Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

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Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

As the story develops of the unfortunate events in Haiti, it's easy to see potential parallels between this and the future we may experience in more developed nations as economic and energy issues come to the fore.  The point of this thread is to look at some of the specific issues the Haitians are struggling with now, and put ourselves in their place to see where our knowledge, skills, and preparations help (or don't help) in the situation. 

Specific Challenges:
- Ability to evacuate at a moment's notice (do you have your Bug-Out-Bag ready and waiting?)
- Is there a place to evacuate to or some form of temporary shelter, and assuming you have some time to retrieve belongings what would you take with you? (many, if not most, seem to have lost their homes so let's assume that your residence is uninhabitable for the time being... or as an alternative, assume your residence IS inhabitable but you have 5-10 additional family/friends staying with you who have nothing to their names)
- Availability of potable water (local water utilities are out of commission, and any water pumps relying on electricity need an independent power source).
- Availability of food and the ability to cook it (no stores open, no food for purchase, and the public gas utility is offline).
- Availability of electricity (no public electric utilities are functional; perhaps we can assume generators and solar pv systems are intact but any wind towers will have been damaged)
- Availability of proper sanitation (wastewater utilities are also out of commission, and diseases such as cholera and dysentary are now an issue).
- Lack of sufficient emergency services (rescue teams, firefighters, medical services, police, etc., are overwhelmed).
- Ability to protect yourself, loved ones, and property (looting and rioting primarily, but in all likelihood far worse crimes are taking place as well).

So I ask, based on what your current knowledge, skills, and preparations, how would you handle these emergencies?  And if there are other challenges I've missed, by all means let your voice be heard!

Thanks for participating,
- Nickbert

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

I was thinking about this earlier.  In some circumstances,  all of our preparation could be for naught.  Most of my supplies are in the basement,  If my house collapsed they would be useless.  Even my means of defending myself and my family are in the house.   We have a camper and some supplies are in there,  but far from enough.

I was thinking about what would happen if something like this were to happen during a work day - I am at work in one state,  DH is at work in another state and the kids in school somewhere else,  I need to cross one major bridge and two small ones,  what if they were gone?  We have a preset rendevouz,  but it might be alot harder to get there than I had been imagining.  

We can do what we can to be prepared but we should never fool ourselves that we are prepared for everything.

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Nickbert,

Awful thing about an earthquake is that it has the potential to absolutely destroy your stock of canned goods. 
Depending on how/where they're stored, you might lose a massive amount of what you've canned - so an Earthquake is a "game changer" in that people who have established homesteads might not be significantly better off than their urban counterparts.

 Also, damage to rural roads/bridges might have a greater impact considering most of our supplies are still trucked in. 

I can see this as being one of the "worst case" scenarios - especially for those of us in the Pacific Northwest. 

So, to your questions (numbered for ease of address):

Quote:

- Ability to evacuate at a moment's notice (do you have your Bug-Out-Bag ready and waiting?)
1. - Is there a place to evacuate to or some form of temporary shelter, and assuming you have some time to retrieve belongings what would you take with you? (many, if not most, seem to have lost their homes so let's assume that your residence is uninhabitable for the time being... or as an alternative, assume your residence IS inhabitable but you have 5-10 additional family/friends staying with you who have nothing to their names) 
2. - Availability of potable water (local water utilities are out of commission, and any water pumps relying on electricity need an independent power source).
3. - Availability of food and the ability to cook it (no stores open, no food for purchase, and the public gas utility is offline).
4. - Availability of electricity (no public electric utilities are functional; perhaps we can assume generators and solar pv systems are intact but any wind towers will have been damaged)
5. - Availability of proper sanitation (wastewater utilities are also out of commission, and diseases such as cholera and dysentary are now an issue).
6. - Lack of sufficient emergency services (rescue teams, firefighters, medical services, police, etc., are overwhelmed).
7. - Ability to protect yourself, loved ones, and property (looting and rioting primarily, but in all likelihood far worse crimes are taking place as well).

1. I'd be evacuating to the family homestead, and have already cached most of my "important" survival essentials there - so it'd be more of a concern addressing the issue of travel. I might be between 30-300 miles from there when the "big one" hits. Heck, I've spend quite a bit of time in the Midwest as well. That'd put the journey at a more improbable 2500 miles.
Even during travel situations, I've got a "go bag" and a good -40 sleeping bag with some extra chow and water. The shortcoming is;

2/3. Food and water. I don't carry more than about 3 days worth, and that's just not enough. Problem is, it's heavy and takes up a lot of space. 
I do keep snare wire and fishing hooks on hand. Been thinking about getting a Gaff and some Gill net as well, and now might be just the perfect time to "prioritize" that. Cooking is no problem, but being sure I have the necessary cookware and water purification precautions in place is another story. Water collection is no worries, being in the PNW, but keeping it clean might be more of an issue. I've got plenty of trioxine and have been working on a primer for some primitive skills to share here - fire starting even in wet weather is doable, and cooking is no problem. Getting the food might be another story.
Plan: Get a good cookset and a Katadyne Purifier.
Another case or two of MRE's for travel are in order.

