Near Boiling: Warning Signs of a Volatile Summer
Thousands of Tremors – A Prelude to What?
A few weeks back, we did our first in-depth analysis on earthquake preparedness. You can read that article here.
One of the key points about earthquakes is that they provide us with very little warning. Even our advanced technology has only been able to provide us seconds of warning.
Yet, there are plenty of warning signs that a massive earthquake could be looming.
We recently came across a report from the Desert Sun in California’s Inland Empire. It tells the story of the area around the towns of Anza and Aguanga, which have experiences thousands of earthquakes in the past year.
6,913 earthquakes to be exact, according to USGS data.
Many area residents believe this seismic activity is a prelude to the “Big One” California has been bracing for.
Although the population is small in this region, it is notable for the fact that up until this past year, it had been considered an “earthquake gap,” and would only be affected by larger earthquakes from nearby Elsinore and San Jacinto faults.
It’s definitely something to keep watch over, as news like this may be the only warning we get that something truly devastating is coming.
Kilauea Continues to Rage
By tomorrow, the Kilauea eruption event will have been going on for a full month.
23 fissures have opened up on the island.
Dozens of homes have been devoured.
The lava that was once “slow moving” has picked up speed, and so have the evacuation notices.
This fast-flowing lava has also threatened a geothermal power plant, causing it to close. The “wells” used at the plant have been sealed, but if the lava breaches them, it could release hydrogen sulfide, a toxic and flammable gas.
Volcanic fog, or vog has traveled as far as Guam, some 4,000 miles away on the other side of the Pacific. This has caused air quality alerts, especially for vulnerable individuals.
Hurricane Season Arrives Early
While not officially a hurricane, we did get our first named storm in the form of Alberto over the Memorial Day Weekend.
Alberto made landfall late afternoon on Memorial Day near Laguna Beach in the Florida Panhandle. This caused flash flooding all across the coastal South. It continued to cause floods, tornadoes, and landslides as it moved inland.
While not nearly as devastating as say, a category 5 hurricane, Alberto did make some history. It’s one of the longest-lasting named storms forming in the month of May since Alice in 1953. Longer-lasting storms can bring more rain than wind, which becomes more damaging as it accumulates. A trend we’ll be watching this season.
Wildfires Already Sparking Up
Summer is not even officially here and wildfires have already been popping up.
Over last weekend, 3 counties in western Colorado experienced fires, most of which are contained now.
An even larger wildfire is burning near Sedona in Arizona and is only 25% contained at the time of this writing. Arizona has been burning since the beginning of spring, with the Rattlesnake and Tinder fires taking tens of thousands of acres.
We believe that it seems obvious we will see many more of these fires as temps heat up. It’s something that can happen anywhere, not just arid environments. Most wildfires are caused by humans.
Epidemics We’re Watching
Ebola is back in the news. Despite deploying an experimental vaccine, this new outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is much closer to the city of Mbandaka. The city has a population of 1.2 million people. Previous outbreaks, as in the 2014-16 West African outbreak, occurred in more rural areas, but still claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people.
Health agencies around the world are working hard to contain this outbreak and appear to be successful at this point. The situation is still active though, with 54 confirmed cases and 21 deaths. We are watching this closely.
In further epidemic news, an outbreak of the Nipah virus is active in South India.
Current research on the Nipah virus claims that it can only be spread from bats to humans. Essentially, humans eat or come in contact with things that infected bats have touched.
However, because the virus has many strains and is capable of fast evolution like all viruses, some virologists theorize that it is conceivable that the Nipah virus has already evolved to be capable of human-to-human transmission.
Stanford University epidemiologist Stephen Luby says “One concern is that any time a virus infects a human, it is in an environment that selects for survival in that context.”
Yes, it may seem that these issues are far away, in lands with much lower standards for public health than ours. However, all it takes is one thoughtless (however innocent) person to hop on a plane, train or bus to expose these epidemics to a wider audience. This is why we continue to watch these events closely.
On Top of It All: FEMA Repeats its Warning
FEMA head Brock Long wrote an op-ed in USA TODAY titled "FEMA: We are Not the First Responders." This is the same message he's delivered again and again to smaller audiences all year. This time, on the first day of hurricane season, he warns all of us. We should heed this warning and do the following...
As summer heats up, spread the word of preparedness far and wide.
As you can see, we could be in for a bumpy ride this summer. We pray that nothing truly devastating ever happens. It is NEVER our intention to spread fear, only information. Sometimes a little reality is all people need to understand the need for preparedness.
We thank you for your commitment to preparedness and are here to help you along on your journey. We ask that you help us in our mission by spreading the word about preparedness.
Tell your friends, neighbors, anyone you care for:
Don’t wait for the inevitable. It will happen. The only thing you can do is prepare now.
Stay active in your preparedness planning, but also work to build a more prepared community and nation. That’s my challenge to you.
I hope these tips on preparing for summer travel find you well and ready to experience the world while you relax. It's easy to take the preparedness mindset on the road with you when you have the right knowledge and the right supplies.
Traveling or staying - keep safe out there, friends!
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply