You’ve seen photos of Baby in the food dish, and Baby by the garage door. I opened the door into summer for the Qatari Cat, just the door, and propped the screen door tightly shut so QC could watch the birds and squirrels from the safety of the house.
In Qatar, when he was young and strong, he actually knocked a screen off and escaped. When we replaced the screen, he scratched a long rent in the screening and escaped again. He had a tree he would run for, and once on the wall – he was king of the roost. Only cheese or sardines would get him back again, and it could take hours just to find him before we could tempt and capture him.
Now, he is more content to be an indoor cat. At least, content most of the time. There are times he leaves a message telling us he still yearns to chase a squirrel or two . . .
You can read this entire threatening report of a recent study done by earthquake experts at Weather Underground News:
By: Lauren Gambino
Published: March 15, 2013
SALEM, Ore. — More than 10,000 people could die when – not if – a monster earthquake and tsunami occur just off the Pacific Northwest coast, researchers told Oregon legislators Thursday.
Coastal towns would be inundated. Schools, buildings and bridges would collapse, and economic damage could hit $32 billion.
These findings were published in a chilling new report by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, a group of more than 150 volunteer experts.
In 2011, the Legislature authorized the study of what would happen if a quake and tsunami such as the one that devastated Japan hit the Pacific Northwest.
The Cascadia Subduction Zone, just off the regional coastline, produced a mega-quake in the year 1700. Seismic experts say another monster quake and tsunami are overdue.
“This earthquake will hit us again,” Kent Yu, an engineer and chairman of the commission, told lawmakers. “It’s just a matter of how soon.”
When it hits, the report says, there will be devastation and death from Northern California to British Columbia.
Many Oregon communities will be left without water, power, heat and telephone service. Gasoline supplies will be disrupted.
The 2011 Japan quake and tsunami were a wakeup call for the Pacific Northwest. Governments have been taking a closer look at whether the region is prepared for something similar and discovering it is not.
Oregon legislators requested the study so they could better inform themselves about what needs to be done to prepare and recover from such a giant natural disaster.
The report says that geologically, Oregon and Japan are mirror images. Despite the devastation in Japan, that country was more prepared than Oregon because it had spent billions on technology to reduce the damage, the report says.
People all around Pensacola are dropping like flies; the weather fluctuates between hot and humid and cold and dry, with thunderstorms marking the boundaries, and there are colds and flu popping up everywhere. I’ve flown serenely through the season without much problem, just a little four day cold around Christmas, feeling thankful for my strong immune system. I may have been a little smug.
And then, WHAM, it hit. One minute I was in a meeting, and the next, as I headed home, I was sniffing and reaching for a tissue. It quickly got worse. It was one of those nights where you can’t sleep because you are drowning in your own mucus. I know, I know, too much information, too graphic. Trust me, the reality has been worse. I stayed in bed most of Friday, and Saturday, when I was feeling better, we discovered our water heater has sprung a leak. All that mopping up was probably good exercise; once we got all the water up we were OK. Yesterday, my sniffles had turned into aching, irritated sinuses, so I spent the day putting warmth on my face.
This morning, we have the plumbers coming in with a new water heater, I feel marginally better, and I know I will feel a LOT better once I can get a hot shower
There was a huge blessing in all this. Our calendars for January and February are full, winter is the active season in Pensacola. We have events, we have commitments, and we have house guests coming. In the entire period, I only had five dates with no obligations, and that was this weekend. It’s a strange thing to be thankful for, but I thank God to be sick during a time when I can stay home and take care of myself, and I don’t have to call anyone and renege on an obligation.
It’s also wonderful that if the water heater was going to go (and it is ten years old) it burst while we were here, and we were able to stop the flow and mop up the water before it caused a lot of damage. We had a water heater go out several homes ago, while we were out of town, and oh, what a mess we came back to, and it took forever to get all the carpeting dried out and replaced. It’s wonderful that we could take care of this BEFORE our house guests start arriving.
We’ve been exploring tankless heaters; our heater is smack in the center of the house, a terrible location, where, if it goes, it can cause a lot of damage. We’ll go ahead with a regular old-fashioned heater this time, but suddenly, we have some urgency to trying to install tankless – maybe in the next couple of years. We had tankless heaters in Germany, and in the Middle East; we are used to them and comfortable with the idea. I like the idea of not keeping water warm when we are not using it, and heating it only when we do. I also like the idea of not having gallons and gallons of water spilling into my kitchen, dining room, living room and family room when the tank goes
I miss my energy . . . I no longer feel smug, no longer assured of my good health. I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to be normal, without sinus pain, without this thick-headed draggy feeling. I think I’m on the mend; the last three days I couldn’t even begin to think about writing a blog entry . . .
You know how you don’t want to go to bed nervous or unhappy? Unfortunately, the last conversation AdventureMan and I had last night before going to bed was whether or not we needed a 24 – 32 foot articulated ladder, so we could put up our hurricane protection shields if it looks like Isaac is heading our way. (And it looks like Isaac is heading our way.)