4. I've got a small solar panel, good for next to nothing, that goes in my pack. It might be enough to get the HAM radio up and running, but not for long. Transmissions would probably be almost a "no dice" deal. Definitely lacking in this area. 
Plan: Get some "get by" panels and start working towards a wind turbine. 

5. Water is No worries. Gotta be diligent, but have septic and lots of H2O at available. Boiling and re-oxygenation will probably be required.

6. This is something I was thinking about the other night. Fire especially. if you need an ambulance, chances are you can learn to stabilize the patient yourself. EMT B isn't even a 2 year course. But your home catching fire is entirely different. You have to be able to act fast, act appropriately and get the fire stopped -now!  Taking some extra steps to get fire extingusihers, both for the home and the vehicle would be prudent.
Plan: Update fire plan, rehearse, check batteries in detectors, and get a couple more extinguishers.

7. Rotating fire watch. Protocols for leaving, travel, posture in town (CCW but HEAVY) and entering the property and familiarization/training every 5th day for all members of the family.

I've got to say - this thread has really got me thinking about some very simple and effective tune ups I could do now, and for little cost...

Awesome work Nickbert! 
Cheers!

Aaron 

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Well for me, the lesson from this is that you can't prepare for anything as bad as that....

It also proved to me that living in population dense areas complicates things dramatically. So for instance, if an earthquake as bad as this occurred here, we would still be able to get around on a bicycle, even if it had to be carried some distances over obstacles.

I have zero idea whether our house would be totally destroyed or not.... but I suspect our water supply would withstand something like this unless a great big crack opened up right under the middle of our water tanks!

We don't store food, as in months worth of supplies. There's a kid goat in the freezer, and that's it.... Most of our food's all in the ground or walking around.

Personally, I think selecting somewhere safe to live is critical....... flood free zone, no earthquakes, no volcanoes (unless they've been extinct for 150,000 years like the one I can see out the window!)

The thing that also needs to be remembered is that a disaster of this proportion could only happen in a third world country where nothing's well built, and infrastructure is barely working even in good times.....

Mike

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

I don't have a bug-out bag per se, but we do have a small pop-up camper that I keep fully prepped and stocked with fresh water, food, and necessities. We learned from Hurricane Rita that in an emergency, there will be no gas, no food, and no vacancy, in no time flat. The strange thing is that during the mass evacuation in Hurricane Rita, vehicles were not allowed to pull trailers or campers, not that they could really enforce that during the chaos.

In addition to what is already in the pop-up camper, we also have the following items ready to go at a moment's notice:

  • 60-80 gallons gasoline
  • small, and relatively quiet, Honda 3000 generator
  • Electronics Tote: (walkie talkies, emergency radio, flashlights, recharchable batteries and charger, small PV panel and charger etc)
  • extra propane tank,
  • Extra Food Tote (for a total of 4 weeks supply)
  • 30 gallons of water (plus 40 gallons in camper)
  • Rocket Stove, lighter fluid, lighters, kindling/paper, axe and saw.
  • Tools
  • pet carrier & supplies
  • Shot gun and 360 degree motion detection lighting for the camper.

My wife and I did a dry run a few years back and we can have everything loaded up and be on the road in under 30 minutes. Where would we go? Wherever everyone else is not. Of course that means knowing the back roads and routes ahead of time. 

It took us over 24 hours to drive 200 miles during the Rita evacuation of Houston. Never again will we be unprepared to bug-out quickly.

 

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
Damnthematrix wrote:

Mike,

The thing that also needs to be remembered is that a disaster of this proportion could only happen in a third world country where nothing's well built, and infrastructure is barely working even in good times..... Mike

That seems to be a rather rash statement.  Do you consider Alaska circa 1964 (a US state by that time) a third world area?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_Alaska_earthquake

http://www.alaskastock.com/resultsframe.asp?akfacts=1&txtkeys1=earthquake

My hometown of Anchorage was flattened in many places as you can see from the photos in the second link.  These are mostly buildings that were built using good standards (of that era), and as you can see it didn't help much.  So if that's the case, then why so few deaths for such a large, devastating quake?  Lower population was a part of it, but the biggest factor was simple dumb luck.  It just happened to occur on Good Friday when all the schools and many businesses were closed for the holiday, and at 5:30pm when most people were home (most houses were made of wood which fared somewhat better).  Large buildings such as the schools and larger stores typically suffered the most damage... imagine how high the death toll would have been had it happened a day earlier in mid-day.  All of the challenges I listed beforehand also existed for Anchorage with the exception of rioting and looting (some were very concerned about the possibility of looting though).  Water, sewer, electric, telephone, and gas utilities were all disrupted, and it took weeks for most services to be restored. 

