Report: LA Quake Would Cause “Significant Disruption of Inter-Dependent Infrastructure…Transportation, Gas and Electricity Supplies, Sewage Systems, Water…”

(Pictured: This iconic image from the 1994 Los Angeles quake shows the concrete Kaiser Permanente building that sat near the epicenter of the 6.7 quake)

Tens of millions of Americans depend on the stable functioning of infrastructure systems like transportation, utility services, food delivery and communications. Without them modern society comes to a standstill. The U.S. government, under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local emergency teams, has spent billions of dollars to ensure operability of these essential societal nodes in the event of an emergency, but for some parts of the country, it may not be enough. A report from the US Geological Survey (USGS), a research arm of the federal government, indicates that the West Coast of the United States, namely those areas directly on or in the vicinity of fault lines, is not equipped to deal with a wide scale emergency that would directly impact these infrastructure systems.

The threat is a high-magnitude earthquake, something most Americans living in these areas assume will not have a significant impact on their lives because of building codes and existing disaster response plans implemented by government emergency planners. Many residents of these areas have become complacent because previous earthquakes, while damaging, didn’t adversely affect their day-to-day lives.

The earthquakes that struck San Francisco in 1989 and Los Angeles in 1994 measured 6.9 and 6.7 on the Richter scale respectively. Hundreds of buildings in both cities collapsed in their aftermath, with nearly ten times as many being “red flagged” as uninhabitable. Neither of these quakes were strong enough to affect the underlying infrastructure on a widespread scale. Life continued on as if nothing had happened following the initial destruction. According to the USGS, there have been over 120 earthquakes measuring in this range – between 6.0 and 6.9 on the Richter scale – in 2013, so they’re not uncommon.

But these aren’t the quakes scientists are concerned about with respect to damage levels. It’s the “mega-quakes,” which measure around 7.5 or higher that pose the biggest threat to populated areas on the West Coast. Though they don’t happen very often, this year the USGS has measured six such earthquakes around the world, so it’s not out of the question to suggest that a seismic event of this magnitude could potentially occur in Los Angeles or any major West Coast city at any time.

USGS researcher Dr. Lucy Jones, who spoke to 20,000 geoscientists from around the globe at this year’s American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, simulated the effects of a 7.8 quake originating just south of Los Angeles along the San Andreas fault line. The results were shocking. According to Dr. Jones, not only would nearly half of the buildings in L.A. become uninhabitable due to structural damage, but essential infrastructure systems would collapse almost instantaneously.

In their model, the thick sediments that downtown LA sits upon amplify the strong shaking of the quake, which would happen around 75 seconds after the first small signal of the earthquake.

Ground motions would be of “Intensity 9″, corresponding to accelerations of one G, causing significant damage to buildings. The model suggests the collapse of possibly around 1% of the buildings in an area of 10 million people.

The end result would be that around half the buildings in the area would have to be abandoned. But the model’s most disturbing results show that beyond the building damage there would be significant disruption of inter-dependent infrastructure.

Transportation, gas and electricity supplies, sewerage systems, water supplies and communications would all be affected.

Whether a modern civic society could operate under such conditions is questionable. At the instant of the USGS model earthquake, debris would close roads, extinguish traffic lights, water supplies would be cut off, and emergency responders would have difficulty operating.

Beyond that, the disruption of the supply chain also becomes an issue, pointed out Dr Jones. The move towards a “just in time” economy in grocery stores and elsewhere has introduced additional vulnerability.

There are few warehouses or stockpiles of food on the western side of the San Andreas fault.

The water system is vulnerable: 70% of the water pipes in Southern California are made of brittle concrete which would likely fail in a large quake, with LA served by water supplies that traverse the San Andreas fault.

Even repairing the pipe network was stated as an issue, since current pipe manufacture in the US is insufficient to replace the damage in under six months. Replacement by polyurethane piping, which can withstand earthquake shaking, could overcome this problem.

