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Wow! Amazing example of threat assessment.

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  • Wow! Amazing example of threat assessment.

    Saw this on another site and it kind of blew me away. Thought you all might appreciate it, too. (incidentally, it was on a thread discussing whether or not to go with a BOB or with a BOBOW--the OW being 'on wheels'. Reminded me of the thread here that looked at using a game cart. The original post on the thread this was on had a pretty decent looking DIY version of a cart and the discussion had additional good ideas.)

    But no need to go there, here's the whole thing--

    I don't think I am kidding myself. I did SAR for 15 years in all sorts of terrain, in all sorts of weather, usually in the mountains. I was prepared for me for 2 weeks living out of it, my 'found victim' for 72 hours. I now pack 35 pounds every time I hike, which is a 8-10 miler each time I go out, which is usually 2x a week and I am usually in mountainous terrain. I have had a SAR pack since 1990 which I have taken with me or had round me pretty much every day for 22 years, but now it is 'switched up' to be more of a BOB. I use items out of it constantly. If not for me, for someone else. In the last year I have two of them. One for my truck and one which sits my my front door. I know what weight on my back feels like for hours and hours and each hike I do is 500-700+ elevation change. I can carry more than 35 pounds, but it is a slower go and I am not as talkative with it on.

    I would prefer to stay home if there is an emergency situation, unless I can't. I have historic unique risks of the following natural hazards here at my home: drought, earthquake, tornado, flood, landslide, volcano, wildfire, windstorm, and severe winter storm. I pretty much have 2 ways in and 2 ways out by vehicle. One or both ways could easily be blocked. One emergency situation could easily set off or trigger another situation at the same time. For instance, if another good sized earthquake happened, the dam which holds 65 acres of water could give away. Which has been a concern since 1960, but engineer people have said it is fine.

    High = One incident likely within a 10-35 year period
    Moderate = One incident likely within a 35-75 year period
    Low = One incident likely within a 75-100 year period

    History has shown that my area, earthquake events possibly as large as M9 in the last 3,500 years. County estimates a high probability (see above for what HIGH means) that earthquakes will occur in the future, as well as a high vulnerability to earthquake events. Potential earthquake-related impacts are well-documented in my county, but buildings, dams, transportation systems, utility and communication networks, and lifelines including water, sewer, storm-water and gas lines are particularly at risk. Additionally, damages to roads and water systems will make it difficult to respond to postearthquake fires. The following vulnerabilities / potential impacts were
    identified by the city’s steering committee and stakeholders:
    City Hall is located in an older unreinforced masonry building that houses city government offices and the police department. The steering committee believes that this building could be damaged in the event of an earthquake.
    67% of my town's housing was built before 1980. Older homes are at a greater risk of damage from earthquake events. My house is 102 years old.
    The city’s downtown area houses small businesses, financial institutions, government institutions, and several nonprofits.
    Many historic downtown buildings are comprised of unreinforced masonry, and would likely be vulnerable to high magnitude earthquake events. As shown city’s Cascadia Peril Earthquake Scenario map, 70-100% of the downtown area is likely to be damaged in a high magnitude earthquake event. My escape route is though downtown.
    The three bridges that cross our creeks/rivers could be vulnerable to seismic activity;
    Our main industry here (nd my town is only 7,000 people, contains hazardous materials, namely anhydrous ammonia, which if released in an earthquake can harm or kill employees and residents. Local farm stores such also contain large quantities of fertilizer, which when mixed due to an earthquake can cause hazardous gases, potentially harming the environment.
    The sewage treatment plant could be vulnerable to seismic activity. If damaged, the treatment plant could release raw sewage into our creek, the city’s water source.
    Utility infrastructure, such as the Verizon switch station, cell phone towers, PGE station, gas lines, and sewer lines could also be damaged in an earthquake event.
    In 2007, the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI)conducted a seismic needs assessment for public school buildings, acute inpatient care facilities, fire stations, police stations, sheriffs’ offices, and other law enforcement agency buildings.
    • _____ Middle School: high ( > 10%)
    • _____ Elementary School: high ( > 10%)
    • _____ Elementary School: high ( > 10%)
    • High School: very high (100%)
    Flooding in town happened in 1964, twice in 1996 and once in 1997. There is a high probability that flooding will occur in the
    future in my town. Thankfully I live in a slightly higher area, than downstream where it flooded before. The town’s wastewater treatment plant lies in the 100-year floodplain, and a flood could both damage the facility and release untreated sewage. Which in turn would compromise our fresh water for the town.
    If the dam broke, I am in the Inundation area.
    If there is a landslide from earthquakes or floods, both of our main routes would be cut off.
    Volcano issues - Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson are the closest of the cascade volcanoes to my town, and ashfall from Mount Saint Helens has reached my town in the past. Additionally, Mount Adams is located north of Mount Hood, and the Three Sisters lie to the south of Mount Jefferson. The largest eruption of Mount Jefferson occurred between 35,000 and 100,000 years ago, and caused ash to fall as far away as the present-day town of Arco in southeast Idaho. None of our volcanoes here are extinct, just dormant. Mount Hood’s last eruption ended shortly before the arrival of Lewis and Clark in 1805.
    This town has one recorded wildfire event which occurred in 1865, and burned 988,000 acres. To date, this is Oregon’s largest wildfire. We have a moderate probability that wildfires will occur in the future.
    We get some wicked windstorms here. History- December 1951 - Winds at 57 mph with gusts measures at 76 mph, caused power outages in my town and closed north and south Santiam highways.
    October 1962 - Columbus Day Storm. Caused 4 injuries in my town, $4 million damages in town, and $8 million damages in the County as a whole. Also wind events in 1971, 1981, 1995, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2 times in 2006, 2008 and this year in 2012. The bank roof got blown off while I have lived here.
    Since 1957, the County has experienced 5 tornadoes, and several have occurred near my town. In October 1998, a small tornado touched down. In November 1997 and November 1991, tornadoes damaged barns within or near the town. County estimates a high probability that windstorms will occur, and a high vulnerability to windstorm events. Not too far from me, we had a tornado in December 2011, which damaged half the town. Apparently there was a funnel cloud a few days ago.
    January-February 2008: Record setting snowstorms in my County. 24" of snow in hours. State of emergency declared in the County and surrounding counties. December 2008-2009: Winter storm throughout the Willamette Valley, heavy snow and ice. State of emergency declared in the County and surrounding counties. There is a high probability that severe winter storms will occur in the future, as well as a high vulnerability to such events.