Did being a part of a wealthy nation help with rebuilding in the weeks and months that followed?  Absolutely.  But in the initial weeks the population was still largely on their own, and it was mostly up to individuals and the local community to get by in the meantime.  Is it too much of a stretch to believe that personal preparedness and strong communities had a lot to do with surviving the aftermath?  The '64 quake was long before I was even born, but I'm pretty sure the people alive in Alaska then were far more familiar with personal preparedness and self-sufficiency than most people today.  Now if the same quake happened in Anchorage right now given the same circumstances I think things would be far worse; I wish it were otherwise, but a lot of people here are complacent about personal preparedness.  Maybe not so much as many other parts of the country, but IMO it is still sorely lacking.  Wealth doesn't count for much in a disaster if you aren't prepared, and many people in the US are not prepared emotionally, physically, or materially for extreme hardship... New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was a painful demonstration of that.  Please don't let yourself believe that it can't get that bad wherever you happen to call home, and don't think that it's impossible to prepare for things of this scale.  There's no such thing as 100% preparation, but it could very well be small things, like a $70 portable water filter, that make all the difference.  And from your description of your homestead it sounds like you're better prepared for a disaster like this than you think... food in the ground and water in a tank is nothing to sneeze at!

- Nickbert

 

 

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Yep Nick, wasn't that the quake the relocated Valdez too? 3rd world or not Earthquakes have the ability to bring everything to a halt, Look at Kobe 1995,and San Francisco in 1989. Seattle's overdue for a 7.0+ too, that one will be fun... Sloped Landfill, into the Puget sound you go... Bye-Bye Space Needle... Ah, just relishing the thought...

Anyway on to people thinking about their "stuff" being destroyed. Well don't store it all in one place. Sheesh, I thought that was obvious. Store some in the Basement, some in the Kitchen, some in a food shed or locker outside. If you're incredibly unlucky you'll lose 2/3  most likely the Internal storage. At worst case with the shed (unless it drops down a deep hole) might fall but you can recover the contents. Not much point in being prepared with al your stuff in a single location, if there's a risk that the single point might be destroyed. If there's something that hits you that completely destroys more than probably 50 square yards, then you'll likely not need to worry about having anything later, because you won't be needing it.

BTW Nick, I suspect that if the same should happen today, that Anchorage would be a lot worse off than it was back then, I think Anchorage has lost the "Alaskan Frontier" spirit, and it's the northern suburb of Seattle sadly. Not saying anywhere else is that much better mind you, I'd think Fairbanks might freak out too, if it wasn't for Ft Wainwright.

 

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Aaron -

Awesome breakdown there.  Especially with the rotating fire watch; it's silly how I know that fires can be an issue after earthquakes, but it never occured to me to set up a fire watch.  And while on the topic of fire hazards, knowing how to shut off the gas to one's place should be a priority too.  Some of the personal accounts of the 1964 Alaska Earthquake made mention of gas leak fears at the time.

I also find myself with the same concerns that you and On Our Own have about being away from home if/when a disaster should strike.  I keep extra food and a basic emergency bag in my housing unit at my job location, but that's several hours drive from home.  I always keep the gas tank full in case I need to drive down in a hurry, but there's any number of possible situations here that could make driving impossible, and in such a case getting to my family would not be easy if it was winter.  That could be one long snowmachine trip!

JAG -

I love the camper idea.  To be honest I've been going back and forth on getting a camper... as helpful as it could be in several potential situations, it's hard for me to justify the expense.  Who knows, maybe campers and such will be among those future 'bargains' those of us who are hoarding cash hope to find Wink.  For now I've put on my evacuation list just the things we can fit in a Honda CRV, which is not much when already holding a family of 3.  If you don't mind me asking, what container(s) do you have for storing your gasoline for travel?

- Nickbert

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
nickbert wrote:

If you don't mind me asking, what container(s) do you have for storing your gasoline for travel?

I use 6 gallon plastic containers because anything bigger is too heavy for one man to pour easily. We bought the pop-up used for just under 2K. I installed a second battery bank and inverter for another couple hundred. You can run everything, accept the AC of course, for 4-5 days off the dual battery banks. And I could go months if needed with the small generator, AC included.

Also, its a cheap vacation for the family. During the winter here, we often take it down to an isolated spot on the beach and stay over night. Occasionally we will do it in the summer, but I have to take the generator to run the AC. The draw back to pop-up camper is that it can be a pain in the butt to set-up and take down. But it is very easy to pull on and off road, compared to a conventional camper.

Of course, we live in very different climates, so a pop-up tent camper probably wouldn't be practical for you. But I'm sure there is a design appropriate to your climate.

All the best....Jeff

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
nickbert wrote:

 Who knows, maybe campers and such will be among those future 'bargains' those of us who are hoarding cash hope to find Wink.  

When times get tough, people want campers to live in, so demand goes up. I have what I call the camper-economic indicator, meaning the worse the local economy gets, the more people that show up at my door wanting to buy my camper. So in this case, you might want to buy one sooner rather than later if your so inclined.

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Nickbert,

Just as an addendum, "Firewatch" is basically a military term for a security rotation. During Firewatch, whoever is tasked performs certain routine checks, can raise alarm if there is a problem, looks for problems etc...

