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It boggles my mind that the GOP wants to cut our disaster preparedness budget.


The majikal hand of the Free Market will protect us all. It keeps our nukular reactors from exploding and the earf from angrying up the sea. Without it we’d be at the mercies of a jealous socialistic communist satan.

You watch. If the Big One hits California, wingnuts won’t pin the cause of needless deaths/damage not on disaster planning, but on the Big Fella taking vengeance on liberals. It’s the American Way.

In other news, STINQUE DISTANT EARLY WARNING: I was watching Hockey Night in Canada last night when I saw… an ad pimping up PM Fatboy and the Conservatives. Research indicates that an election up in Canada City will come approximately soonish. Who says hockey teaches you nothing?

Manchu — help us hosers out. What’s the scoop?

Just chatted w/ the GF – she’s trying to get some sleep. Government is urging people in Tokyo to stay home ‘if possible’ tomorrow to avoid chaos at train stations.

this from twitter: TimeOutTokyo TimeOutTokyo
(You’ll all like this) Government asks you to avoid going to work tomorrow, if possible, to relieve expected pandemonium at stations (NHK)

@chicago bureau: More than one friend of a FB “friend” would note on my friends’ posts (which thankfully everyone I know was of the “Thoughts and prayers to the Japanese people” sort) that the earthquake and tsunami were signs of God’s wrath and the coming rapture.

The House Rethugs’ budget eliminates NOAA (we don’t need no stinkin’ tsunami warning) and slams the National Academy of Science and USGS. What we need is good earthquake on the New Madrid fault because they’re totally not ready in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

@SanFranLefty: given where you live, please tell me you have water, food, etc. set aside and a go-bag.

@SanFranLefty: Wait a minute: I kinda-sorta-but-not-really get defunding NPR and PBS — I don’t like it one bit, but there are enough corporate sponsors out there to keep it afloat should the Worst happen.

But NOAA? They want to defund NOAA — the hurricane warning, tsunami warning, shipping and general weather forecast NOAA? Seriously?

[ADD: your New Madrid hypothesis has an element of FAIL. Louisiana and Florida are fairly friendly to Team Red — not totally in thrall to the GOP but getting there. And then there’s Texas. And the GOP wants to defund NOAA — the one organization out there that is tasked with issuing the GET THE FUCK OUT warnings to those poor saps? Seriously, honey — you are going to have to give me a quick cite to this move. I can’t believe it.]

@chicago bureau:
The Contarded are doing an aerial blitz because Iggy the Liebrul US American has become less unpopular. Also, the Cons aren’t making people happy especially as details of their no bid deal to buy US America Stealth fighters leak out. Like the fact that it is going to cost some $30 billion not the $16 as originally announced. The no bid is pissing some folks off and the $30 billion price tag is even more.

The Cons have been trying multiple commercials lately. The first batch were not that well received. Not because Iggy’s such a dynamic and popular guy, but rather they contained a lot of lies about Con “success” like the public stimulus program especially when the Cons were forced to do it at electoral gunpoint after losing a non confidence vote and then brow beating the cowardly ex-Gov General into proroguing parliament for several months despite claims of “everything’s good with the economy” in 2008. Now they’ve gone all “look at how warm and friendly PM Fatty is” which is telling as the Cons rarely changed their attack commercials during Dion’s Fumbler Stumbler era.

Plus several gaffes and the libruls are taking advantage of them for a change.

As far as I know, the libruls and Cons are pretty close in the polls (the last one I saw was a 5% Con lead from a reliably Con polling firm which tells me it is almost neck and neck.) Since 2002, Cons have polled higher, but electoral results show about 3-5% difference against–the 2008 election was supposed to end with a Tory Majority but was just another minority which they nearly were tossed out of gubbiment thanks to the PM’s tactical blunders and arrogance.

My barometer of Con success comes from a friend of mine who has gone from trying to get me to join the dark side to bitching about how much he hates libruls. When he goes off on libruls, it usually means things are not going well.

@ManchuCandidate: Every time there are separatist rumblings in Quebec, I always think that the best argument would be, “why would we want to be connected with these clowns?”

Meanwhile, from what I’m hearing, Jack Layton (dirty hippie socialist party leader up there) is playing hurt, in the finest Canadian tradition.

@blogenfreude: Oh, yes. We are the ones instructing our neighbors on how to make EQ preparedness kits. We have preparedness kits in the car, too. Mr. SFL won’t let the gas tanks get below 1/4 full because he’s afraid there will be an earthquake and we won’t be able to get gas.

