Friday, March 25, 2011

The Northwest in the wake of the Japan quake or how megaquakes caused me to prepare for the Apocalypse.

The tragedy in Japan is heart breaking. If Japan, a country that prides itself on its earthquake preparedness suffered so much, what would happen here in the Northwest?

In the Northwest we are at similar risk for major quakes and many of us remember the 6.8 Nisqually quake in 2001.

Like Japan, we are at risk for what scientists call megathrust earthquakes, a phenomenon that occurs along subduction zones like our Juan De Fuca plate that is sliding underneath the North American plate. A megathrust quake caused the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. These events happen every several hundred years and scientists think the last one occurred in 1700 in the Northwest which means we are due.

What makes these quakes different is their intensity and duration. A 9.0 megathrust quake along the Cascadia subduction zone would likely cause massive tremors that would last for 3 to 5 minutes. The japan quake lasted about 6 minutes.

In response to this possibility I have created a disaster kit that goes beyond what the government suggests you have in case of emergency.

The only question now is whether to keep it in the car or in the apartment.

What do you think? Anything I forgot?


  1. Depending on the cost, the answer to "where to keep it" might be to have two of them.

  2. For a truly American survival kit you need at least one firearm plus a hundred rounds of the relevant ammunition for each member of the household. I think a pump-action shotgun with a 6+ shot capacity would serve you best, since it requires virtually no expertise to handle or shoot. 12-gauge for you, 20-gauge for the missus.

    Nice blog, btw.

  3. I second Liam. What if there are Zombies? Maybe a chainsaw as well as the pump shotty's? (shotties?)

    I say keep it inside. The odds of the disaster happening while you are inside your home are the highest. And, the other 99.9% of the time (when the disaster isn't happening), you'll probably want space in your trunk for groceries and stuff.