoid disasters or effectively protect your life and property from the effects of mega-disasters, in my opinion. Many people here have a second home, or camp, to which they can go for hurricane evacuations and live comfortably until things improve and they can rebuild in New Orleans. Now that I am retired and free to live anywhere I wish, I would rather just go ahead and move to a place where future disasters are less probable. Taking the job in New Orleans was like playing the slots... we all knew it was shaped like a soupbowl and that someday "The Big One" would come. We just hoped it wouldn't in our lifetimes and that if it did, the levees would hold.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:19 PM   #24
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.........Haiti appears to be a good prelude to Armageddon, just as Katrina was a few years ago. The world has, for all intents and purposes, ended for the residents of Port Au Prince...........

.........Since the news coverage in Haiti that I see is all about death and destruction, it doesn't help me understand if the people have another part of Haiti with power, water, food that they can be transported to. Perhaps Haitians are so poor that they didn't have power or running clean water most of the time anyways, but I don't know.........
I spent some time in Haiti back in the late 80's, and stayed in a fairly nice French-owned hotel there....which I believe has been severely damaged or leveled this week. We went to many places all over the country, from the heart of Port Au Prince, to tiny villages up the coast. It doesn't matter where you travel there....poverty is rampant!!! For a large portion of the population, running water and electricity are only dreamed about....and that includes a very large portion of those living in Port Au Prince! Hundreds of thousands of people lived in shacks made from wooden pallets (and similar wood), cardboard, tin or sheet metal, and tarp, sheets, blankets....or whatever! Water was carried in buckets and jugs from creeks or streams, the sea, or wherever they could find it...we even saw people lowering buckets down into sewer manholes, to get water for God only knows what!

At the other end of the spectrum were the houses and apartments of those who had the financial means to live a better life style. Most populated areas that we visited had the modern conveniences of water, sewer, electricity, telephone service, etc. Our hotel was one of the nicer ones in the capital city, and was what you'd expect from a nice hotel here in the States...clean, comfortable, good food, etc. However.....every afternoon around 3 or 4 p.m., the electricity went out.....throughout the entire area of the hotel. Don't know why...it just did! And the hotel staff made everyone aware of that when we arrived...it was a standard occurrence. Also, the water in the hotel (sinks, showers, toilets, etc.) was NOT potable water....they had Culligan for their potable water usage! There was NO potable municipal water supply in that area of town....and it was one of the 'upscale' areas of Port Au Prince.

Those who owned 'brick & mortar' homes or businesses, probably had most, if not all of their money invested in that property. So to see the damage and destruction left behind by this week's 'quake, has left hundreds of thousand in deep despair, because that was all they had....and now it's gone! Homeowners insurance? Um....very seriously doubt it!!!

As for those leaving Port Au Prince, and heading out into the countryside....they will probably find things a little better out there. Less death and destruction....less corpses piled up (thus less stench). And, as I found with the Haitian people, they will probably have some hope of having food to eat, and safe place to sleep. Most of the folks we met in the villages out in the boonies, were very friendly and willing to share whatever little they had, with others...whether fellow Haitians or visitors from afar. They are a very proud, yet very humble and congenial people.

I heard a news correspondent on the news last night, and she was talking about how awful the smell was in Port Au Prince....the stench of open sewers, the wood smoke from the cooking fires, the diesel exhaust fumes from the trucks, buses, and heavy equipment....and then she adds as an after thought "and then the smell of decaying flesh too." Well...obviously this was her first visit to Haiti! The 'stench' that she describes, with the exception of the decaying flesh, is what Port Au Prince normally smelled like when we were there! The more affluent areas smelled mainly of exhaust fumes and wood smoke....while the poorer areas smelled mainly of raw sewage and wood smoke. Same odors, different proportions was all.

The Haitian people have had a long history of hardship, but have always banded together and made the best of it, and gone forward. And I believe that they will struggle through this tragedy also, and band together, and eventually move forward and rebuild their lives and buildings. But it's going to be a looooong hard road the entire way!

BTW....I'm still waiting to hear word about Haitian friend and his family in the Port Au Prince area......I 'think' he was out in the countryside when the quake happened...but I'm not positive.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:43 PM   #25
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I am fairly well prepared for a limited disaster and have options on where to go. If worse came to worse (e.g. dirty bomb makes the neighborhood uninhabitable) I could afford to just uproot myself and settle down somewhere else. The big worry in DC is a nuke. I have no plan for a response to that - should I survive I will play it by ear.
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:29 PM   #26
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We've discussed the 'shelter in place' and 'food storage' many times here after simple disasters. I was trying to get this thread to go to the Apocalypse and Armageddon stage of disasters like Tom Cruise in the modern "War of the Worlds" with massive movement of humanity out of the disaster region.