So in terms of a "large scale" natural disaster, this would basically amount to a creating "shifts" so someone was awake to watch for anything from thieves to housefires. Depending on how much "manpower" is available, I'd try and organize things to where people had two 12 hour shifts divided between them. Everyone would be responsible for certain chores - safely disposing of garbage, tending compost and brining in water, etc, with "special" duties delegated based on need; such as security which might be a 3 day rotation with a fourth day dedicated to training in procedures.

Same thing would apply to radios. Someone needs to be monitering the radio for updates, and it'd be VERY helpful to have a family "shift log", where we could make notes if there was anything interesting happening; for example, when you come on shift, making note that the CB is out of batteries, but the HAM is operational. Halfway through the shift you hear over the 2m band that Wal-Mart is being looted.
Make a note.

That way, if it comes 2 months from now that you need supplies and have to organize an expedition into town, you can review the log and see if there is any Intel to figure into your Planning.

Cheers!

Aaron

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

I lived on James Island near Charleston, SC during hurricane Hugo.  It took rescuers 72 hrs to even cut their way in to my old neighborhood (we had evacuated to relatives in Columbia. luckily), but some folks had stayed home and had to swim to their roofs during the storm surge.  The power grid and water was down for 2 months.  Solid middle class Island 30 to 60k houses and EVERYBODY was armed.  There was no looting or lawlessness (except for scalpers prices for building materials, gas, and home repair scams.  ie no violent lawlessness.)  Life was tough but everybody pitched in and we got through it.

The only violence and looting was in the neighborhoods where when the church volunteers would come in, the able bodied 20 to 30 year old residents would sit on their porches and watch the clean up and repairs to their homes.

I think the key is chosing your neighbors, and you can live pretty well on tuna fish, crackers and peanut butter.Smile Oh and it really helps to have a neighbor with a pool to get water to flush the toilet.

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Nickbert,

All those buildings in your links look pretty flimsy to me....  I was more thinking of quakes in LA, SanFran and this one in Kobe where populations are in their millions....

Look at this:

The Great Hanshin earthquake occurred at 5:46 a.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 1995. This earthquake is also called by the following names: Kobe, South Hyogo, Hyogo-ken Nanbu.
The earthquake had a local magnitude of 7.2. The duration was about 20 seconds. The focus of the earthquake was less than 20 km below Awaji-shima, an island in the Japan Inland Sea. This island is near the city of Kobe, which is a port city.
The earthquake was particularly devastating because it had a shallow focus. The earthquake had a "strike-slip mechanism." The resulting surface rupture had an average horizontal displacement of about 1.5 meters on the Nojima fault. This fault which runs along the northwest shore of Awaji Island.
DEATH TOLL
The earthquake caused 5100 deaths, mainly in Kobe.

The Hanshin earthquake was the worst earthquake in Japan since the 1923 Tokyo earthquake, which is also called the Great Kanto earthquake. The Great Kanto earthquake claimed 140,000 lives.

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
Quote:

Just as an addendum, "Firewatch" is basically a military term for a security rotation. During Firewatch, whoever is tasked performs certain routine checks, can raise alarm if there is a problem, looks for problems etc... 

Err... yeah.... I knew that!  Tongue out

Well anyway, here's my own answers to my questions:

1)  We have a bugout bag ready to go, though I'd ideally like to have two bags, one each for me and my wife (a decent internal frame backpack is on the list).  If it means getting just our BOB and the stuff out of the safe, I think we can be out of the house in about 3 minutes.  If it involves taking more stuff by loading up the car, I figure we can do it in less than 30 minutes (we don't have a whole lot of stuff).  I haven't done a practice run yet since moving to AK though, so these are just estimates.  We have two places in mind for evacuation; the primary is my dad's place about a couple miles away, secondary is a friend's place about 45 miles away, and the last option is my work location housing about 280 miles away.  But if we didn't have to evacuate but had to house 5-10 additional people?  Well our place is only a 2 bedroom apartment so that would be tricky.  Most of them would just have to sleep on the floor.  To Do: get off butt and get the second backpack; do a practice evacuation drill.

2) Fresh water availability is not an issue here thankfully, with one river and a number of freshwater streams nearby.  We have a portable MSR microfilter w/spare cartridge and water purification tablets in the BOB, but we pretty much would have to resort to bleach for treating larger amounts of water (from either the streams or melted snow).  To Do: get a larger gravity water filter for treating larger amounts of water.

3) We have some travel food in the BOB, but as with Aaron it'd be only enough for a few days for the adults.  The rugrat would be a little better off as the formula we've packed would probably last a week at least.  As for foraging and living off the land, well I hate to dispel the great Alaskan frontiersman myth but my knowledge is probably only on the same level as a boy scout.  And what's really sad is that still makes me more knowledgeable about the outdoors than 70-75% of the people who live in nearby Anchorage (city life here really isn't a whole lot different than anywhere else and doesn't require any outdoor skills).  I'm a decent fisherman but my only hunting knowledge is second-hand through books and family/friends (moose and deer brought down by my vehicles don't count Tongue out), and my knowledge of wild edibles is not as extensive as I'd like it to be.  I have a mess kit in the BOB, but an ultra-portable gas stove is still on the shopping list.  If we didn't have to evacuate or had time to load up the car, we have a larger campstove that we could use.  Regarding Gungnir's comments about food storage, most of the bulk staples are in the basement and the rest is in the kitchen; unfortunately there's no other place available for storage.  At least my dad is on board (somewhat) and keeps some extra food at his place.  To Do: use this summer and fall as an opportunity to improve my outdoor skills and get some hunting experience; purchase a portable rocket stove.

