Eerie quiet at NW fault where ‘big one’ may shake

The opening line of Tom Banse’s news report caught our attention: “Any parent of a rambunctious youngster can tell you trouble might be afoot when things go quiet in the playroom. Two independent research initiatives indicate there is a comparable situation with the Cascadia earthquake fault zone….onshore seismometers have detected few signs of the grinding and slipping you would expect to see as one tectonic plate dives beneath another”

The unknown makes us worried. We grab hold of any information we can glean from the environment around us and we look to those who can explain it. What IS going on so deep beneath our feet and when is the earth going to release its pressure?

University of Oregon geophysics professor Doug Toomey comments in the report: “What is extraordinary is that all of Cascadia is quiet. It’s extraordinarily quiet when you compare it to other subduction zones globally. If there were low levels of offshore seismicity, then we could say some strain is being released by the smaller events. If it is completely locked, it means it is increasingly storing energy and that has to be released at some point.”

Tom Banse reports “The bottom line: Even with more sensitive instruments, it’s still eerily quiet out there. Which leads the researchers to conclude the dangerous Cascadia fault zone is stuck — or in science-speak, it is fully “locked.” The evidence pointing to the colliding tectonic plates being completely stuck has serious implications for earthquake risk on land in the Pacific Northwest. Toomey said a big unknown is how much strain has accumulated since the plate boundary seized up, and secondly, how much more strain can build up before the fault rips and unleashes a possible magnitude-9.0 megaquake and tsunami. Toomey described himself as “very concerned” and said it is “imperative” people in the Northwest continue to prepare for a big earthquake.”

“The last full rip of the Cascadia Subduction Zone happened in January 1700. The exact date and destructive power was determined from buried forests along the Pacific Northwest coast and an “orphan tsunami” that washed ashore in Japan. Geologists digging in coastal marshes and offshore canyon bottoms have also found evidence of earlier great earthquakes and tsunamis.”

“The inferred timeline of those events gives a recurrence interval between Cascadia megaquakes of roughly every 400 to 600 years, reports the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.”

We feel this is important information to share and we will be watching for more reports as seismologists continue their quest to bring us news.

To read or listen to the full article by Tom Banse, Northwest Public Radio, click here.

Friday Round up – December 5

It has been a while since we brought you our end of week round up of news and events on the world wide web related to emergency preparedness.  This week brings us a short column on the use of reminders to employees to “don’t make yourself the first victim”.  A suspected Ebola patient is being treated in Boston and finally a timely article for winter climates addressing retailers on how to winterize their stores.

It is always a good idea to start news on a positive.  Regular reminders to employees and indeed to everyone to always keep supplies on hand comes from Chris Hertig at the Daily Record/Sunday News.  If we are not prepared at home, our workplaces will suffer from the absence of employees or employee focus.  It makes sense that our primary focus is on those closest to us and if there is any doubt about their safety, everything else will be pushed to the background.  Regular reminders to have “sufficient supplies on hand to survive a prolonged snowstorm, power outage or pandemic is one aspect of managing the problem.”

A more sobering article comes from the Boston Herald as “A patient possibly suffering from the deadly Ebola virus was listed in stable condition last night at Massachusetts General Hospital” The hospitals in the US have been preparing for months with specially designed Ebola units to assist suspected cases and this one from the look of it is being handled in the appropriate way.  Forewarned is forearmed.

Finally, “Avoiding the Winter Blues: 7 Cold Weather Preparedness Steps for Retailers” Great tips from winterizing your sprinkler pipes to prevent bursting to stocking up on first-aid supplies for common first-aid emergencies in any weather.  “No one wants to open their store in the morning to find that a pipe burst during the night or the roof collapsed from the weight of snow and ice,” Dave Mesko, Senior Director of Marketing, Cintas Corporation.  Read them and act on them to minimize your risk.

Stay warm and stay safe!

Preparing for a Long Hike

With summer approaching more and more people are getting outdoors and enjoying the sunshine. Whatever your activity of choice may be it is important to be prepared if you are spending long days outside.