    So no, I do not think I am kidding myself with my BOB. I would rather have it and NOT use it, than need it, and not have it.
    The one in my truck is because I was tired of schlepping my one pack back and forth while carrying a kid and her supplies to the vehicle. That BOB is to get me home if need be. I have one by my front door as well, as if the air raid siren goes off, it means the dam is compromised. I figure don't have time to get in my vehicle and drive out of town. Which is either TOWARD the dam or down the 'cattle chute', which is where the kazillions of gallons of water will be heading. My plan is to go out my front door and run up the hill which is about a 200 foot climb until there is a bench and then it climbs up again. I figure I have 5 minutes to mostly be up the hill before the water comes. I will do this when I feel ANY shake and not wait for the siren to go off. I will also not come back until the 'ALL Clear' has been sounded. But anything but a backpack is not making it up that hill.

    On foot is the worst case scenario. I also have a draft dog who pulls and I can hook him up to the 4 wheeled kid wagon. I will soon have a bike and bike trailer. I have my vehicle. There are options besides being on foot depending on the situational event, but I train on foot with a pack, so I know I can do it.
    Been there, done that. Then been there again several times, because apparently I never learn.

  • #2
    Sounds like he/she should consider relocating. ;-)


    • #3
      Good point--I wonder if her (I think from things at the site it's a her) location is some kind of 'hot spot' for potential disaster, or if that's just how most places start to look when you look close enough.
      Been there, done that. Then been there again several times, because apparently I never learn.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Schneb View Post
        Good point--I wonder if her (I think from things at the site it's a her) location is some kind of 'hot spot' for potential disaster, or if that's just how most places start to look when you look close enough.

        No place is perfect. If you look close enough, there are major hazards everywhere. It's why we prep.



        • #5
          Well it certainly is as thorough a threat assessment as I have ever seen. He/She/They have thought it all through.

          It makes me rethink my own assessment; particularly the part about running uphill. We live in the shadow of a lake held in place by an earthen dam. The area and surrounding houses were designed so that if the dam were to break the water would be directed down a street (or chute) into a retention pond and adjacent creek. it would not flood the houses. Who knows where a dam will break? What if it breaks on the opposite side of where they planned? Wouldn't that flood everything in a different direction?

          We keep several BOB's packed and ready to go that can be grabbed in a minutes notice.
          The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

          Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.


          • #6
            This is another one that should be concidered. This is one of the reasons I have be looking at my situation closer. We are not in a good place if SHTF. So in a few days we will be hitting the road to see what's out there. First my grandparents place to visit cousins and then off to W. VA to check out some things. Then back to grandparents old homestead then home. From there it will depend on how hubby does with the traveling.