4) We have a Brunton 26-watt foldable solar panel and a small battery storage unit in the BOB.  I have to echo Aaron's feelings on the matter in that it feels largely inadequate and is really only good for keeping smaller devices charged, but it's better than nothing.  In the summer it might go a long way towards keeping an electric cooler going.  I have my small-scale solar PV project drawn up, but I'm waiting to rebuild my discretionary cash reserves before purchasing the panels, batteries, inverter, etc.  The goal with that is to have a setup I can carry out on the porch and have it able to supply enough juice to keep a medium-sized energy-efficient freezer going during the summer.  Until then, though, the best I can do is keep my laptop, phone, and other small devices charged.  To Do: set aside time this spring to assemble solar PV system.

5) We have a large bottle full of hand-sanitizer, an extra gallon of bleach, a shovel, some mylar, a helluva lot of toilet paper, and a toilet seat that fits on any of our many five gallon buckets.  Pretty much a bare-bones setup.  Boiling any large amounts of water would be problematic as we don't have a woodstove or large amounts of fuel for the campstove.  To Do: find and purchase a suitable portable woodstove.

6) My medical skills are limited to standard first aid and CPR training (at least my certification is up to date), but my wife is an RN which would be of much more help during a medical emergency.  She has her bag of medical and first aid supplies well stocked.  My biggest area of concern is antibiotics... in the US it requires a prescription.  The best solution we see is to order antibiotics from a fish or animal supply store, keep them in a good storage place, and use them only if there is no alternative.  We've got one fire extinguisher in the apartment and one in each car.  Our weak point with fires is that we live in a triplex so we are vulnerable to any carelessness or accidents in our neighbors' units, but I don't see any way to mitigate that risk other than keeping the smoke detector batteries charged.  To Do: check with wife on how her antibiotic to-get list is coming along.

7) I have handguns suitable for CCW, but only one holster (well I also have an ankle holster for a .22 but that doesn't count for much).  I have a shotgun and rifles available, and like the handguns I've taken them to the range on numerous occasions.  I have not taken any defensive handgun training as of yet though, and my wife has very little experience with guns so far (she is trying to get more comfortable around guns but it's taking a little time).  I have some martial arts experience, not at a particularly advanced level but enough to have some grounding in the bare basics.  My apartment's entryway has two sturdy lockable doors and the windows are not within easy reach for a person standing on the ground outside.  To Do: take defensive handgun course in April, and bring my wife to take Conceal Carry course in March... CCW permits are not required in AK but it'll be good learning regardless.

- Nickbert

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Nickbert,

If you're not opposed to traveling, Seattle has Insights Tactical (http://www.insightstraining.com/) which is, by all accounts, world class.
I haven't trained there yet, but some very legit guys I've trained with gave it a big thumbs up.

On the topic of good holsters, check out Comp-Tac... http://www.comp-tac.com.

In the maritime climate of the PNW, Kydex doesn't hold moisture like Nylon or leather and is lighter, which is great for CCW. it's also generally thinner, if you're into carrying IWB (Inside the Waistband).

Cheers!

Aaron

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
Damnthematrix wrote:

Nickbert,

All those buildings in your links look pretty flimsy to me....  I was more thinking of quakes in LA, SanFran and this one in Kobe where populations are in their millions....

Oh come on.... maybe the reason they "look" flimsy is because they were just hit by 9.2 earthquake?  Which if I'm figuring correctly is 1000 times more energy released than the 7.2 Kobe quake.  The earthquake lasted almost 5 minutes (vs 20 seconds in Kobe), had turned the soil in many areas into a liquified state, and dropped much of the Turnagain neighborhood (now appropriately labelled 'Earthquake Park') down to the seacoast.  Anchorage was a very young town at that time with most of the development starting from the 1930's and onward, and so most of the buildings were of newer construction and not coping with age and structural fatigue issues.  "Flimsy" had no part in most of this damage.... beyond a certain point there is no protecting human structures from Mother Nature.  It'd be extremely arrogant to think our earthquake-resistant buildings offer immunity; the best we can do is improve the odds.

Regarding the Kobe quake, don't you think that if they'd been hit by Alaska's 9.2 quake instead of a 7.2, that their death toll would be just as horrific as in Haiti or during their own 1923 Tokyo quake?  My point is disasters of this scale CAN happen outside of the 3rd world.  They might not happen as frequently, but they still can and will eventually happen.

- Nickbert

 

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
Gungnir wrote:

BTW Nick, I suspect that if the same should happen today, that Anchorage would be a lot worse off than it was back then, I think Anchorage has lost the "Alaskan Frontier" spirit, and it's the northern suburb of Seattle sadly. Not saying anywhere else is that much better mind you, I'd think Fairbanks might freak out too, if it wasn't for Ft Wainwright. 

I completely, wholeheartedly, and without a doubt AGREE with that statement.

IMO living in Anchorage isn't much different from living in any other US city.  The great outdoors is right there on your doorstep to be sure, but you never have to leave the city if you don't want to.  And many people there don't go out that much, they aren't any more self-reliant or prepared for adversity than the average American.  Growing up I lived part of the time with my dad out in the Mat-su valley middle-of-nowhere and we went camping and fishing frequently so I'd dare to say I'm not quite as hopeless as many, but I think by the standards of 4-5 decades ago I would still be considered 'soft'.  People from Fairbanks like to say that Anchorage doesn't really count as being 'Alaska', and they're mostly right... but really they're not much better either.  My hope is that as a population we haven't yet been too long removed from the original frontier spirit and mindset, and that most of us can still re-acquire the right attitude quickly enough to weather the transition.  There are still enough older residents and rural Alaskans around to serve as a proper example I think.  But I still don't want to be in Anchorage when food and fuel prices go through the roof and people freak out; even living in Palmer feels a little too close for comfort.

- Nickbert

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Gungnir
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
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Posts: 643
Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Nick,

PV wise, I'm with you all the way, ours is ordered and as soon as break up happens we'll be relocating it here, and setting up.

On the Portable woodstove, we're heating with one, although it's got a new stovepipe. a Five Dog Stove from four dog stoves inc. http://www.fourdog.com cheap cheerful and they work quite well, even though ours has taken a goodly amount of battery.

First aid, get a good bush vet (I know sounds crazy) we got Lidocaine, Ketamine, antibiotics (5000mg shots and 10 10 day supplies), clamps, sutures, clamps, etc. etc. for US (not the dog) all because he's a hunter knows our area, and knows we need this stuff NOW or not at all. We didn't need Epipens since we picked these up in Canada, but in another year or so we'll need replacements.

For self defense firearms Mas Ayoob has the LFI in Chehalis WA. well worth the money.

Finally on Huntin' fishin' and bubba'in this year, we need the meat. So if you want to come out and experience the great outdoors then you're more welcome, and we have pretty much everything that Alaska has to offer except Dall Sheep, and Musk Ox. We're also going subsistence on hunting and fishing so we'll be netting on the Baker Hutlinana and maybe the Tanana. Could do with some muscle power too. Of course you can also check out the PV gear at the same time.

HTH

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nickbert
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Posts: 1208
Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
Aaron Moyer wrote:

If you're not opposed to traveling, Seattle has Insights Tactical (http://www.insightstraining.com/) which is, by all accounts, world class.
I haven't trained there yet, but some very legit guys I've trained with gave it a big thumbs up.

On the topic of good holsters, check out Comp-Tac... http://www.comp-tac.com.

In the maritime climate of the PNW, Kydex doesn't hold moisture like Nylon or leather and is lighter, which is great for CCW. it's also generally thinner, if you're into carrying IWB (Inside the Waistband).

Sweet, thanks!  If I have the chance to visit Seattle (my mom lives in Sequim so on our next visit a side trip in Seattle is possible) I will look them up.  Odds are that won't be until late this year though.  In the meantime the only local option I see is Alaska Tactical and Security.  I don't know anyone who's trained with them, but I figure when my wife and I take the Conceal Carry course and talk with the instructor I'll see whether or not it's worth going there for further training.  This is a longshot, but I don't suppose you have heard anything about them or the instructor?

Quote:

Alaska Tactical and Security
Instructor: Steve McDaniel
Gunsite Academy, Inc. Adjunct Instructor
Yavapi Firearms Academy Adjunct Instructor
NRA Certified Law Enforcement Instructor

- Nickbert

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Vanityfox451
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Haitian Eathquake : Made in the USA

Repeat of post #49 of this thread :-

Haitian Eathquake : Made in the USA

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/haitian-earthquake-made-usa/33956

 

I put a great deal of thought into my posts at CM.com. I am empowered to by a sense that some good can come from it. The hours upon hours I spend studying the detail in a subject. Following the work of authors whether in book form or film; journalism at its finest, and drawing from these people who, in many cases, have sacrificed a great deal, sometimes almost their own lives, so that those among us can be allowed to read and view a balance of facts we can work with.

Clarity is important to me. This is why I admire Chris so much. He has that most important ingredient in a human being that I often find lacking in many. He has integrity. He believes that giving the best he can is all he can give and that second best just won't do. Then again, admiration may not be a strong enough word.

I find myself on a thread that has drawn me out. The actions of major players in this world circus of deceit and manipulation must be seen for what they are. Yet more importantly still, the human cost of it has to be visualised more clearly. I don't want just mild edges of understanding by you the reader, I want you riled up enough to rip into the marrow of the subject at hand here. I want you to place the mirror back up at you and really see who you are and how you've come to be so casual about the horrors this world shows you every day. To stop being anesthetised by distractions, enter out of your comfort zone for a while and address some balance in your life, effective today, right now and in the moment.