Going on long hikes with your family can be the most enjoyable time and give you amazing memories. If you are out and something happens however, and you are not prepared for it, it can be a long stressful day. When going for an all day hike through the woods, along trails, or even up a mountain, there are some things you should bring with you to ensure your adventure is a safe one.

Make sure you have plenty of water to last you at least a day, take extra just in case you are out longer than you anticipated. If you exert a lot of energy or if it’s hotter than you expected, you need to be drinking more water to keep you going. Taking some extra food or energy bars will also give you that extra little push and help increase your endurance.

Having proper communication devices is also crucial if you happen to go down the wrong path, someone gets hurt, or if it is getting dark and you are having trouble finding your way back. If it is getting late or your cell phone battery is getting low, it might be a good idea to bring a solar powered cell phone charger, flashlight, and radio with you in case of an emergency.

If your pet is enjoying your hike with you, you will need to make sure you have enough food and water for them too. Ensuring their safety will make the day more enjoyable for everyone. Dogs often like to veer off the path and do their own adventuring. Most of the time they will not get into any trouble or get hurt, but occasionally things can happen that are out of your control. During the warmer months you need to be checking your pets for things like ticks when they come out of the woods. If you see a tick on your pet (or if you get one yourself) you need to remove it immediately in order to prevent the possibility of contracting lyme disease.

Pack your bag with the essentials and a make sure you have a proper first aid kit for you and your pet. The extra little things like flashlights, rope, a knife, and rain gear will make your day that much more enjoyable if you should come across anything unanticipated or should any obstacles get in your way. Being ready for the unexpected can mean all the difference for you and your family.

Preparing for an Earthquake in a Small Community

As recent news stories have shown, earthquakes can happen anywhere, anytime and it is important to be prepared all year round. Those who live in small rural communities may need to be even more prepared than those in larger communities. It is important to make sure you have all the essential tools for surviving and enough food and water to last you up to a month if needed.

Living in a small rural community has the potential of leaving you stranded for a much longer period of time during a natural disaster such as an earthquake.  Small communities lack infrastructure such as hospitals, ambulance, fire, and other emergency response networks that are often more plentiful in high populated urban areas. Furthermore, people in rural areas cannot rely on assistance and help from neighbours due to the fact that they are often spread out over greater areas with much smaller populations.

Depending on where you live it may take several days or even weeks for emergency response teams to reach your community. There are things you will need to make sure you and your family are safe and have enough food and water.  It is impossible to predict when an earthquake might strike and where you or your family will be at that time. If you are lucky enough to all be at home during such an occurance, it might be a good idea to have an earthquake kit in more than one area of the house. Having a kit upstairs in a hall closet or bedroom and one downstairs in the basement might save you from trekking through parts of your house that may not be sound if things have shifted. Having a kit that isn’t accessible could mean the difference between life or death.

Some essential s you will need in order to make sure you are secure in your small community include things like:

        Flashlights with extra batteries (or hand-wound flashlights)

        Food and water for up to a month

        Radio with batteries (or hand-wound radio)

        First aid kit



        Tools (axe, knife, saw, hammer, gloves, crowbar)


        Camping stove and propane

Just having small amounts of these supplies may not be enough. If you are living in a hard to reach area you will need your supplies to last you weeks instead of days. For example, consider how much water and food a person needs to survive for one day. Being shut off for several weeks means that you will need to have large amounts of water and food on hand to last each person several weeks until help can reach you. It is important to be prepared and keep things like clean water, or water purifications tablets, and freeze-dried food on hand at all times to help you while you wait for help to arrive.

Easy-Build Flood Barriers To Protect Your Home

As this year’s relentless winter finally approaches, countless homes across the country are bracing for record flood waters. Making sure your home, business and other possessions are protected before the waters reach your community or neighbourhood is your best defense. Quick Dam Flood Barriers is an innovative new product that is designed to contain and divert water away from your home or business.  Quick Dam eliminates the need for heavy sandbags that are bulky to store and because of their weight take up precious time to build especially when stress and time constraints are often at their highest. Energized

Quick Dam sandless barrier bags are lightweight, easy to use and extremely compact when dry, making them more convenient to store. These bags contain a non-toxic, non-hazardous, and super absorbent polymer that is flat when dry and quickly swells when it comes in contact with fresh water. Simply place and stack bags around critical areas to divert flood water safely away from your home, business, or construction site. Their unique ‘Stay Put Wedge’ is designed to hold them in place and keep them from slipping.

