Pictures of what happened in 1994, because Los Angeles was built on the Andreas Fault, scared us. Based on a barrage of advice from newspapers, TV. and neighbors, we prepared an emergency kit, and a "What To Do" plan for the "big one."
WHOA! Wait a minute! This past July, The New Yorker, with data to prove it, said Seattle and Portland will be wiped off the map. The northern part of the Andreas Fault that Californians fear, becomes the Cascadia Fault that actually threatens to wipe Portland off the map and make Seattle unlivable.
Michio Kaku, the City College of New York professor and physicist, who is considered a major authority on this subject, announced that this troubling article did not overstate the danger. Kaku said Hollywood has "brainwashed" people into thinking that California is where the next massive earthquake will hit. He stated, "The Cascadia Fault is an earthquake waiting to happen. We know it's going to happen with an energy 30 times the maximum energy of the San Andreas Fault."
He explained that before the mega-quake actually hits, there is a compression wave that is detected by animals. "Animals start to act very strange. We've seen that happen before earthquakes. Then, a minute, two minutes later, boom!" The massive quake, with a magnitude of up to 9.2, would last about four minutes, according to seismologists, with a wall of water following about 15 minutes later. Kaku expressed concern for many of the 70,000 residents in the potential "inundation zone," who have very little knowledge about this risk -- "It barely rates on the radar screen," he said.
When a reporter asked Kaku whether he would live in the Pacific Northwest if he had children, Kaku said, "I'd think twice," and advised residents to educate their children on emergency preparedness -- "Teach them what to do in case of an earthquake."
Kenneth Murphy, who directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Region X -- FEMA's division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska -- has said, "Everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast."
The area of impact will be about one-hundred-and-forty-thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Olympia (the capital of Washington), and in Oregon, Eugene, Salem (the Capital), and some seven million people.
FEMA projects that nearly thirteen thousand people will die in the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Twenty-seven thousand will be injured. FEMA will need to provide shelter for a million displaced people, and food and water for another two and a half million.
If you don't live near Region X, when you hear about this looming disaster, you can't help thinking "Whew!" Quietly glad because you aren't living there, you wonder if you lived there, would you move? Relocate to another area?
I think you turn away, close off, stop speculating, and prepare for the emergency the way Californians have been preparing, the way we did when we lived there, the way our son who lives in North Hollywood has prepared.
Banish fear? Yes. Don't deal with looming disasters? Yes. Believe that things will be okay for you and those whom you love? Yes, go with that feeling. The stronger your sense of survival is, the more likely you are to survive.
Looming disasters such as lightning strikes, devastating fires, terrorist fears, even the madman with a gun fears -- cannot be dealt with. In order to live, you have to live day to day -- with hope, even an inner smile anticipating a better tomorrow.