I've had private messages sent in regard to my point of view that back my reasoning behind writing this piece you're reading. I cannot for the sake of their privacy say any more than that they respected my stand and that their missing posts on this thread were only that they saw fit not to be carried into the fray. I will quote one briefly though, and only one. It is a valid observation :-

"People seem to get confused between four things, the physical geography, the flag that stands there, the people who live their and the culture that prevails"

I have neither ambition to hate or find eagerness to blame. These would be counterproductive and childish games. I'd prefer to be considered as thought provoking than of the character of strong opinion that some here rely upon. Opinion and belief are dangerous things. Facts are facts ... :-

An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution To The Kidnapping Of A President by Randal Robinson

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Z1CIcnyu2SkC&dq=Randall+Robinson+an+unbroken+agony&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=8d9US8GoLKT60wSq0YmgCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=&f=false

[snippet Of online Google book, ommiting pages 157 to 280]

It was the most fateful of days. The Great Discoverer, Christopher Columbus, had arrived in the New World less than two months earlier. By dint of miscalculation, the Admiral had landed not in Cipango (Japan), where he had reckoned, but in the Greater Antilles of the Caribbean archipelago.

Though the welcoming Taino Indian inhabitants of the island, by all historical accounts, intuited no danger, the European adventurer's arrival augured terrible consequences for the mild-tempered people who had lived in peace there and along a chain of neighboring islands for more than a thousand years.

Columbus's first voyage in the fall of 1492 - celebrated lustily across the industrialized Western White world of the ensuing centuries - proved itself a catastrophic watershed event for Amerindians and Africans, who had been seperated by a large ocean from the dawn of history. Both peoples would be painfully and irreversibly affected by forces set in motion by Columbus's Voyage of Discovery.

Democracy Now Interview from 2007

http://www.democracynow.org/2007/7/23/randall_robinson_on_an_unbroken_agony

[snippet]

TransAfrica Founder Randall Robinson chronicles the 2004 U.S.-backed coup that ousted Haiti’s democratically elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Robinson challenges the Bush administration’s claim that the Aristides voluntarily left Haiti and recalls his trip to the Central African Republic to bring the Aristides back to the Caribbean. He also reveals new details on the U.S.-backed coup militants armed and trained in neighboring Dominican Republic, including the accused drug smuggler Guy Philippe. As the Aristides remain in exile, Randall Robinson joins us in the Firehouse studio for the hour to talk about the coup, the history of Haiti and the state of affairs there since the 2004 coup. [includes rush transcript]

Randal Robinson Interview

http://www.progressive.org/mag_intv1005

[snippet]

I was really worn down by an American society that is racist, smugly blind to it, and hugely self-satisfied. I wanted to live in a place where that wasn’t always a distorting weight. Black people in America have to, for their own protection, develop a defense mechanism, and I just grew terribly tired of it. When you sustain that kind of affront, and sustain it and sustain it and sustain it, something happens to you. You try to steer a course in American society that’s not self-destructive. But America is a country that inflicts injury. It does not like to see anything that comes in response, and accuses one of anger as if it were an unnatural response. For anyone who is not white in America, the affronts are virtually across the board.

Paul

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Paul,

That post doesn't have anything to do with the thread.

Aaron

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

I don't know Aaron,

the heading is ripe for interpretation :-

'Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

That speaks in volumes for global change over the next 20 years ...

Paul

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
Vanityfox451 wrote:

I don't know Aaron,

the heading is ripe for interpretation :-

'Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

That speaks in volumes for global change over the next 20 years ...

Paul

Paul,

If you read the initial post in the thread, it decribes the focus of the thread as how we can prepare for and cope with emergencies and difficulties like the Haitians are experiencing as a result of the earthquake.  Maybe I should have specifically mentioned 'no politics'; no matter how good the intention it can bog down a conversation where politics is not the topic.  Yes I can appreciate how Haiti's history has aggravated the current disaster, but as you well know there's already a thread with focus on Haiti's history.... the focus here is on getting ourselves to re-analyze our current preparations in the wake of that disaster.  Now a brief detour into the history is forgivable IMO, but actually the post you chose to put here is primarily about continuing a conversation in another thread.  Did you feel the need to chase down other poster(s) in a different thread?  IMO that post was for the sake of your own ego, not to educate.

- Nickbert

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Damnthematrix
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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

 

[Ed. note:  Removed at the request of the poster]

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Mike -

You make me laugh sometimes.  This is one of them.  Kunstler only gets press by taking a contrarian or inflammatory position on an issue - particularly disgusting when he does it by taking advantage of a human tragedy such as we are seeing in Haiti.

And as we have come to expect from you, you eat it up like a fat kid on donut. 

What is going on in Haiti isn't what Kunstler, or you would have us believe.  What is going on is what is still good in America - what most of the 330+ million of us are.  USS BATAAN - redeployed less than a month after returning from the Middle East with hardly a grumble or complaint from the crew members.