Once the bags have been positioned they can simply be left to wait for rain to activate them or can be wet down with a hose. After they have swelled, the barrier will stay active until the water evaporates. Complete evaporation typically takes a few weeks causing them to shrink and then will reactivate when re-exposed to water. If Quick Dam bags are being used to build a retaining wall, it is recommended that they be presoaked before stacking. Partially activating the bags is also recommended in areas where currents of water are expected and can be left in place to provide ongoing protection throughout the flood season.

Quick Dam Flood Barriers are versatile and can be used in a variety of situations such as:

  • Building and property protection
  • In front of doorways and garages to keep water out
  • Construction and roofing projects
  • Storm and flood preparation
  • Guard against general leak areas

The barriers are available in two sizes (6” X 10’ or 6”X 17’) to accommodate different needs. The small bags will absorb 8.5 gallon of water each while the larger ones will absorb 14.5 gallons of water. They can be left in place and allowed to evaporate and can be re-used over and over again making them more convenient and cost effective than traditional sandbags.

Protect doorway

As we have said in the past, being prepared for both unforeseen disasters and expected ones is the best way to keep your family safe and healthy and to protect your home. Together with emergency food supplies, safe drinking water and a secure barrier against inevitable rising flood waters, making sure your loved ones and your possessions are protected can be as easy as visiting Total Prepare for all your emergency storage and safety needs.

Caution – Snow melt and flood risk

Unfortunately many areas in the country are still in the grip of winter with already heavy accumulations of snow and more on the way. As bleak as it may seem, spring is just around the corner and with it, the melting of huge amounts of snow in a relatively short period of time. The result will inevitably be the danger of flooding in many areas throughout the country. Preparing in advance is the best way to protect your home and possessions.

Until recently, traditional sandbags have been the recommended protection against flood waters and the preferred method in diverting water from your home or business. The major drawbacks in using sandbags are that each one needs to be filled, they are heavy to maneuver and they take up a lot of storage space. Quick Dam sandless sandbags eliminate all these issues as well as saving you time and money. They can be easily stored ahead of time or placed in areas that need to be protected before flood waters reach your home or business. Although flood waters can rise quickly, municipalities do keep a constant watch on their levels and are able to give most residents some warning. Preparing for these occurrences ahead of time can mean the difference between losing precious possessions and saving them. 

Quick Dam sandless bags are self activating by simply exposing them to fresh water and will absorb 4 gallons of water in just 5minutes. The super absorbent powder inside the bags gel and contain water, diverting it safely away from your home or business. These durable sandless bags will last up to 8 months of continuous use and can be placed in critical areas even during the freezing temperatures of winter and allowed to thaw as temperatures rise.

Protecting your home before the spring melt arrives is the best defense against rising water levels. The bags can be laid down ahead of time and either sprayed with a hose or simply wait for the rain to activate them. Alternately, the bags can be dunked in a bucket of water before placing them where they will be needed. Another advantage to Quick Dam sandless sandbags is that once they are activated, they will remain swelled until the water evaporates and can be left to shrink and grow again when re-exposed to water. The bags can be also be used indoors although caution must be used as they will be moist which can cause water damage to floors.  

The contents of the Quick Dam bags are environmentally friendly and will degrade with exposure to UV light, time and pressure. Once completely degraded, the empty pouch can safely be disposed of in the trash. Quick Dam bags are non-toxic so in the event that a bag should tear and the contents exposed, there is no danger to children or pets.

For anyone living in areas that are prone to rising water levels, taking a little time now to protect your home, business, or construction site with Quick Dam sandless sandbags is not only sound advice, it can you save thousands of dollars as well as the stress of losing your precious belongings.