@chicago bureau: Why, the private sector would handle it. I mean, we have the Weather Channel, right? (I remember one of Gingrich’s buddies saying this 1997 about why it was okay to eliminate NOAA – not realizing that the Weather Channel gets all of its information from the government).

To correct and clarify my statement, they wouldn’t entirely eliminate the agency (which they tried to do in Gingrich years), but they would cut out funding for the environmental satellite program that tracks hurricanes, along with weather in general.

Budget cuts would also hit the tsunami program at NOAA.

@SanFranLefty: We should post go bag pix in the sandbox. I’m going to transition out of winter mode soon and pull the parka and snow pants out.

@chicago bureau: Well, who needs the bureaucrats at the USGS because we all have GPS systems now, right?

@SanFranLefty: OK–I need guidance from the veterans here. I’ve been stockpiling water and looking at Red Cross Earthquake grab bags on Amazon, but I don’t really know what to get or, more importantly where to keep it. I live in a 1927 farmhouse with a basement that I’m guessing would collapse like a house of cards. Should I keep the kit in the trunk of my car?

@Mistress Cynica: I think it would be best to make your own go bag with a back pack . The ready made ones are expensive and don’t have all the stuff *you* want or need.

Contents of my bag: water (both a Camel back and a metal bottle that can be heated; tp/hand cleaner; fire making kits (2); first aid kit and OTC pain killers, antihistimines, immodium, no doz, etc., wilderness first aid manual (I took a two day course last summer and I was certified as an EMT in college); big tarp-like space blanket and a little fold up space blanket; poncho or waterproof shell or both; compasses (2); maps of the area I’m headed to; handgun and 20-50 rounds of ammunition; fleece jacket or parka; hat and gloves; knives and multi-tools (around 3); water purification tabs; metal cup for drinking water, tea or soup and for melting snow; pencil-sized diamond knife sharpener; paracord; camouflage duct tape (of course); at least two non-perishable meals and a snack; headlamp and flashlight and spare batteries. I really should go get one of those flashlights you can charge with a handle on the grip. The pack is not very big. It’s the one I’m showshoeing with on my FB page.

In addition to the above, I can also throw in a wind up radio, fishing tackle, and a rifle or shotgun and ammo. If the shit really hits the fan, I might go all .22 LR caliber because it’s cheap, easy to find and 500 rounds of ammo weighs about as much as 40 or 50 rounds of high power rifle ammo. I should also scan copies of important papers and put them on a zip drive. There’s more gear in my vehicles such as blankets, axes, shovels, pac boots, etc.

@Mistress Cynica: Start with a flask and a book. See how easy it is?

Also: extra glasses.

@Mistress Cynica: Keep it simple – some water, some protein bars, flashlight w/ batteries, extra pair of socks (maybe two – one can be used for mittens), and a battery powered (or even better, a wind-up) radio with a bunch of fresh AAs. Pump it up from there.

I’ve got pretty much everything RML has sans weaponry, but including water filter, sleeping bag liner and hiking boots. Climbing rubble in flip flops would suck. I have a small amount of cash, both local and convertible, and a copy of my p’port. It all fits in a day pack with the parachord helping to keep my med kit cinched to the outside.

Keep something in the trunk of your car, for sure. Doesn’t hurt to bury something near/not too near your house.

@Nabisco: I can’t figure out my water filter. I think I need to spend some quality time with it. I went looking online for a local CPR course and found one here in a couple of weeks.

@redmanlaw: I confess that the water filter is more of a pain than anything. I’d burn off precious calories trying to get it to work. They make pretty nifty backpacker filtration systems that fit into a water bottle, basically just suction it into the bottle and drink up.

@Nabisco: That’s what I got, like a bike bottle size thing with a straw.

Note to Bloggie: I decided not to get that Taurus 9mm because I read a number of bad reviews. I didn’t want to be that guy who got one of the bad ones. Still looking and saving my money.

@Mistress Cynica: Here’s FEMA’s list of basic items to include in your kit. I agree with RML that it’s best to have as much of it in a backpack as possible. If you have a backyard shed, that might be a place to store it, though if you keep it in your car trunk you have the bonus of having access to it if your car breaks down on some nighttime drive from PDX to Mac. Also, there’s the strap-it-on-your back sort of things, and then the broader idea of having a cache of food/water stored somewhere (preferably *NOT* in the basement. Some people dig holes).

