Posted by: thescoundrel | March 25, 2007

Natural Disasters (updated)

Living in the Midwest we learn to take some natural disasters for granted. We live near the Mississippi River and there are several smaller rivers that are near so we expect a certain amount of flooding every year. We can take some precautions and most of realize it is just a part of life we have to prepare for, as it is just a familiar happening that we either witness or hear about. Those of us living in the flood plains generally know what to expect and how to prepare during flood season.
We also know that during tornado season we need to keep a close weather watch as tornados spring up so fast there is often very little time to find cover. They are a strange bird to see up-close-and-personal and those of us whom have actually been in or close to where they hit – afterwards have probably said a dozen or so “thank you lord” for missing me. Then you go and change your underwear. (As Bill Cosby would say: During an accident, first you say it, then you do it”. 😉 ) I have had several friends and relatives that lived in trailers over the years and for them tornados are even more scary. Anyone whom has looked at the aftereffects of even a near miss tornado on a trailer will probably make assertions that God is evidently not fond of trailers. Trailers that experience tornado wrath are an ugly site, if there is even anything left of the building. But it is something people living in our region are aware of, as tornados are also something of a common experience that we hear about even  if an individual never actually witnesses one.
But a recent AP article printed on QCOnline talks of an experience many of us have had, but not to the extent we think of it as a potential danger. Our homes are included in the New Madrid earthquake region. The quake line is active but for the most part the tremors are minor and we rarely feel the earthquakes when they happen. The ones I have experienced were similar to a train speeding by your house. We nearly always think California when someone mentions dangerous earthquakes, because the San Andreas Fault is where most of the major and life threatening tremors happen in the continental USA. But as the article reminds us, the worst series of quakes that ever occurred in the continental USA happened with the New Madrid Fault back when this region was not really very settled. It is said that the Mississippi River ran backwards in spots due to the magnitude of those earthquakes. That is a frightening concept to consider when you consider the water volume and fast current of the Mississippi River. Even though there are some who feel that there is little danger to fear of another major earthquake happening in the area soon, if at all, it gives a person reason to wonder about the consequences another major earthquake could have on our region. I feel it is safe to say that most of our houses and buildings are not earthquake proof and would not withstand much of the effects of a serious earthquake. It is just something we never consider due to their infrequency and our lack of similar threatening experiences of which to judge  from. Nor is it something we can control. If it happens – it will come to pass and then we will have to pick up the pieces afterwards. Yet an experience such as this would be devastating to our lives and the community infrastructures we are so used to relying on. It is a thought-provoking and sobering consideration. No individual or even any local emergency services could be properly prepared or expected to function as would be needed in such a crisis. And the consequences of such a disaster would be unfathomable before or after. Even things like basic food/potable water supplies, health care and sanitation would be a long-term problem. Still, I wonder if we and our regional emergency services are even prepared for a lesser disaster, such as those experienced in San Francisco the last few decades. It is something to ponder. And then again- it could be just another reason for us to party harder on our days off right now. What do you think?

Breaking Sunday Morning Unnatural Disaster Update:

And for those of us that follow the less dangerous perennial disaster known as Chicago Cubs Baseball, they are broadcasting preseason games on Sunday 03/25/07 @ 3:05 pm on WGN; Monday 03/26/07 @ 3:05 pm on CSN Chicago (both against LAA). Also Thursday 03/29/07 @2:05 pm on CSN Chicago (against AZD). And on Friday 03/30/07 @ 9:15 pm on WGN and again Saturday 03/31/07 @ 3:05 pm on CSN Chicago (both games against Seattle).  All games and times are subject to change at the whim and/or bad judgment of the Chicago Cubs and MLB or benevolent acts of God. No stated time or broadcast should be interpreted as an actual guaranteed commitment by Chicago Cubs ownership or MLB or representation of how major league baseball should be performed.

Upcoming Preseason Schedule



  1. Having worked in disaster preparedness previously, I am totally in agreement with you about earthquakes. The potential may not be for earthquakes that hit as high on the Richter scale as the west coast BUT the scale that most people are NOT familiar with is the Modified Mercalli scale. It judges more by the damage impact that is sustained. There are several areas along the fault that score very high on that scale. This is apparently because the deeper layers of earth are much harder in teh midwest than the west coast.

  2. Count me among those who “never consider” an earthquake in the QCs. But I am married to a very cautious individual, so we have “earthquake insurance”. Every time the premium comes due, we have a battle over whether this is a “needed” expense or not. Mr. Caution always wins. But how about you scoundrel—-do you have earthquake insurance—or not?

  3. Yes, although as with most insurances I own, I am skeptical as to what is their real value. I am not a fan of insurance or insurance companies. But like so many other bottom-feeding institutions of everyday life they have been forcibly ingrained into our culture by the sharks that circle the money reefs looking to strip the life’s blood from those in a more vulnerable position than themselves.

  4. Thank you very much, Fay. We are happy that you liked the wetbesi. Now, where are we going to find camel liver with kurus? A trip back home is long overdue!

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