Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Can we just get through the election first?

California Is Due for a Katrina-Style Disaster
When the next big earthquake hits the San Francisco Bay Area, it will be a catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina proportions. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people will die, and hundreds of thousands will become homeless. Economic losses will be on the order of $200 billion, the vast majority of it uninsured. Outside help will be desperately needed, but difficult to coordinate and execute.

And just as before Hurricane Katrina, scientists have been sounding the alarm, warning that the disaster is inevitable. It's not a matter of if, but when the "Big One" will strike.
If you live in California, it is talked about constantly, imprinted onto our consciousness. We know the mantra: Be prepared, don't hang mirrors over beds, strap your furniture to the wall, put by food and water, have a meeting place for separated family members.... but every time we have a temblor, people remember what they haven't yet done and rush out for water bottles and instant food. At least with hurricanes, you have a season. Earthquakes are an unpleasant surprise party.

Be prepared, be wise.

Vote first.

THEN go out and buy water bottles and stuff.

4 comments:

Mahakal / מהכאל said...

I've filled out my sample ballot, but I won't vote absentee if I am able to vote in person, so let's hope there's no major earthquake before November 4.

ellroon said...

Or convenient terrorist strike?

Steve Bates said...

Yikes. I guess I should stop complaining about hurricanes. But I don't think I'll stop accumulating 2-3 weeks worth of supplies each season, and before next time, I'll definitely buy more batteries. We made it through the post-Ike period on what we had, but only because our power was out for "only" a week... some people did without power for a month.

If a hurricane OR an earthquake struck a major city during (or even before) a national election, it could effectively invalidate the result. I've heard it said that that is one reason Bush paid so little attention to the devastation of New Orleans... all those Democrats living there... though I have my doubts.

Houston, contrary to conventional wisdom elsewhere, is in fact Democratic-leaning (the surrounding counties, however, are not), and if it were not the heart of the awl bidness, I'm sure the GOP would love to watch it wash away.

ellroon said...

I wanted to ask you, Steve. How did you make it through a week with no power? Did you throw everything out in the fridge? How did you cook? What did you eat? Did the plumbing work?

What, besides batteries, would you get more of, not do, do more of? (Horrors, what a sentence!) I'd be interested in what you've found out in surviving without electricity for a while.