Warning: This poem includes some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features an earthquake, emotional upheaval, escaped livestock, severe infrastructure damage, rubble and ruins, child trapped in rubble, difficult choices, minor and moderate injuries, messy medical details, scavenging supplies, and other mayhem. Despite the challenges, people immediately come together to take care of each other. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.
"A World Built from the Bottom Up"
[Saturday, May 28, 2016]
Bellychord was pulling weeds in
the central courtyard of Clover Grove
when a tree fell on the Common House.
Ground that had jerked sideways
now abruptly went the other way,
and then bounced harshly upward.
Bellychord grabbed ahold of the grass
and held on as hard as she could.
Goats and sheep tried to run,
staggering and falling all over her.
Hysterical chickens flogged the air
with their stubby wings, desperate
to escape the heaving ground.
The rabbit hutches cracked open,
spilling Dutches of every color,
who bounded away in all directions,
undeterred by the shaking earth.
An angry buzz sounded even above
the grinding of stone and cracking
of wood. Bellychord couldn't see
the beehives from here, but she
could see the swarms of bees
rising from their disturbed homes.
All around her, the solar panels
shattered and rained from the roofs.
The duplexes and triplexes began
to come apart at the seams between
the units, and the single houses were
juddering off of their foundations.
They had been well built, but this
exceeded their design parameters.
Overhead, the wind turbines
swayed but held their ground.
Japanese tech, gotta love it.
When the shaking finally stopped,
Bellychord picked herself up and
raked trash out of her long blue hair.
The goats and sheep were long gone,
but the chickens fluttered back down.
The rabbits immediately dove into
piles of rubble that used to be houses.
A few pissed-off honeybees whined
overhead, but most of them seemed
to have vacated the premises.
People were moaning and crying.
Not far away, Chase Abramson
had braced himself underneath
one of the wooden picnic tables.
"Hey Chase, are you okay?"
Bellychord asked him.
"Has the shelling stopped?"
he mumbled, not letting go.
Oh, right. The shaggy surfer
used to be in the Marines.
"It was an earthquake,"
said Bellychord. "Yes, it
stopped, but everything is
a total mess. Look around."
Chase scrambled to his feet.
"Shit," he said. "Now what?"
Castel Montgomery was
squalling for help from
the remains of a porch.
He was only eleven, and
his parents weren't in sight.
"Get the stuck people out?"
Toby Bachelder ran by
with a pole in his hands
yelling, "I need a fulcrum!"
Chase grabbed a concrete block.
"Coming right behind you," he said.
The rest of the Montgomery family
piled into the rescue effort.
Then Bellychord saw Janis
and Sonny Naab, who shared
a two-bedroom duplex unit with her.
Both of them were bloody and
limping, leaning on each other.
"Dr. Montgomery!" she shouted
as she hurried to meet them.
"People are hurt. We need you
to set up a first aid station."
He looked back and forth
between her and the rubble.
"My son is trapped," he said.
"We know, man, we'll get him out,
I swear," Chase said, tugging
Dr. Montgomery away. "Let us
do the grunt work while you
go save people, okay?"
Castel's sister Linota
backed away. "I'm not
big enough to lift pieces
of house, but I can do EFA."
"I can do physical first aid,"
said her brother Edwin, "if we
can find a kit in all this mess."
"The craft shed collapsed
along with the carport,"
Janis said. "We got out,
but everything inside is
pretty much totaled."
"Field kits," Sonny said,
leaning heavily on Bellychord.
"We had field kits by the beehives
and the rabbit hutches. Those
should still be accessible."
Bellychord rounded up
some of the younger kids who
weren't screaming their heads off
and sent them to hunt for supplies.
Dr. Montgomery was still looking
over his shoulder now and then,
but he was doing his level best
to set up a first aid station.
Janis and Sonny had bruises
everywhere, a twisted ankle each,
and a lot of shallow cuts but
fortunately nothing serious.
"We can do sit-down tasks
for now," Janis said. "What's up?"
"I need hot water," said Dr. Montgomery.
"Did any of the solar cookers survive?"
Bellychord looked around and spied
a flash of bright metal. "Here's one!"
She dragged it out of the rubble.
It was a little bent, but nothing
that couldn't be whacked back
into shape with a rock.
"Now we need a pot and
some water," she said,
setting it in a sunny spot.
Linota scrounged up a pot
and someone else went
to see if any hand pumps
were still in working order.
A cheer went up as
the rescue crew hauled
Castel out of the ruins.
His mother carried him
over to the first aid station,
both of them crying.
"Well, that's going
to need some stitches,"
Dr. Montgomery said,
looking at the long cuts
on Castel's arms and legs.
