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Earthquake in Utah? Probably

If you take the Deseret News, check out the front page.  There is an article on what would happen if a 7.0 earthquake were to hit the Wasatch Front.  I think it will help you as you make your preparations for this type of scenario. It reinforces the value of the things we have been working on as a neighborhood. According to the experts, you and I live in the most severely impacted area.  Here are a few things that stood out to me:

Nearly 100,000 households would be displaced.  38 percent of the buildings in the area would suffer at least moderate damage.

Cell and landline phones will be down initially due to damage or overuse.

The power will go down for at least 8 to 12 hours and when it comes back, it iwll be spotty.

80 percent would have electrical power restored within 30 days, a time frame similar to restoration of communication lines.

Water systems will take longer.  We could be without water for three months.

Sewer systems will take even longer than three months.

Natural gas will perform a little better due to upgrades to pipes and systems recently.

Police and firefighters will be so overwhelmed that they could not reach many people for days, so neighbors would need to rely on each other for help.

Based on these estimates, it seems obvious to me that there are four important areas we need to address in the near future.  They are:

1.    Water storage

2.    Shelter

3.    Human waste disposal

4.    Community Emergency Response Team training (CERT).

I think that our goal this month should be to revisit our water storage. Check to see how much water you have and calculate how much you would need to survive for 90 days.  That would be 180 gallons per person.  You would need to calculate the cost of building a new house to store that much in most cases and determine whether or not you can quality for a bank loan to build it.  Begin with a two week supply and build from there. A two week supply for one person is 28 gallons.   A family of 8 would need about 224 gallons. . . .  This would be 45 five gallon containers.  If you use 55 gallon containers, it would be four containers.  If you use 30 gallon containers, you would need 8.  If you use 15 gallon containers it would be 15 containers.

I like the five gallon containers the best because they are square and can be stacked three high and they make the best use of space because of their shape.  They can be stored in small dead spaces in your home like unused corners, the back of a closet, under a desk or table, etc.  If you were to stack them along a wall of your home and you had 7 stacks of 3 high, you could them place a board along the top of this group of containers and put a tablecloth over it and use it as a cradenza.  You could do the same thing behind a couch which is in the middle of your room and use it as a sofa table.  You can use the same idea to make end tables, night stands, dining tables, etc.  Be creative.  They are also much easier to transport from place to place.  If frozen, they thaw faster.  They have a place to screw on a spigot so that your family can dispense their own water easily.

After the water is addressed, we will focus on shelter.

We will be evaluating the communications drill we participated in last week and try to fine tune it.  However, our communication system is officially in force as of now.  If disaster hits, and our communication by walkie talkie fails due to clogging of the radio waves, captains should proceed to communicate in person to the bishopric member to whom they are assigned, or, if that person is unavailable, proceed on foot to the bishop’s house.

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