What can I do so that I am not that person who is standing in the grocery store looking at the picked over shelves and wondering how I’m going to keep the family warm if the power goes out in a blizzard?
That was a line from a blog I subscribe to (http://www.frugalupstate.com/)
The East Coast of the USA has had hurricanes, tropical storms, power outages, flooding, and a minor earthquake in recent days. Other regions in the USA are currently dealing with drought, forest fires, blackouts, thunderstorms, and other natural disasters.
The blog post from Frugal Upstate got me to thinking about what I would do to survive if faced with a natural disaster. This is part one (of I don’t know how many LOL) of my ruminations, detailing the natural disasters that I could presumably be faced with.
The natural disasters most likely in eastern Oregon (where I live) are:
1) wildfires* which are also known as forest fires (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildfire)
2) wind storms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm)
3) thunderstorms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderstorm)
4) rare earthquake tremors (in the past earthquakes have been along fault lines in California (south of us), Washington (north of us), and Idaho (east of us) with the most recent one being the Nisqually earthquake occurring on February 28 2001 in the Seattle (WA) area
5) drought (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drought)
6) flash floods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_flood)
7) blizzards http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blizzard
8) ice storms (also called freezing rain) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_storm)
9) sub-zero and/or below freezing temperatures,
10) white-outs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiteout_(weather))
11) blackouts or power outages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_outage
Another threat that covers nearly all of Oregon and the neighboring states of Washington, Idaho, and California is volcanic eruptions
1) Mount St Helens in Washington State last had a major and very destructive eruption in 1980 but still releases gases, ash, and pyroclastic flows.
While this volcano is not geographically located in Oregon, the ash eruptions from the 2001 incident were carried by wind currents as far away as OKLAHOMA!!*
2) Mount Hood in western Oregon is still considered an active volcano but the likelihood of a major eruption in the next 30 years is estimated to be between rather low at 3% to 7%*
3) There are many other potentially active volcanoes–both *shield volcanoes and **stratovolcanoes–in the Pacific Northwest region including but not limited to Mount Jefferson (OR), Mount Adams (WA), Three Sisters (OR), Mt Bachelor (OR), Mount Rainier (WA), Mount Shasta (CA).
All of these severe weather conditions or natural disasters can make survival difficult.
All of these can affect you no matter where you are or what you are doing. For example, a lightning strike can hit you through your computer as well as if you are outside under a tree!
Some of the weather conditions can create corollary problems, such as an ice storm which snaps tree branches and the tree branches take down power lines thereby causing a power outage.
Drought can cause flash flooding when drought stricken land gets too much rain and can’t absorb it all.
Earthquakes, windstorms, thunderstorms, and flooding can cause power outages.
Stay tuned for Part II, where I discuss ways to stay safe and what to have in your ‘disaster preparedness kit’