Source: BBC via Stan Deyo

The Los Angeles metropolitan area has a population of 12.8 million people, the majority of who would be out of food and water within seconds following this disaster. According to the USGS report, up to half of the population could be without shelter due to either building collapse or the possibility of collapse. Emergency responders would not be able to make it to affected areas because roadways would be destroyed, and those that were undamaged would be jam-packed with people trying to leave the city.

It would be a complete and utter disaster.

Moreover, as soon as those 12.8 million people realized that help wasn’t coming, they’d make their way out of the city by foot in what has been described by James Rawles as the golden horde, and they would leave destruction in their wake as they scrambled for resources.

After Hurricane Sandy it only took 72 hours after grid-down for the initial stages of societal breakdown to begin setting in. We saw the same scenario play out during Hurricane Katrina. In both instances government emergency responders were overwhelmed and unable to provide victims with the basic necessities for life. Those disasters affected on the order of about 50,000 to 100,000 people.

Now imagine what happens when we’re talking numbers on the scale of millions.


Related Reading:

Are You Ready Series: Earthquake Preparedness (Ready Nutrition)

The Prepper Conundrum: To Bug In or Bug Out (Ready Nutrition)

Simulation: New Madrid Quake Would Kill 100,000 Instantly; Displace 7 Million (SHTFplan)

SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Peak Gold: Demand Will Soar As Global Supplies Dwindle

peakgoldIt’s been said that all of the gold mined throughout the history of mankind could fit into just three Olympic-sized swimming pools.

With rising fuel and labor costs, successful mining operations have been few and far between, simply because there’s very little, if any, easily accessible gold, as well as its close cousin silver, left in the ground. According to Peak Resources, the supply of gold is now so limited that just 1 in 1600 new gold projects ever get off the ground. One of the key reasons for this is because mine operators have to dig deeper and spend much more money than ever before – often times just to break even.

When you consider the supply fundamentals, and couple them with the high levels of demand experienced in recent months, you can see that regardless of what is listed as the official ‘paper market’ price, gold is likely going much higher. And that’s before we even get into the monetary expansion aspect of the discussion.

While economists like Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke vehemently deny gold’s value as a mechanism of exchange, and leading market analysts take to writing obituaries for gold’s demise amid recent price swings, the fact is that all signs point to a continuation of the long-term trend.

Gold is going higher.

Michael Wittmeyer, the President of leading online gold and silver dealer JM Bullion, shares the sentiment of many precious metals investors regarding recent price movements:

There seems to be a segregation between paper and physical metals at the moment, as physical demand has never been so strong, yet metals continue to slide in the paper markets and fail to find support at any of the historical key levels thus far.

My personal recommendation is to stay the course, try to lock in the lower prices to average in a lower overall cost-basis on your metals portfolio, and stay focused on the big picture, where the fundamental reasons to own physical metals are as strong as ever.

If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ve no doubt realized that the fundamentals Mr. Wittmeyer speaks of are pretty clear cut.

The big picture is that the fundamentals for gold, despite a massive hit to its price in recent months, have not changed.

The following micro-documentary explains why we may well be on the cusp of Peak Gold, a turning point in the precious metals market that will continue to strain supply while demand across the world explodes to unprecedented levels:

Gold has no flag or allegiance… as the fiat currencies get devalued to deal with the sovereign debt crisis, gold demand will soar.

The problem and opportunity we see is that the supply is already maxed out. So, if a wave of demand comes, we can see the gold price move rapidly on supply and demand fundamentals.

The inflation will simply be icing on the cake.

Via Peak Resources:

So, the question is, do we follow the direction of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who suggests gold is simply a relic, and focus our investments on his preferred asset class – the US dollar denominated Treasury Bond?

Or, do we side with over 5,000 years of history, which has shown precious metals to be the go-to store of wealth during times of uncertainty and upheaval?

SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Peak Pollination: Global Collapse of Food Supplies Approaches As 30% of Bee Colonies Wiped Out In the Last Year


With seven billion people on the planet energy and food resources are already highly strained, as evidenced by the fact that the majority of the world’s population lives on just scraps a day.

