Monday, March 25, 2013

Risk Management


   I recently read about some "preppers" in Portland, who getting ready for "The Big One".  
  The article contains an interesting prediction .  Unlike predictions about peak oil, or climate change, the predictions are apparently non-controversial.  They are after all , put out by government agencies.  

And what do they say?  That there is a 7-15% chance of a major earthquake affecting the entire Pacific Northwest in the next 50 years.. (37% chance for one affecting only northern Cal and southern Oregon)

   And what would that mean?   Loss of a bunch of services.  Stuff like - water, sewer, electricity  police , hospitals, highways.  For how long?   Hard to say?  Let's say between one month, and one year.   (See below.)    One month?    One year?

   Now take a look in your pantry, basement, and garage.  How much water have you got, how much food?     One day's worth?  two days?
    So ,what are we to make of this?  

     This is a serious risk, yet not much is being done about it.  The burden will fall on citizens and their neighbors to make arrangements .

      Don't expect the government to make it all better.

      Don't expect your neighbors to be prepared.

      As they say in the airplanes.  "Put on your own air mask first, then help others"
Happily the peak oil, and climate changes scenarios, generally do not have such abrupt changes.  (although the end result could be worse - The World Bank suggest that there is a 10% chance of 4 degrees in the next 50 years.  4 degrees would probably mean the end of agriculture, and civilization)     Some abrupt changes could happen. -  A war in the mid east could lead quickly to transportation snafus.  A nasty dry spell in midwest or California could easily affect food supplies.

Save Lives, Preserve Our Communities and Our Economy
The Oregon Resilience Plan
Reducing Risk and Improving Recovery for the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami
Report to the 77th Legislative Assembly
from Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission
Salem, Oregon

Key Findings
Oregon is far from resilient to the impacts of a great Cascadia earthquake and tsunami today. Available studies estimate fatalities ranging from 1,250 to more than 10,000 due to the combined effects of earthquake and tsunami, tens of thousands of buildings destroyed or damaged so extensively that they will require months to years of repair, tens of thousands of displaced households, more than $30 billion in direct and indirect economic losses (close to one-fifth of Oregon’s gross state product), and more than one million dump truck loads of debris.

A particular vulnerability is Oregon’s liquid fuel supply. Oregon depends on liquid fuels transported into the state from Washington State, which is also vulnerable to a Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Once here, fuels are stored temporarily at Oregon’s critical energy infrastructure hub, a six-mile stretch of the lower Willamette River where industrial facilities occupy liquefiable riverside soils. Disrupting the transportation, storage, and distribution of liquid fuels would rapidly disrupt most, if not all, sectors of the economy critical to emergency response and economic recovery.

Business continuity planning typically assumes a period of two weeks to be the longest disruption of essential services (i.e., utilities, communications, etc.) that a business can withstand, and service disruptions lasting for one month or longer can be enough to force a business to close, relocate, or leave the state entirely. Analysis in the Oregon Resilience Plan reveals the following timeframes for service recovery under present conditions:

Critical Service
Estimated Time to Restore Service
1 to 3 months
3 to 6 months
Police and fire stations
2 to 4 months
Drinking water and sewer
1 month to 1 year
Drinking water and sewer
1 to 3 years
Top-priority highways (partial restoration)
6 to 12 months
Healthcare facilities
18 months
Healthcare facilities
3 years

After the February 27, 2010 M8.8 Maule Earthquake, Chile was able to restore 90% communication services and 95% power supply within two weeks, and re-start commercial flights after ten days.
After the March 11, 2011 M9.0 Tohoku Earthquake, Japan was able to restore more than 90% power supply in ten days, 90% telephone lines in two weeks, and 90% cellular base stations in 19 days.

Executive Summary Page xvi - xvii


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