Which doomsday disaster do you think the world is most likely to experience? This week’s roundup includes news regarding biological and nuclear weapons, earthquakes and even a new and deadly coronavirus. The Doomsday Preppers are prepared. Are you?

Nuclear Weapons and The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program

The Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program was a law created by Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar in 1992. Following the end of the Cold War, CTR has worked to provide funding and expertise for states in the former Soviet Union to reduce, dismantle and dispose of their nuclear arsenal. Nunn and Lugar spoke Dec. 3 at an event held at National Defense University in Washington, D.C., celebrating the work the program has achieved in its 20 year existence.

Both Senators noted that although the program was a success it was time to consider the future and ensure that it remained relevant. Nunn credits his experience living through the Cuban missile crisis for teaching him the danger of nuclear threat. He cautioned the audience that anxiety following attacks and scares quickly fades and legislators should still be deeply concerned about possible dangers. The Cooperative Threat Reduction program also will have to evolve to meet new threats and contexts, the senators said. Nunn believes reducing biological threats will be more of a challenge than nuclear threats, because of the number of widely dispersed worldwide. Both senators agreed that CRT must evolve to meet new threats.

Can You Hear Me Now?
Many people worldwide depend almost entirely on their cell phone to make calls, even in emergencies. Reports state that this is true of more than 30% of Americans. What happens when you reach for your phone in the middle of a disaster, natural or otherwise, and find yourself without any service? With the number of landlines waning across the country the question is becoming increasingly relevant. Wireless phone service however does not have the same regulations as a standard landline and cell carriers continue to fight the proposal of regulations aimed to get communications back online after a disaster. “Traditional carriers had reliability requirements, and reporting requirements,” says Susan Crawford, a visiting professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a former technology adviser to President Obama. “We treat wireless and broadband much differently.” Cell phone carriers insist that emergency regulations remain voluntary and the FCC to this date has supported their argument. Would you be able to contact emergency services and loved ones in a major disaster?

Novel Coronavirus- A New Potential Pandemic?

Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface and are common around the world, usually as the cause of colds. However, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “a novel coronavirus was identified as the cause of severe respiratory illness in two adults from the Middle East in June and September 2012.”  The CDC notes that it is a different virus than other coronaviruses previously found in people and is also different from SARS. The World Health Organization (WHO) is now reporting several other cases.

According to WHO, “In summary, to date a total of nine laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with the novel coronavirus have been reported to WHO – five cases (including 3 deaths) from Saudi Arabia, two cases from Qatar and two cases (both fatal) from Jordan.”

The current understanding of this novel virus is that it can cause a severe, acute respiratory infection presenting as pneumonia. Acute renal failure has also occurred in five cases. The most recent death occurred on November 30, 2012. There are no reports of anyone in United States getting infected and sick with the novel coronavirus at this time and the CDC states that the risk of getting infected with this virus is very low. However, virologist are taking the threat seriously.

The World Needs a Pandemic Strategic Action Plan

A new paper published in the Lancet by Stephen S. Morse, PhD, professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and colleagues, discusses research and surveillance opportunities that could help create a global pandemic strategy. The paper, “Predicting and Preventing the Next Pandemic Zoonosis” addresses the aspects of response, pre-emption and prediction.

“There is no question of whether we will have more zoonotic pandemics – the question is merely when, and where, the next pandemic will emerge,” says Dr. Morse. “The challenge now is to establish whether and how researchers can intervene before a pathogen reaches the human population and develop appropriate triggers for action. Zoonotic diseases, by definition, should be a key mission of human health agencies, agricultural authorities and producers, and natural resource managers, all working cooperatively. However, in reality, the current situation leaves much to be desired, and we need substantial investments in each of these areas.” Will the next pandemic arrive before we are prepared?

7.3 Earthquake and Small Tsunamis Rattle Japan

Striking the same coast that was devastated by the 2011 earthquake; a 7.3 earthquake shook Japan on Friday. The USGS reported at least six aftershocks, the strongest of which was 6.2 in magnitude. The Meteorological Agency in Japan has an early warning system that provides the estimated intensity and timing of a major quake and issued a warning six minutes before the quake struck. Coastlines were hit by several small tsunamis, but there were few reports of injuries and no deaths. While this was a large and potentially dangerous earthquake, it was exponentially smaller than the quake that caused mass destruction last year.

The 9.0 magnitude quake that struck in March 2011 caused a devastating tsunami and left more than 15,000 people dead, with more than 3,200 missing. Scientists believe that a similar earthquake, magnitude ~8 or greater in California along the San Andreas Fault is inevitable in the next 30 years. Such a quake will produce devastation to human civilization within about 50-100 miles of the quake zone, especially in urban areas like Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Japanese, despite all their intensive earthquake preparations, are still recovering from the 2011 quake. Preppers in California may want to take note!

Most Californians fear a massive earthquake, but in this week’s episode of Doomsday Preppers: You’ve Got Chaos, Bob Kay believes the earthquake will cause unprecedented destruction to the environment. Tune in on Tuesday December 11 at 9PM et/pt and check out how Kay plans to survive.

Comments

  1. Whipstaf
    US
    December 12, 2012, 1:41 pm

    To Steve from the partners of the Alamo, It is people like you that I will take advantage of when and if crap hits the fan. Your way of dress will get you targeted immediately. You have no skills and you act in a manner that puts you and your family in harms way. Some people should not try to train to be tuff as you have failed to do. You bring absolutely nothing to the table for anyone. Fencing?? Really, As a prepper myself I’m glad that my family is very far away from you. Lose the tactical get-up it doesnt suit you. But then again doomsday preppers has gone into the realm of un-reality now. I thought this would be a season of actually showing some folks of what they can do and I find instead a show scripted towards the rich who buy stupid toys thinking that will save them instead of using common sense. Another useless waste of airtime. No-body in their right mind would ever air what they have or plan to do in a real emergency except of course unless your getting paid to do it for greed and ratings. How pitiful un-reality has become.

  2. Kassondra Lilly
    West Virginia
    February 12, 2013, 6:39 pm

    Many of us can say that we have survived Y2K, the bird flu, the swine flu, mad cow disease, 9/11, hurricane Katrina, the supposed end of the world in 2012, and numerous other manifestations of impending doom. What if these things actually caused a global crisis? How many people would actually be prepared? I am a firm believer in becoming prepared for when civilization as we know it crumbles, whether it is from nuclear warfare or from global warming. Disease has always run rampant since the dawn of time. Bacteria are constantly mutating by sharing their genetic material by transduction, transformation and conjugation. During transduction bacteriophages help to pass genetic information by injecting its genetic material into a cell which then makes this cell a virus producing machine. Transformation is when the bacteria take in DNA fragments from their environment, and then start translating this new sequence. Conjugation is the direct contact and DNA sharing between cells by using pili structures. The idea for the destruction of civilization that I most believe is that of disease, because of their variety and ability to mutate and adapt to different environments. Nuclear warfare is also a great possibility considering the amount of violence that goes on in our world. Other countries are also becoming more advanced and able to produce weapons similar to ours. Natural disasters are probably imminent in our future as well. There have many natural disasters in Earth’s history that have had detrimental consequences. Hurricane Katrina killed many and left thousands homeless. After I’m finished with college, I am planning on building a safe shelter within in my house that has canned foods, dehydrated food, tanks of water, a water filtration system, gas masks, and much more. It’s better to be prepared than to wish you were.