We are there because we choose to be there, because the people of Haiti need us.  We don't bring our agendas (you do), we bring food, water, sweat and tears.  The United States is there because it's what we the people do when the world needs us.  When a tragedy like Haiti happens the world collectively looks to one place for leadership and response - the US.

Yes, the United States.  Despite all of our warts and shortcomings, the world still turns to us for help.  Every time.

Because no other country in the world can or will respond the way we do.

Not because we the people are an extension of our government - we most certainly are not.  And most certainly because our government is not an extension of the American people. 

We do it because that's who we are.

And I suspect that's what sticks in your craw the most.  We are who we are, and what you are seeing in Haiti is what is good about America and who and what we are.  We are there solely because the Haitians need us.  We don't keep a scorecard of why things are the way they are because in the face of a tragedy like this earthquake, none of that matters.  In any event, the overwhelming majority of Americans weren't even playing the game and had no part in what happened or why this or that policy failed policy.

The Haitian people need our help and we are there. 

And you are wrapped around the axle because that is not what your country is - you tell us that frequently.  You are wrapped around the axle because it's not who your neighbors are.  You are wrapped around the axle because it's not who your wife is.  It's nobody you know and that bothers you.

And what probably pisses you off the most is when you look in the mirror, it's not who you are either.

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ReginaF
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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

"The Haitian people need our help and we (american people) are there" 1+!  Even if I'm European and have a lot of critic to US-American politics & politicians I feel that you hit "The Nail on the head" -as we say here in Germany. Thank you !!!  (Sorry for my bad english, tonight I'm a bit lost in writing foreign language...)

Regina

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Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

.

+1

 we help simply because we want to. 

Gungnir's picture
Gungnir
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Posts: 643
Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
Dogs in a Pile wrote:

Yes, the United States.  Despite all of our warts and shortcomings, the world still turns to us for help.  Every time.

Because no other country in the world can or will respond the way we do.

Not because we the people are an extension of our government - we most certainly are not.  And most certainly because our government is not an extension of the American people. 

We do it because that's who we are

<cheer!>

I'm an American and I support this message Cool

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Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Public apology to nickbert

My sincerest apologies to nickbert for continuing the hijack of what started out as a damn good thread.

D. B. Cooper 

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Aaron M
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 2373
Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?

Dogs,

Hear, hear!

Back to our regularly scheduled conversation?

Aaron

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nickbert
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1208
Re: Lessons from Haiti; How Prepared Are We?
Gungnir wrote:

Nick,

PV wise, I'm with you all the way, ours is ordered and as soon as break up happens we'll be relocating it here, and setting up.

On the Portable woodstove, we're heating with one, although it's got a new stovepipe. a Five Dog Stove from four dog stoves inc. http://www.fourdog.com cheap cheerful and they work quite well, even though ours has taken a goodly amount of battery.

First aid, get a good bush vet (I know sounds crazy) we got Lidocaine, Ketamine, antibiotics (5000mg shots and 10 10 day supplies), clamps, sutures, clamps, etc. etc. for US (not the dog) all because he's a hunter knows our area, and knows we need this stuff NOW or not at all. We didn't need Epipens since we picked these up in Canada, but in another year or so we'll need replacements.

For self defense firearms Mas Ayoob has the LFI in Chehalis WA. well worth the money.

Finally on Huntin' fishin' and bubba'in this year, we need the meat. So if you want to come out and experience the great outdoors then you're more welcome, and we have pretty much everything that Alaska has to offer except Dall Sheep, and Musk Ox. We're also going subsistence on hunting and fishing so we'll be netting on the Baker Hutlinana and maybe the Tanana. Could do with some muscle power too. Of course you can also check out the PV gear at the same time.

HTH

Four Dog Stove.... me likey! Cool  Actually I like the little Bushcookers too, which would be a nice alternative to a gas campstove.  I cringed though when under Shipping they say "AK - Call", which I translated as "Shipping to Alaska? Well, ok, bend over...".  Ooh, got to add epipens to my list too.

I'm all for the huntin', fishin', and bubba'n! (don't have any moonshine though sorry Laughing)  Starting in April I'll be able to and will get a resident hunting/fishing license, and there are tentative plans to join some folks here on a moose or caribou hunt in the local area.  I'd be happy to spend a long weekend over there sometime this summer or fall to help out and add even more fish or meat to the freezer.  Plus I've never had occasion to travel out to that area of Alaska before.

Relating that to the current disaster, I wonder if fishing is an option for many of the Haitians?  I remember in Florida seeing all sorts of people fishing at the beach, but I have no idea if the Port-au-Prince area has decent fishing or if it suffers from excessive water pollution.  Hunting is probably out of the question in such a large urban area, unless you're talking about seagulls, pigeons, cats, dogs, etc (not the most attractive option but survival is survival).  My knowledge of the area is limited, but I'm guessing unless one is on the fringes of the city that the foraging options are limited as well.  Limited options for fishing, hunting, and foraging probably apply for many of the rest of us around the world.... something to think about.

- Nickbert

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