It wouldn’t take much to send us over a cliff. The last several years have not only reduced food reserves significantly because of widespread droughts, but have led to price inflation in essential grains necessary to feed ourselves as well as the livestock on which millions of Americans depend.

The reality is that we’re just one major calamity away from a catastrophic impact on our ability to feed the people of earth.

And, according to recent data published by the Bee Informed Partnership, that calamity could come in the form of a totally unexpected event: Peak Pollination.

According to the latest survey results, an astounding 31.3 percent, or roughly one-third, of all managed bee colonies in the U.S. were wiped out during the most recent 2012/2013 winter season, a rate that represents a 42 percent increase compared to the number of colonies lost during the previous 2011/2012 winter season.

U.S. beekeepers on average lost more than 45 percent of their colonies during the 2012/2013 winter season, a 78.2 percent jump in losses over the previous season.

And overall, more than 70 percent of respondents, most of whom were backyard beekeepers, experienced losses beyond the 15 percent “acceptable” threshold, illustrating a monumental problem not only for bee survival but also for the American food supply.

many are worried that this year-after-year compounded increase will very soon make it impossible for grow enough food.
“We’re getting closer and closer to the point where we don’t have enough bees in this country to meet pollination demands,” says Dennis vanEngelstorp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland who led the survey. “If we want to grow fruits and nuts and berries, this is important.

One in every three bites [of food consumed in the U.S.] is directly or indirectly pollinated by bees.

Via: Natural News

The bee population has been diminishing at an astounding 30% per year over the last decade, a decline that is often overlooked or ignored by central planners.

Bees are absolutely essential to the cycle of life. In the United States they pollinate about 90% of flowering crops, including those used as feed for cattle.

Take away the bees and the majority of the world’s population will be dead within a year because there will be no way to pollinate the billions of pounds of fruits, vegetables and other plants required to keep all of us alive.

The most frightening thing about the destruction of bee colonies is that we have absolutely no idea what is causing it. It could be contaminants in the air such as industrial pollutants or radiation. Some have surmised that it’s electro-magnetic and radio signals from millions of internet-wired devices. Or, perhaps it’s the very plants the bees are pollinating, most of which are now genetically modified to serve corporate business interests.

Whatever the cause, we have no solution, which means we can expect this trend to continue.

Nature has struck a very delicate balance on our planet. From the thermo-halene circulation of our oceans to the oxygen and carbon dioxide in our air, even tiny changes make for significant global impacts.

At this pace it is only a matter of time before the population of bees on our planet falls below the threshold necessary to produce enough food required to meet global demand.

Adee Honey Farms of South Dakota, the largest beekeeping business in the country, lost 28,000 of its 70,000 hives. That’s about a billion bees gone missing. “It’s off the charts,” said Bret Adee. “It’s not a sustainable thing, what’s happening now.(link)

How long before we go critical is anybody’s guess, but peak pollination is coming unless we can reverse the trend (something that doesn’t look very promising).

At current rates about half of the world’s bee population is being destroyed every two years.

These are massive numbers.

With bees responsible for pollinating about 35% of the food produced for global consumption, it’s easy to see how serious of a crisis we’ll face if Colony Collapse Disorder can’t be stopped.

Couple this with all of our other problems, both natural and man-made, and things could go very badly, very quickly.

SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Quality Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Emergencies happen and they can cause communication failures, power failures and other inconveniences. It is important to have emergency supplies in a reliable, sturdy container. Your emergency preparedness supplies should be enough to last for seventy-two hours. In the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster it is possible that it will take several days for help to arrive. If you prepare a kit with your emergency preparedness supplies, you will be caring for your family. You will have peace of mind in case of any unexpected event. There are emergency kits available that contain all of the emergency supplies you will need for three days. These would contain medications and some personal, necessary items.

To get your emergency preparedness supplies together there are some steps you will need to take. First, you will need a container to hold all of the supplies. Backpacks, sturdy bags with shoulder straps or plastic buckets with a tight fitting lid are all good suggestions. You are going to need food, shelter, clothing, basic tools and water.