Prepare for Hiking or Camping Adventures

Hiking is a great way to keep fit and a favourite pass time throughout much of the country especially in mountainous regions such as western Canada. The solitude, communing with nature and the majestic beauty of the wilderness is an ideal way to unwind and leave the stresses of day-to-day life behind. But when planning a hiking or camping trip into the back country, even if it’s just for a day or two, safety has to be the number one priority. Even as experienced hikers will tell you, it doesn’t take much to lose one’s bearings and veer off a path.

Making the most of and enjoying your adventure will depend on how well you have prepared for the trip as well as the supplies in your backpack. The premium 1 or 2 person survival kit from Total Prepare will ensure that even if you run into trouble, you will have the provisions to keep you safe and warm with food and water for at least 72 hours. Pairing your survival gear with an emergency food bucket can extend your supplies even longer.

These Deluxe food, water, and stove kits have been designed to provide you with all you need should the unexpected happen or if you simply want to extend your hiking or camping adventure. Each kit contains:

  • 16 servings of 100% GMO free Legacy Premium meals
  • 400 calorie energy bars
  • Stove in a can
  • Collapsible water container
  • AquaTabs
  • Water tight 15 litre carrying pail

These items can be crucial in any emergency situation or wilderness adventure and when combined with the Premium Survival Kit will ensure your comfort, safety, and survival for an extended period of time.

While these kits are perfect for your next backcountry adventure, they are also highly recommended to be included as part of your home emergency supplies. Natural and man-made emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere; being prepared ahead of time is the best way to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. As we have seen in the past, staying in your home and riding out an emergency is not always possible and in some cases, a quick evacuation is necessary. If each person in your household has their own survival backpack, having to leave your home in a hurry does not have to add undue stress to an already difficult situation. When purchasing survival backpacks it’s a good idea to add one or two, either for an elderly relative or to have an extra one on hand in the event that you have extra people in your home when an emergency occurs.

What Has Your Daycare Done To Protect Your Child?

As we all know, emergencies and natural disasters can happen anywhere and anytime. For anyone with school-aged children, a huge fear for any parent is that an emergency situation will occur while their children are at school or daycare. The safety and well-being of your children is of course the biggest concern but is your child’s school or daycare prepared to care for your child for an extended period of time?

The fact is that even severe storms and blizzards can mean that you and/or emergency crews may not be able to get to where your child is right away due to weather and road conditions. As caregivers, teachers and daycare workers are well equipped to care for the emotional well-being of your child but aside from that, a proper supply of food and water is essential. As a parent, you want to know that your child’s care provider is prepared for any kind of emergency and that he or she has all the supplies needed to ensure that all the children will have adequate food and clean, safe drinking water regardless of how long they may have to wait for conditions to clear. 

It’s important to have a conversation with your child’s daycare or school to find out exactly what preparations they have made should an emergency occur while the children are in their care. Total Prepare offers special student and school kits that have been specifically designed to meet the needs of children in all educational environments, whether that is a home-care setting, daycare centre or a public or private school. There are a variety of kits to choose from including a Deluxe Classroom Emergency Kit, Basic Student Kit, and others.

Each Basic Student Kit includes:

·        1 Re-sealable bag

·        1 Reflective blanket

·        2 4000 Calorie Millennium food bars

·        3 4.2 oz water pouches

·        6 Wet-naps

There are also deluxe classroom kits that contain larger quantities of the supplies found in the basic kit but also include many other essentials that make it perfect for larger groups of children. Some of these extras include:

  •        Water purification tablets
  •        Toilet liners
  •         Snap-on toilet seat
  •         Hand disinfectant
  •         AM/FM radio flashlight
  •         Light sticks
  •         165 piece first aid kit
  •         N95 Masks
  •         Reflective blankets
  •         Signal whistles
  •         Tube tent
  •         Tarp
  •         400 Calorie food bars, and much more.

You have taken the time to make sure your children know what to do in an emergency and that your home is well stocked with food, water, and other emergency supplies. Now it’s time to make sure your children also have the same provisions in the event that they are stranded at school or daycare for any length of time.   