You know how you can learn a lot from people who have been through something if you ask the right questions and then shut up and listen? We’ve learned a lot from people here in Pensacola who have weathered a hurricane or two. One thing is that you are a lot better off living a little bit inland and a little bit uphill. People who have the glorious waterfront houses are hit hard by hurricanes, and the resulting surges, and Lord have mercy, al the flooding and rain and high winds.
Another thing we have learned is that there is a difference between a hit and a direct hit. There can be some areas, right next to other areas, which suffer more damage and some areas that suffer less. While I don’t feel at all right about praying that the hardships hit somewhere else, I am praying that Pensacola be spared. Pensacola has been hard hit by hurricanes in the past, and by the economic downturn. Pensacola needs a break.
So we went out this morning after water aerobics to buy an articulated ladder, but there were none the size we need. I just figure that is a sign, plus a ladder of that size must be pretty heavy, and big – another storage issue. We did buy a couple more water storage containers and non-latex plastic gloves.
We have what we hope is a safe area in the house where drinking water and peanut butter and crackers, and tuna and canned salmon and candles and self-wind combination radios/flashights are stored in preparation. We have installed hurricane protective measures, and we are hoping they work.
Studies show that people who stay actually fare better than those who go. If you stay and are able to deal quickly with some of the problems, you can forestall greater damage. There is evidently some sort of emotional factor, too, that those who go often have a lot of stress trying to get back into their homes if there has been a lot of damage.
We listen. We plan. We hope for the best. We pray.
We make it a point, as often as we can, to do our shopping during the week, because we remember what it is like when both parents are working and you have to get everything else done – grocery shopping, dry-cleaning pick up, meal preparation, laundry, etc. after work or on the week-ends.
Lowe’s and Home Depot have special hurricane trucks coming in, loaded with large storage containers for water, lots and lots and lots of bottled water, generators, flashlights, batteries, etc. This morning, the big orders were all about plywood, stacks and stacks of plywood leaving the stores, en route to guard windows.
If we are without electricity for three days in hot, humid, rainy, windy conditions, it will be the WORST for me, especially if there are mosquitos. That’s my biggest worry. I really hate being hot.
“Americans don’t know their neighbors” my dinner guest said, in response to my asking him what surprises him most in his visit to this country. “In my country, we all know our neighbors. It’s important to know your neighbors.”
I agreed, and quoted him this article supporting his view that I heard on National Public Radio, one of those ideas I hear so often on NPR because they cover news other news sources ignore.
Below is just a portion of the story, which you can read in whole by clicking on this blue type. Even better, if you want, you can listed to the story yourself by clicking on the “Listen to the Story: All things Considered” button on this same page.
When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, one victim was political scientist Daniel Aldrich. He had just moved to New Orleans. Late one August night, there was a knock on the door.
“It was a neighbor who knew that we had no idea of the realities of the Gulf Coast life,” said Aldrich, who is now a political scientist at Purdue University in Indiana. He “knocked on our door very late at night, around midnight on Saturday night, and said, ‘Look, you’ve got small kids — you should really leave.’ “
The knock on the door was to prove prophetic. It changed the course of Aldrich’s research and, in turn, is changing the way many experts now think about disaster preparedness.
Officials in New Orleans that Saturday night had not yet ordered an evacuation, but Aldrich trusted the neighbor who knocked on his door. He bundled his family into a car and drove to Houston.
“Without that information we never would’ve left,” Aldrich said. I think we would’ve been trapped.”
In fact, by the time people were told to leave, it was too late and thousands of people got stuck.
Because of his own experience in Katrina, Aldrich started thinking about how neighbors help one another during disasters. He decided to visit disaster sites around the world, looking for data.
Aldrich’s findings show that ambulances and firetrucks and government aid are not the principal ways most people survive during — and recover after — a disaster. His data suggest that while official help is useful — in clearing the water and getting the power back on in a place such as New Orleans after Katrina, for example — government interventions cannot bring neighborhoods back, and most emergency responders take far too long to get to the scene of a disaster to save many lives. Rather, it is the personal ties among members of a community that determine survival during a disaster, and recovery in its aftermath.
When Aldrich visited villages in India hit by the giant 2004 tsunami, he found that villagers who fared best after the disaster weren’t those with the most money, or the most power. They were people who knew lots of other people — the most socially connected individuals. In other words, if you want to predict who will do well after a disaster, you look for faces that keep showing up at all the weddings and funerals.
“Those individuals who had been more involved in local festivals, funerals and weddings, those were individuals who were tied into the community, they knew who to go to, they knew how to find someone who could help them get aid,” Aldrich says.
My visiting guest was from Lebanon, where neighbors have relied on one another for years as civil unrest rocks the country.
“I am guessing we move more often than your family and friends,” I ventured. “You are right, it is harder to establish long-lasting neighborly relations here where people come and go more often.”
Actually, we have settled in a fairly established neighborhood, where many people around us have lived for years and years, some all their lives. But we have only been here a year, and it takes time to build strong neighborly relations. But we are aware that connecting with our neighbors and staying connected is important in a part of the country vulnerable to life-threatening hurricanes and other natural emergencies.