Author Topic: SoCal (Orange County) earthquake scenarios - any convos/resources?  (Read 1275 times)

Offline matrim13

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Just discovered the podcast from a friend's referral, absolutely loving it.

I live in SoCal (Orange County) and obviously while any number of things can happen, the Big One weighs on me as the event to be most prepped for.

I feel like I've made good efforts at being prepared (everything bolted, supplies stored, etc) but it's the bigger picture questions that still nag at me, and I'm wondering if there are resources here I've missed (I've searched) or topics that have come up I can review. Maybe others from OC can weigh in. If there's anything already published here about OC-specific quake prep that I've missed, sorry for the post and I'd love to be pointed towards it.

My main thoughts as of this point:

1. Water supplies - the further south you get in SoCal/OC the more the water is imported. It's very likely if the San Andreas goes haywire the water supply to OC will be severely compromised for a good amount of time. I have a purifier, backflow preventer on the water heater, etc. but access to actual water feels problematic assuming the taps are out for a while. My house isn't tiny but it's not huge - one or two 50 gallon drums will get in the way quick. Any thoughts around this? I have 6 family members including 1 baby & 1 elderly... so we'll need a lot. I probably worry about this the most.

2. Bug in vs bug out - I think I'm far enough south from LA that any unrest that comes from the city being leveled wouldn't likely reach us. My city/neighborhood is pretty tranquil and I don't imagine things descending into chaos too quickly, unless there's prolonged lack of access to basic supplies. So I'd very likely just sit tight as long as the house is still standing. The deciding factor, however, is really just geography. Leaving the area north through LA / Grapevine (to family in NorCal) is a nonstarter (LA will be a warzone, San Andreas runs directly across the mountains going North) and going East will be equally problematic (again, that darn San Andreas is gonna wreck things East). That leaves South, which if we left right after - could theoretically jam to San Diego relatively quickly/easily and get a hotel/etc as needed. Potential concerns: 1) San Onofre power plant... if that thing is compromised structurally, driving right past it may not be feasible. 2) Tsunami (the 5 freeway is right along the coast)... I don't believe a San Andreas earthquake would trigger a tsunami, but I haven't been able to find a lot of resources about exactly how certain quakes in SoCal could/would to be certain ahead of time. Getting washed away while my house stands peacefully would sure suck. 3) Camp Pendleton... who knows if they'll even allow passage through it, may not be the best place to run towards.

Really those are the two things I think most about other than immediate survival/resource planning. Has anyone else run through these scenarios and if so what is the thinking?

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: SoCal (Orange County) earthquake scenarios - any convos/resources?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2018, 11:43:19 AM »
Welcome to the forum, matrim13!

Regarding water storage, my wife and I were stymied for a long time by where to store huge water containers.  I think the answer is lots of small water containers.  I ran across some nice 3-gallon bottles at Walmart.  That's 25 pounds of water, which is fairly easy to carry, and the bottles have a nice built-in handle too.  They can also be stacked (although I'd feel uncomfortable stacking them more than two high).

https://www.walmart.com/ip/3-Gallon-Stackable-Water-Bottle/180676866

Offline matrim13

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Re: SoCal (Orange County) earthquake scenarios - any convos/resources?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2018, 12:56:55 PM »
Thanks! I kind of discounted that off hand, but the more I think about it, I think you may be onto something for my place as well.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: SoCal (Orange County) earthquake scenarios - any convos/resources?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2018, 09:00:42 PM »
Has anyone else run through these scenarios and if so what is the thinking?

I'm in the IE and also view The Big One as my prime reason to prep.  I think you're analysis is spot on, we live in a place with high population density, limited access to surface water, and all our escape routes out of the LA basin will become lethal choke points after the transportation infrastructure implodes. 

I know some think they'll be able to bug out post quake by heading off-road in their tricked out BOVs, but I'm not one of them.  I plan to stay as close to home for as long as I can, at least a month, which is feasible so long as fire doesn't burn everything up. 

I probably have about 400 gallons of potable water, between tap water stored in 55 gal drums and a closet filled with retail cases of water, and if the pool remains water tight there's thousands of gallons more that probably wouldn't kill me to drink after filtering.  But that's not going to last more than a month or two.  Ironically, we've got a lot of ground water under my part of SoCal, which makes us the least dependent on imported water, but that water is only accessible after being pumped out of deep wells into municipal storage tanks, yet another critical bit of infrastructure that can't be counted on post-quake.

Honestly, if it's bad enough, I think there's a good chance that large areas of SoCal's economy will collapse to the point where former residents decide to pick up the pieces of their lives somewhere else after the Big One, like many did after Katrina.  The same can be said (maybe even more so) for portions of the Pacific Northwest post-Cascadia quake, too, as well as many other localized natural disasters that could affect parts of the country east of the left coast.  In a situation like that, having the thousands of dollars necessary to relocate independent of FEMA "assistance" will make that transition a hell of a lot easier.  If you can stay alive for a month or two without assistance, money solves a lot of the earthquake problems better than just about any other preps. 

Offline matrim13

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Re: SoCal (Orange County) earthquake scenarios - any convos/resources?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 03:14:04 PM »
Great point about the medium/long-term aftermath as well. I kind of view Katrina as a rough model as to what can be expected (total breakdown in highly concentrated city centers, general lack of services outside of that for a week or two, etc) and to your point, the analogy is probably apropos beyond that.

One thing I am going to do that hadn't occurred to me at all before listening to the podcast was getting a few hotel options in place. I could see fires becoming an issue where I live, and if I absolutely had to bug out I'd be forced to go West more towards the water (good luck with that) or South towards SD. San Clemente ish maybe, or the other side of Pendleton. Not ideal especially with San Onofre sitting there but if fires are running rampant, not much that can be done.

Having the "oh shit" hotels figured out ahead of time based on location & realistic chance of occupancy could really come in handy...

Offline buckaroo

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Re: SoCal (Orange County) earthquake scenarios - any convos/resources?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 07:56:39 PM »
Hey Matrim - I am another SoCal guy...down east of SD. I also view the 'Big One' as my main reason to Prep......I am far enough outside the city where I could 'maybe' ride it out here....BUT.... I have bit of desert acreage that I have built a cabin on. And that is where I will head if the sh*t really goes down. You might want to consider buying even an acre of sand out east of you....it is literally 'dirt cheap'. And can be made very livable really quick and inexpensively. Shipping containers, pole homes, etc.....

What do you think?

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: SoCal (Orange County) earthquake scenarios - any convos/resources?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2018, 09:06:02 PM »
... I have bit of desert acreage that I have built a cabin on. And that is where I will head if the sh*t really goes down.

How long would it take to walk there?


In a disaster management class I took in the late '90's one lecturer had mapped out alternate routes from work to home that avoided potentially compromised infrastructure, such as bridges, power lines, and flammable pipelines.  He figured it could take him as long as 4 days to get home entirely on foot. 

Offline buckaroo

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Re: SoCal (Orange County) earthquake scenarios - any convos/resources?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2018, 09:33:08 AM »
Walking there is not an option..... :)

If the roads are not accessible, then I would ride it out at my 'closer to city' location.....there are several ways to get out there that would not likely be crowded since there is very little reason to go that direction for anyone that does not have a place to go....it is not  a drive through kinda route.....