Outdoor Wilderness Adventure Essentials

Summer or winter; what can be more exhilarating than an outdoor wilderness adventure? Understanding and being prepared for the unexpected is the key to a great backcountry hiking or camping trip. Food, safe drinking water, clothing, and safety gear are essential for any such outing. The biggest concern when packing for such an adventure is that all items are lightweight enough to be carried for traveling in conditions where the terrain can sometimes present a challenge.

Even the most experienced of campers can temporarily lose their direction, especially when unexpected adverse weather conditions hit. Staying warm and dry in such situations can be difficult, if not impossible, with ‘run-of-the-mill’ tents and sleeping bags. HeatStore Survival Shelters are designed to conserver your body heat and their outer orange layer makes the tent visible among the snow and trees and can be spotted from long distances.  They are lightweight and pack easily into any backpack making them the sensible choice for any outdoor adventure. The advantages of the HeatStore shelter over standard tube tents include:

·        The reflective quality of the inner lining is designed to conserve body heat, which can save a life in extreme weather conditions.

·        A layer of aluminumized PVC bonded to a thin layer of non-woven nylon fibers makes this shelter tear resistant.

·        With only one open end, you get added protection from winds and is more efficient in conserving precious body heat.

·        Visibility of the orange outer layer can make the difference of being spotted in a rescue situation.

For outdoor adventures that don’t include extended, rough terrain hikes, the 4 person Vango Storm Shelter is the perfect addition to your essential camping/hiking gear. This shelter provides safety and warmth even in extreme weather conditions. With waterproof seats and a fire retardant fabric, it provides the ultimate in protection and at only 500 grams; it can easily be carried in a backpack.

For outdoor adventures where you will be setting up a base camp that you will be returning to each evening, a privacy bathroom tent will be appreciated by every member in the camp. This versatile shelter can be used for bathroom privacy or as a shower tent with its built-in hanging shower attachment. Weighing less than 9 lbs, this privacy tent can easily be carried to your site and set up in just minutes.

Whether you are planning an extended wilderness adventure or backcountry camping trip, items such as appropriate shelters and privacy tents will ensure that everyone in the group stays safe and warm whatever conditions mother nature decides to throw your way.

Sanitation And Safety – The Perfect addition to Emergency Supplies

If you already have your emergency food and water supply safely stored, it’s time to start thinking about those few ‘extras’ that will make a huge difference to your supplies. Items such as complete toilet sets and respirators are two things that many people don’t automatically think about but will certainly be appreciated whether it’s to complement what you already have stored or to use on camping and outdoor wilderness adventures.

One of the things that often fail during a natural disaster or other crisis is the water supply. While you may have made provisions for clean water for drinking, cooking, and washing, no water can also leave you without toilet facilities. There are two excellent solutions; the first one being a complete toilet set which includes:

·        1 removable toilet seat

·        1 5 gallon bucket

·        1 biohazard bag

·        5 toilet liners

·        5 toilet chemical packs

·        1 roll toilet paper

·        2 bottles hand sanitizer

·        1 pair gloves

The other option is to purchase a Fold-to-Go portable toilet with Double- doodie bio-gel bags. This is a handy, space saving solution that can easily be used by adults and children. The gel inside the bags quickly turn liquid into an odorless gel. With a double zip locking mechanism that ensures a tight, leak-proof seal and a tough outer bag that minimizes any chance of puncturing, the Double Doodie is an essential for any portable toilet use.

Another important item that is especially useful in emergency disasters that compromise air quality are N95 respirators.  These respirators have bendable nose strips that allow them to fit any face size. They are designed to prevent the wearer from breathing small particles in the air. For more specific information on face mask respirators, you can visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website.

Whether you are planning an outdoor wilderness adventure, camping in the backcountry or completing your home emergency preparedness supplies, health and sanitation products are two things that should be included in every plan. Unfortunately, these are also items that many people fail to consider when making out their supply list. It is also the two areas that are often most missed in outdoor adventures and emergency planning. Young children and the elderly are typically the ones most adversely affected during emergency situations, especially in the areas of sanitation and airborne particles. Planning ahead for anyone that might be in your home at the time of an emergency is the best way to keep everyone safe, secure and healthy.