"Somebody see if my car
survived -- I had a kit there."
He parked in the open, not
under the carport, to make it
easier for him to leave in a hurry,
so his car might not be crushed.
"I'm on it, Dad," said Edwin as
he trotted toward the parking lot.
"Doc, what about the neighbors?"
asked Chase. "We might not be
the only ones needing a doctor."
"Send runners," said Dr. Montgomery.
"I'll treat anyone who can make it here."
Just then Malila Labarre cantered up
on her pinto gelding Facepaint.
"Our round barn survived, so we're
gathering everyone's livestock --
pass the word. We got a couple
of your Portland sheep and
those LaMancha goats."
"Thank you!" Toby called
from where he was trying
to shore up another porch.
"We're setting up emotional
and physical first aid stations,"
Bellychord told Malila. "If anyone
needs help, they can come here.
We still have electrical power --"
"And water," Linota said as she
passed them with a yoke and
two buckets over her shoulders.
"We'll need water for livestock, if it
can be spared," Malila said. "We
only had electrical pumps."
"I'll take a look later," Toby said.
"I may be able to rig the pumps
to run on whatever's left, and if not,
I can pull them and put in hand pumps."
Bellychord loved her community and
how resilient her people were in a crisis.
"You're a lifesaver," Malila said. "I need
to get along to the other farms, though."
She turned her horse and cantered away.
"Speaking of livestock, someone should
gather up any chickens and rabbits that
haven't scattered," Bellychord said.
"And put them in what?" Linota said,
looking around at the shattered hutches.
"Whatever will hold them," Bellychord said.
"There are washtubs and baskets --"
"Bellychord, I could use your help,"
said Mrs. Montgomery. "Can you
sing to help people calm down?"
Glancing over, Bellychord saw
that Mrs. Montgomery and Linota
had set up an emotional first aid station,
which was quickly filling up with people.
Edwin had found the big paramedic kit
that Dr. Montgomery kept in his car.
The two of them were working on
the physical side of first aid, which
was needed because the people
coming out of the rubble now were
hurt a lot worse than the earlier ones.
"I'll try," Bellychord said, although she
tended to project whatever she was
feeling and right now she was freaked.
She took a few deep breaths, though,
and sang, "I'll speak if I dare, and stay calm ..."
Her superpower fluttered and flared, then
slowly settled into a smooth flow.
Bellychord stretched herself,
pushing her power out as far as
she could reach, over her community
and on toward their neighbors,
hoping it would carry comfort.
People came and went as
the shadows slowly lengthened.
Neighbors arrived with their wounded
on stretchers, some of them bringing
medical supplies to where they
would do the most good.
Search teams went out
from Clover Grove to places
less equipped to handle disasters.
Teenagers found more solar cookers,
pots, and other supplies. They began
setting up a camp kitchen right there in
what was left of the common courtyard.
The smells of vegetable soup and
jerky chili began to waft through the air,
carrying their comfort. The cooks
were starting trucker's rice, too.
Bellychord sang until her voice
went out on her, cracking and hoarse.
Then she started coughing.
"Hey, you should take a break,"
someone said, offering a water bottle.
She drained half of it in one pull,
then turned to find her friend Vinyasa.
"When did you get here?" she asked him.
"Just a little while ago," he replied.
"I've been teleporting back and forth,
trying to check up on my friends."
"Lucky you," said Bellychord. "I so
don't want to be here right now."
"Do you have somewhere else
you can go?" Vinyasa asked.
"I would be happy to take you."
Bellychord finally remembered
to check her phone and log in
on M-FYN. She already had
a ton of messages, several
offering her a place to stay.
Grabbing one at random she said,
"Blues Moon in Omaha, Nebraska.
I've gigged there before, and this
says they're offering crash space
to any West Coast musicians
who have played for them."
"Okay then," said Vinyasa.
"We can go when you're ready."
Bellychord let the Naabs know
that she was heading out and
where she would be staying.
She looked at the ruins of
the duplex that she shared.
Right now, she just didn't
have the energy to deal with it.
"Our true destiny ... is a world
built from the bottom up by
competent citizens living in
solid communities, engaged
in and by their places,"
Vinyasa said softly.
"Yeah, I know,"
They had built it once from
nothing but dreams and stones.
They could build it again.
