Sunday, April 17, 2011

Southern California trip

I used to love coming down to Southern California but lately each time I come down I have a really critical eye.  I look at the amount of people, the roads, the built environment - buildings and structures.  It's just so crowded.  There is still a lot of farmland in this area but if TSHTF there's not enough space for everyone.  Few new homes are being built, instead multi-family housing is going in everywhere.

Coming down the Conejo grade today I had a great view of the ocean.  What crossed my mind was the tsunami in Japan.  I could picture the damage and destruction that would have been caused if the tsunami came in at Oxnard and Ventura.  I have concerns for family members that live in the area.  Between wildfires and earthquakes, none of the relatives down here are prepared at all, although sister in San Diego does have a couple weeks of food on hand. 

I lived through many earthquakes including the Sylmar quake when I lived in Southern California, the Loma Prieta quake when in Northern California, the Northridge quake when I was bringing my kids to visit my sister at CSU Northridge, and the Calexico quake last year when we were visiting relatives in the San Diego area.  Maybe they can use me to predict earthquakes!  During the Northridge quake and the Sylmar quake the freeways collapsed.  This lead to having to divert traffic for many months.  People got through it and after a few weeks the only ones who were still affected were those whose homes were damaged or destroyed.  For everyone else, life went on as normal other than perhaps a bit of a traffic change.   

Wildfires have surrounded their towns.  My brothers inlaws home burned down in one fire.  They were fortunate because they had just put the house on the market and had lots and lots of photos that the realtor took.  They were fully insured and got a great settlement.  They had a vacation home that held some of their personal belongings so they lost most of their personal belongings but still had some.  They bought a new home and were in the process of remodeling it.  They were renting another home during that time.  Another fire hit and almost burned down the home they were renting.  Life goes on.  They didn't miss a meal.  They were able to go out and instantly purchase everything they needed. 

Lots of incidents but no real hardships.  I don't think that I'm going to be able to convince any of the family down here to prepare in any way other than to have a couple of weeks of food on hand.  Bug out bags are something that will always be a foreign concept.  While I've been able to semi-convince my kids that it's worth while to be prepared for everything it's been impossible to convince my siblings or mother. 

I do believe that if there are any true disasters that any of my family is involved in they will be turning to me to help out.  How am I prepared for this trip?  It's the first time that I've traveled down here with my CCW permit.  This means I've been armed everywhere we've gone.  I've had to explain to the grandkids that concealed means you are not to talk about it.  They are not to tell people that I have a gun. 

Joke I heard today.  The teacher told the kids to write a story about what they are going to do during Easter vacation.  She said to spell the words right and make it neat.  Little Johnny raised his hand.  "Teacher, how do you spell GUN?" "G...U...N".  Little Johnny raised his hand again.  "Teacher, how do you spell DIE?"  "D...I...E"  Teacher was just about ready to report Johnny's family to the police.  She decided to ask "Johnny, what is your family going to do on Easter vacation?" "Wez gun die Easter eggs!"

I don't have the work truck with me but my personal truck.  We have spare fuel in the back of the pickup.  We have good hiking shoes.  We have food for a couple weeks, including food for the dog, which we brought with us.  We have three times the cash that I think I'll need.  We are good but at the same time I wish we were home with the sheep, goats, chickens, cats, and garden, and lots less people. 

1 comment:

  1. I can relate. I visited Los Angeles a few months ago and it just felt really crowded-too many cars and people packed close together, hardly any free spaces at all. I worry about the relatives who live there; most have a couple weeks of food and water I can't convince them to get a bug out bag. They figure it'll be too hard to get out anyway.