Monday, September 21, 2015

Seattle go bag and evacuation plan

The area where we live has the potential for natural disasters. One is that volcano in our backyard, the majestic Mount Ranier. The odds of it erupting without advance notice are near zero, but it has caused mudslides, (Lahar flows), similar to what happened in Oso. These have happened enough times that one must consider that threat. We are not in a flow path, but all evacuation paths out are. So, one part of the plan has to consider staying put. The basic essentials would be food and water.

Earthquake is a different issue. The New Yorker article on a Seattle area earthquake may be sensational, but it is also a call to action. Most of the time we are East of I5, but when we cross West we need to consider our evacuation route. When at home: run to the garage, open both garage doors, grab the go bags and helmets, throw into a vehicle, (when possible point the vehicle to the street).

I finally got around to building a go bag. The current inventory is, (top left to right):
Row 1: Family Lifestraw water filter, personal water filter, 2 candle lanterns, (loaded), 9 nine hour candles, 2 dust goggles, 1 unopened lighter.

Row 2: 4 space blankets, titanium camp tool, surgical set, 2 8 oz. smoked salmon best before 2019, so I will put a google reminder to eat in 2018.

Row 3: Cheapo plastic poncho, (I have a great Swiss Army one, but it takes up a lot of space, need to look for a simple goretex one for each of us), rechargeable very bright flashlight/stun gun, need to recharge every couple months, 2 waterproof flashlight/locator strobes, each with a loud whistle with compass and thermometer and a family sized first aid kit.

Kathy with her dust goggles.

Whoops, forgot sanitation items. Added a ziplock bag with one large bar of soap, hotel size soap, 2 shampoo, exfoliating facial cleanser, toothpaste, mouthwash, lens cleaner wipe and pre-threaded hotel sewing kit.

Whoops, forgot my Lansky Blademedic. This is a fantastic field tool. It is out of the drawer and into the go bag, I have other tools to do everything it does in the house.

The most important thing that is missing is one of those hand crank flashlight weather radio. I am going to hang the bag in the garage and put all the "go" stuff in the same area. The first aid kit did not fit in my Black Diamond Demon Duffel. These are the bags Kathy and I took for our bareboat charter in Tahiti where you are very constrained about your luggage.

I thought we were making progress, then I was talking with a lady who said she has a helmet, (climbing with headlight). So I ordered two helmets from a military surplus outfit and will outfit them with lights. I will also paint them with high visibility orange.

Kathy with her surplus helmet before outfitting

Need to purchase or do:

  • Replace shed by Joe Cheff's house. Same footprint, but taller.
  • Wrecking bar
  • Additional food and lifestraws. The food should be well chosen so we are willing to eat it. We can get water from the lake and purify it.
  • Additional shed for food and water storage, it can go on the concrete pad the previous owners poured for a hot tub. Would it be possible to buy one of these plastic sheds and make it look nice? Consider a propane powered refrigerator. If we are feeling wealthy, consider removing the blocks and replace with a poured wall.

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