So just get a sturdy backpack, or two backpacks so Mr. Cyn has one and you can equally divide the stash of stuff, and add:

# Flashlight and extra batteries. [SFL note: we have a big flashlight and then a little one. We also have a headlamp.]
# Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries. [SFL note: The Red Cross sells a hand-crank one which is all-in-one with a light]
# First aid kit and manual.
# Emergency food and water. [SFL note: we also have a few bottles of wine in our cache, along with 5 gallon water jug]
# Nonelectric can opener.
# Essential medicines.
# Cash and credit cards.
# Sturdy shoes.

I would add that you can never have enough water, so it doesn’t hurt to have an additional gallon or two stashed in the trunk/shed. Water purification tablets are useful. I would add to the FEMA list the little fold-up blankets (they are handed out to runners after marathons). Swiss Army knife or the all-in-one tools are handy for just about anything. Oh – and maybe this is just me – but I can’t imagine life without being able to brush my teeth and not have cracked lips, so I have a toothbrush/toothpaste travel kit and a couple tubes of Blistex.

If you live somewhere that has seasons (like RML does) then you need to add clothes in the winter and then in the summer take the clothes out and add things like sunblock and bug repellent. Also, the water and canned goods should be rotated out probably every 9 months to a year so they’re fresh.

Another tip – if your house has a hot water tank (versus the newer systems that are tankless) that is nice fresh water. In case of emergency, assuming the tank has been strapped down, you can tap it for a ton of water.

Helps to know where the gas shut-off valve is for your house.

Also, what about the kittehs?!?!? You need to have kits for the kitties. Again, much-maligned FEMA has info on preparing your pets for a disaster.

@SanFranLefty, Cyn: If prepping for two, make sure one person does not have all of any one item. Case in point: we were up in the mountains on our annual pilgrimage when my dad’s horse threw him and he banged his head. I was on foot further up the trail so I didn’t hear about it until later. He went back and took all our food so I basically relied on supplies from others for the next couple of days. Since then, I’m self-sufficient and I carry a large bag of locally made beef jerky in my pack.

Buying all this stuff at once will easily run a couple of hundred dollars. Pull together what you have now – tp/hand cleaner, tooth brush, flashlights, etc and add an item like a $3 compact/disposable space blanket, $12 for a more durable space blanket, a good $35-$40 folding Buck knife or $50 Leatherman or Gerber multi-tool a little at time. Once you get it together, go out for a hike and make sure you know how everything works and replace what you use.

BTW, Amazon carries a lot of that stuff.

Greetings from East Mosquitobite, Alabama, across the bay from Mobile, where I just arrived for a conference. They got fast food, they got a Hooters, they got gas that’s cheaper than in L.A. I was on two full US Air flights today; need to take a walk to get the blood flowing again.

Breaking/ bbc.com reports new tsunami forming, will strike within minutes

Nuke plant explosion reported. Is this a new one?


Tsunami warning lifted.

@redmanlaw: New explosion.

@Dodgerblue: At least the Hooters has a liquor license, amirite? You should try to unionize the waitresses.

@redmanlaw: Apparently. A hydrogen explosion at a second plant. I hope it’s not one that uses plutonium fuel.

@SanFranLefty: Yes, thank the Mosquito Gods, this isn’t a dry county.

@Dodgerblue: While you are there, ask the Hooters gals whether they think it is better to live with the risk of spills from offshore oil rigs or the risk of radioactive fallout from nuke plants in seismically sensitive areas. Do they think Gulf shrimp serves up better than Japanese fugu? Take notes.

@SanFranLefty: Apparently we had minor temblores here in NotTibet over the weekend, 4.something but I felt nuttin. I’m comforted by occasional tectonic belches rather than massive and unexpected geologic hurling.

I don’t know what to do with this information.

@Nabisco: Somehow I doubt that Dodger will be taking notes on the thoughts of the Hooters waitresses regarding energy policy.

@SanFranLefty: Q: “Where do you stand on the possible development of a new generation of nuclear reactors and improved waste disposal as a means of meeting the nation’s energy demands?”

A: “I have to ask my boyfriend. He makes all those decisions. Did yew like the wings, and why, may I ask, is your hay-er so curly?”

@redmanlaw: “Are you Jewish?” “You’re from El-Ay? Wow, do you know any movie stars? I want to move there next year, because everyone says I have a great singing voice.”

@SanFranLefty: A guy could get his eye poked out cuz of the pushup bras.

@Dodgerblue: It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye, as my 8th grade math teacher always said.

@SanFranLefty: Could there be anything more pathetic than a Hooters girl in Fairhope, Alabama? Other than the wankers who pay to go there, of course.

@Dodgerblue: That’s how Amy Adams got her start, right?

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