Do you have plans to leave? Where would you go? How would you get there with roads damaged or blocked?
If my house was still standing, I would stay home as long as possible. If my home was destroyed, I'd walk to our City Hall or Police Department. If those buildings were destroyed, I guess I'd be SOL.
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:52 PM   #27
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My biggest fear is not being able to connect with loved ones during/after a disaster. We have some guidelines set up but need to make our plans much more bullet proof.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:09 PM   #28
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Sometime after the tragedies of 9/11 and then Katrina, we came up with a place to meet if we should become separated during a disaster. I also went out and bought a second cat carrier (had two cats at the time) because I realized that during an evacuation, I'd have to take both cats out at once. Before that I had just one because I would take them to the vet on separate occasions.

We keep a good supply of food and water on hand, but that's really just for any type of unusual situation - even a big snowstorm or multi-day power outage.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:21 PM   #29
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Sometime after the tragedies of 9/11 and then Katrina, we came up with a place to meet if we should become separated during a disaster.
We've got that, but with my son and the grand kids 20 miles away we're close enough to be involved in the same disaster but far enough apart that it might be impossible or dangerous to try to physically get together.

I have set up a 2 way vhf radio at his house, battery operated, that easily spans the distance. And we have hand held 2 ways good for a few miles if we're trying to find each other on the move. Other than that, not sure what else we can do.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:45 PM   #30
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We usually keep probably 2 weeks worth of food on hand, and we can easily walk to dozens of grocery stores, big box retailers, restaurants, etc.

Water may be a bigger issue. If it was winter-time and the disaster was an ice storm, water would be available. Hurricane related water absenses? Maybe collect rainwater. In laws 2 miles away (we can walk it and it's only 1.5 miles) have well water, so if we could rig up the well with electric, we'd have water there. They also have probably 50 gal of drinkable water for their water cooler. And tons of food.

Try to get gas before a known coming disaster (hurricane/winter event).

Getting a gun is about the only thing we could do to improve our survivability in the event of a disaster.

It seems gold/silver wouldn't really help in a Haiti-type disaster (or a Katrina). Cash or barter would work better.

We live in the city, so information shouldn't be too scarce. I would probably try walking a block down the street to see if McDonald's or Starbucks or big box retail survived the apocalypse and jump on their wifi for info seeking. Or find someone with a wireless broadband card. SMS texts usually work best in an emergency if all else fails.

If I had to, I could walk to downtown in about 1.5 hours and stop by the state's administrative buildings, city hall, police dept etc to check up on things. Or walk to local police/fire within 30 minutes walk. Roving bands of bandits and looters could be a problem.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:07 PM   #31
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After each extended power failure, folks with lots of food in freezers chuck it all. Or they go on the "buy a generator" kick (see the thread on that). I want to say stockpiling is detrimental to your health. It makes you think you can stay when you should go. Better to not stockpile more than a few days (i.e. what you already do with a weekly shopping list and schedule) and just bail after that.

In the Apocalypse scenario all the grocery stores are gone and the restaurants are destroyed. Before Ike shut things down here, the non-perishable items were sold out in the stores, so after Ike hit, the stores had nothing (including no electricity and no workers to man the stores) anyways.

One could stay in their home and camp out, but the reality would be that there are nicer places to go in a total disaster if you plan ahead.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:35 PM   #32
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Frank and I saw everything, too much, in the days following Katrina here in New Orleans. It was worse than the worst disaster movie you have ever seen, and impossible to describe completely to those who weren't living here and also present here during those dark days. The destruction and misery was beyond my capacity to articulate.
W2R, how awful for you. I wasn't a member of this board at the time, so perhaps you've spoken of this before - but were you able to evacuate before the hurricane? Did you have to rebuild your home? Watching the news coverage of Haiti now reminds me a lot of watching the news coverage of New Orleans after Katrina. I imagine the devastation is magnified many times over when you're actually there.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:37 PM   #33
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W2R, how awful for you. I wasn't a member of this board at the time, so perhaps you've spoken of this before - but were you able to evacuate before the hurricane? Did you have to rebuild your home? Watching the news coverage of Haiti now reminds me a lot of watching the news coverage of New Orleans after Katrina. I imagine the devastation is magnified many times over when you're actually there.
I wasn't going to evacuate, but left the day before landfall with Frank (leaving my car at home in my driveway. ). And thank goodness we did leave. We watched it from a motel in Huntsville. We sneaked back in later that week, before we were permitted to return. We experienced some damage but were fortunate that we did not have to completely rebuild. However the damage to our community was (in my opinion/experience) nightmarish, far worse than what you saw on CNN. I have made a practice of not discussing it on the message board because (a) in Frank and my opinion if you weren't there, you just can't know how truly bad it was, and (b) discussions about it have the potential to get really political REALLY fast.

