Perhaps being a Doomsday Prepper and focusing all your spare thoughts on how to survive the future is not the life for you. You can certainly argue that the world hasn’t fallen to pieces for many lifetimes. It probably won’t be destroyed in yours. All the same, looming disaster fascinates most of us. So let’s take a quick look at what’s happening this week in disaster possibilities and near misses. Maybe you’ll finally be inspired to stock up on a few canned goods and put some fresh water in your pantry.
Still No Power Two Weeks After Superstorm Sandy
Thousands are still without power in the East Coast following landfall of the powerful hurricane turned superstorm Sandy. Frustrated residents and authorities are looking for where to place the blame and wondering why the utility companies have still not restored power to many homes. Investigations have been ordered and subpoenas served to the utility companies in question, but many argue that the long wait to turn back on the lights is not uncommon. After Sandy, New York utilities restored power to at least 95 percent of customers 13 days after the peak number of outages was reported. New Jersey reached that same level in 11 days and West Virginia in 10 days. According to federal data, longer outages occurred following other storms such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005 and Ike in 2008 across Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Florida. In fact, in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, local utilities had power restored to only three-quarters of their customers after 23 days before Hurricane Rita hit and caused additional outages. How would you manage without power for 23 days?
Science Shows There Are Few Surprises When it Comes to Disaster
Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, a Stanford professor of management science and engineering and risk analysis expert suggests that we take a different approach to anticipating catastrophes. The terms “black swan” and “perfect storm” have become short hand for describing just about any disaster. Used correctly, the terms indicate the events are like nothing known before in the past and therefore could never be predicted, but Paté-Cornell suggests that such instances are extremely rare. She points to the AIDS virus as one of the few examples. Her research on this was published in a November issue of the journal Risk Analysis. By realizing that for the most part disasters can be predicted, she argues that scenarios can be systematically explored far in advance of the event, allowing individuals, companies and regulators to make better smarter decisions. We may not be able to circumvent disaster, but we can certainly be prepared for it.
Will Animals Bring the Next Pandemic?
David Quamen, an award-winning American science, nature and travel writer and the author of fifteen books has focused his newest book on the possibility of pandemics induced by the animals in our own backyards. His book Spill Over investigates viruses, bacteria and single-celled organisms which infect other animals and make the jump and “spill over” to humans. It’s garnering some wonderful reviews and getting readers to think harder about the possibilities of a pandemic.
Zoonotic diseases, those that jump from animals to humans such as the frightening ebola virus are not a new phenomenon, but they do seem to be on the rise. Quammen explores the reasons behind this while he also digs into the possibilities for disease, epidemics and pandemics in his book. By all accounts, it’s a frightening thought experiment.
Spanish Faults Predicted to have Big Quake Potential
According to an international group of researchers, the Alhama de Murcia fault in Spain has far more possibility for creating immense natural disaster than anyone has anticipated. Since 2001, researchers from various universities around the world have been looking at the geological data along the fault line to identify high magnitude quakes that have occurred prior to recorded seismology. Unlike the faults in California and Japan, the Alhama de Murcia is a slow moving fault may have thousands of years between quakes. Research has indicated that the fault has experienced at least six earthquakes above 7 on the Richter Scale. Although unpredictable, there seems to be a real possibility for a devastating earthquake on the fault.
While the world weathers what seem like unimaginable disasters every year, there is no guarantee that the next big disaster might not be in your own backyard. Whether you are prepping for the collapse of society or just wanting to make sure you ride out the next big storm, it’s a great idea to pay attention to the possibilities. Disaster can come in many forms and this week on Doomsday Preppers we meet Jay Blevins who is preparing for a global economic crisis. Tune in Tuesday November 20 at 9PM et/pt and decide for yourself if you’re prepared.