You need to have some water. Water is heavy and necessary. You should have three gallons of water next to your kit. Take at least one and all three if possible. Water purification tablets also need to be included. This will allow you to get more water if necessary, using the empty gallon to purify the water.

Your hygienic needs will need supplies as well. You should have hand sanitizer, toilet paper, toothbrush and paste, comb and brush and tampons.

Most stores have travel sizes of deodorant and other toiletries. They should be adequate. Your hygienic items should be in a Ziploc bag. Additional bags and trash bags should also be in the pack. You will need to dispose of waste.

You may need shelter. If you do not have a backpacking tent, take a couple of tarps and some blankets. Take a good supply of rope to connect your tarps into a lean-to for shelter. It will also provide you with a place to keep your clothes. You should have a complete change of clothing. This includes long sleeved shirt, pants, underwear, shoes and socks. A poncho and coat should also be part of your emergency preparedness supplies.

There should be enough non-perishable food to last 3 days. It should be food that can be eaten without the need for cooking. It should not require water or need refrigeration. Emergency supplies need to be stable and ready to eat. If there are any cans in your larder, don’t forget a can opener or be sure you have cans that have pull-tabs.

Consider other types of emergencies. A first aid kit should be in your pack of emergency supplies. Sterile gauze, tape, latex gloves, creams and antibiotic ointments, Betadine, pain reliever, a first aid manual and any of your prescription medicines.

Have copies of all of your important documents in your kit. Birth certificates, wills, insurance, social security documents and bank account info should be considered vital parts of your emergency preparedness supplies. The feeling that you will be prepared if you have to leave your home unexpectedly, or if there is a storm or other natural disaster, will bring you comfort.

At KnivesAndSurvivalPros, you will discover an amazing selection of low priced and excellent quality emergency preparedness supplies.

Tempers Flare: Residents Complain Government Is Too Slow Distributing Food and Supplies

Hurricane Sandy made landfall just 36 hours ago and already we’ve received reports of looting in hard-hit areas with some people brazenly taking to Twitter to post pictures of their new found wealth.

Ahead of the storm panic buying left grocery and hardware store shelves empty as concerned residents stocked up on food, water, batteries, flashlights, and generators.

With the run on supplies over the weekend, tens of thousands of people were inevitably left without essential survival items due to shortages across the region, and now they are demanding action from government officials.

Officials in the city of Hoboken, N.J., are defending their response to severe flooding from superstorm Sandy.

Public Safety director Jon Tooke says at least 25 percent of the city on the Hudson River across from Manhattan remains under water. He estimates at least 20,000 people are stranded and says most are being encouraged to shelter in place until floodwaters recede.

Tempers flared Wednesday morning outside City Hall as some residents complained the city was slow to get food and other supplies out to the stranded.

Tooke says emergency personnel have been working 24/7. He says the “scope of this situation is enormous.”

Without any way to heat their homes due to power outages, no food in their pantries and water supplies potentially tainted with polluted flood waters, those who failed to prepare are now at the mercy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s crisis safety net.

But, as FEMA has advised in its emergency preparedness guidelines, despite millions of dollars in supplies having been purchased by the Federal government, if emergency responders and the transportation infrastructure is overwhelmed, help may not be coming for days or weeks.

While damage from Hurricane Sandy may not be as widespread or severe as earlier reports suggested it could be, what should be crystal clear is that any serious long-term emergency would be horrific for the non-prepper.

In New Jersey some 20,000 residents are affected and already there are not enough supplies to go around and sanity is rapidly destabilizing.

The government simply does not have the manpower to deal with an emergency requiring the delivery of food and water to hundreds of thousands of people. The saving grace for the east coast is that the damage was not as bad as it could have been, and residents were made aware of the coming storm days in advance, giving them ample time to stock up or evacuate.

Imagine the effects of an unforeseen, more widespread disaster such as coordinated dirty-bomb terror attacks, a natural disaster requiring permanent mass evacuations of entire cities, destruction of the national power grid, or the collapse of the currency systems necessary for the global exchange of key commodities.

Even those who set aside supplies for such disasters would be hard-pressed to survive; never mind those who have less than three days of food in their pantries.

SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You