Edited to add: I guess there is one thing I will say. We would all like to be able to take control and triumph after adversity. After all, that is what we are brought up to do and expect. That is what the "good guy" in the book always manages to do in the end, right? But no matter how much you prepare there can be catastrophes of such magnitude that all your preparations are in vain and even seem ridiculous. If you believe in God, that can be a comfort. Wish I did, sometimes.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:44 AM   #34
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If the roads were damaged or blocked when I lived in Houston, I guess I'd be stuck. I have no helicopter, no boat and probably no airplanes would be taking off. The smart thing, of course, is go a little ahead of the crowd to Dallas as best I'm assuming.

When I lived in Houston, more than hurricanes and tornadoes, I was afraid of terrorist bombings/attacks. For quite awhile after the Arab-Israeli televised war (early 90's), Houston would have terrorist attack warnings every single holiday (Xmas, Easter, July 4th, etc.). Always made me on pins and needles during that time--especially because they inferred it might be around the Galleria area, and I lived 7 minutes by car from there. Scary!
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:54 AM   #35
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Seeing Ha's vision of Seattle in an earthquake, I am going to stay right here in AZ.
Ha lives in Seattle the same way W2R lived in NO, but his odds are better. There are way more hurricanes in NO than killer earthquakes in Seattle.

W2R is right. Planning is great but it only gets you so far. Some days you gets the bear, and some days the bear gets you.

But planning does pay off. In Baton Rouge and Houston, we lived on high ground and that payed off many times.

We do include earthquakes, volcanos, tornados and hurricanes in our planning. Them we can handle. A deep recession is harder.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:31 AM   #36
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Hey...the answer has been here all along...I'll look for Tom Cruise!
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:05 PM   #37
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A couple of my buddies were mobilized to New Orleans after the hurricane. They said it was like some crazy Mad Max movie. They were all geared up for combat, locked and loaded, patrolling the streets of a major city. Said it was very surreal.

If you get a firearm, train everyone in the house how to use it and teach firearm safety. I grew up with them, been shooting since I was in cub scouts. Don't think that happens much anymore, so people just are not exposed to firearms and don't learn the respect and discipline necessary to use them safely.

I try to keep a good pile of ammo, and am building up some canned goods. But, if my house collapsed or burnt down, I guess I'd be SOL since all my stuff is in the basement.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:44 PM   #38
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Seeing Ha's vision of Seattle in an earthquake, I am going to stay right here in AZ.
... a little phrase you may find helpful, amigo.

salir de mi cÚsped, bolsa de mierda !
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:13 PM   #39
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Others have far more experience/expertise than I in this area, but one thing I haven't yet seen mentioned is cash. During the Great Northeast Power Outage of July 2003, I was stuck in Manhattan with no cash and no way to get any, because the ATM's didn't work. If I had cash, I could have hired a guy to drive me out of town instead of waiting until the power came back on a day later. So I now keep a couple hundred dollars in the emergency kit just in case.
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:44 PM   #40
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.....BTW....I'm still waiting to hear word about Haitian friend and his family in the Port Au Prince area......I 'think' he was out in the countryside when the quake happened...but I'm not positive.
Well......Finally got word on my friend and his family!!! They are all doing OK! They were, and still are, in Leogane which is about 15 miles or so WSW of Port au Prince.....only a couple of miles from the epicenter of the initial quake. Quite a bit of damage, but it sounds like most folks are reasonably OK...considering everything.

He is now in daily contact with another friend of mine here in the States, who was a full time missionary down there for MANY years, and just returned this past week from a stint in China. Our friend here in the States has already raised a very large amount of money, that is going directly down to Haiti to pay for food, water, other supplies, and of course shelter! Our Haitian friends are working very hard to provide food and shelter for as many of the homeless as possible, and to rebuild and repair the school and the church which both serve the entire area. They've certainly got their work cut out for them!

I'd like to be able to go back down there to help out, but I'd probably be more of a hindrance than a help....so I'll just keep making monetary donations, and stay the heck outta the way!

As my friend that's raising funds told me today, "Nearly $10,000 raised for Haiti relief today. That's a lot of beans and rice!"
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