* * *
Bellychord (Riya Leaverton) -- She has pale skin, bright blue eyes, and long straight hair of electric blue. She has a soft oval face and gentle curves. She is 20 years old at the time of the Cascadia Cataclysm. She speaks English, Spanish, and Wasco-Wishram. Riya grew up in a broken home and got molested. After that, she spent her teen years in foster care. She never really bonded with another family, which left her feeling lonely and frustrated. As a young adult, she hitchhiked around the West Coast and became keenly interested in communal living. She currently lives in the Clover Grove community just outside of Portland, Oregon. She shares a 2-bedroom triplex unit with Janis and Sonny Naab. Riya has put considerable effort into studying emotions and interpersonal dynamics. She is making great progress at overcoming her difficult past. She has learned to connect with other people quickly and easily. Bellychord plays electric guitar, primarily in jazz and blues with some forays into folk music. She has performed at Blues Moon in Omaha, Nebraska.
Origin: Abused by her stepfather, she manifested superpowers at 12 and blasted everyone with her impressions so that they had to believe her.
Uniform: Funky women's clothes. Bellychord favors shades of blue, purple, or black.
Qualities: Good (+2) Abuse Survivor, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Electric Guitarist, Good (+2) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Rapport
Poor (-2) Sensitive to Light
Powers: Average (0) Bard, Average (0) Blue Hair
Motivation: To express herself.
Bellychord: a pleasing, abrupt musical chord that hits the listener hard
Janis Naab -- She has fair skin, blue eyes, and wavy blonde hair to her shoulders. She is 65 years old at the time of the Cascadia Cataclysm. Janis is a hippie and a talented folk singer. She leads the Activity Scouts in Clover Grove just northeast of Portland, Oregon. She doesn't have much head for math, though. Janis is the wife of Sonny. They share a 2-bedroom triplex unit with Bellychord.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Folk Singer, Good (+2) Activity Scout Leader, Good (+2) Hippie, Good (+2) Musical Intelligence
Poor (-2) Math
Sonny Naab -- He has pinkish-fair skin, blue eyes, and short dark hair going gray. He wears a mustache and beard. He is 66 years old at the time of the Cascadia Cataclysm. Sonny is a hippie and an experienced gardener. He leads the Activity Scouts in Clover Grove, just northeast of Portland, Oregon. He dislikes cities. Sonny is the husband of Janis. They share a 2-bedroom triplex unit with Bellychord.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Gardener, Good (+2) Activity Scout Leader, Good (+2) Hippie, Good (+2) Naturalistic Intelligence
Poor (-2) Not a City Boy
Chase Abramson -- He has fair skin that tans easily, green eyes, and wavy blond hair to his shoulders. He wears a short mustache and beard that are darker than his hair. He is 35 years old at the time of the Cascadia Cataclysm. Chase is a Marine veteran with PTSD. He copes by surfing and spending time in the woods. He lives in Clover Grove, an off-grid community just outside Portland, Oregon. There he shares a 3-bedroom duplex unit with two other people.
Qualities: Good (+2) Kinesthetic Intelligence, Good (+2) Marine Veteran, Good (+2) Surfer, Good (+2) Teamwork, Good (+2) Wilderness Skills
Poor (-2) PTSD
Toby Bachelder -- He has fair skin, blue eyes, and short curly brown hair that's receding on top. He is 45 at the time of the Cascadia Cataclysm. He lives in Clover Grove, an off-grid community just outside of Portland, Oregon. Toby designed the cohousing community and led the construction. People still look up to him as a community leader. Currently he organizes the farming activities, particularly the livestock. He has no fashion sense and doesn't care.
Qualities: Master (+6) Community Spirit, Expert (+4) Builder, Expert (+4) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Farmer, Good (+2) Flexible, Good (+2) Participatory Decision-Making
Poor (-2) Fashion Sense
Edwin Montgomery -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short brown hair. He is 15 years old at the time of the Cascadia Cataclysm. He is the son of Norman and Edith, older brother of Linota and Castel. They live in the yellow single house in Clover Grove, an off-grid community just outside of Portland, Oregon. Edwin is studying first aid and swordfighting in the Society for Creative Anachronism. He's tone deaf, though.
Qualities: Good (+2) First Aid, Good (+2) Kinesthetic Intelligence, Good (+2) Swordfighting
Poor (-2) Tone Deaf
Linota Montgomery -- She has fair skin, green eyes, and long straight brown hair. She is 13 years old at the time of the Cascadia Cataclysm. She is the daughter of Edith and Norman, younger sister of Edwin, older sister of Castel. They live in the yellow single house in Clover Grove, an off-grid community just outside of Portland, Oregon. Kind and graceful, Linota makes friends easily. She enjoys the Society for Creative Anachronism and puts her organizational skills to good use there. A light sleeper, she sometimes finds family life a challenge due to the noise level.
Qualities: Good (+2) Emotional First Aid, Good (+2) Graceful, Good (+2) Organized
Poor (-2) Light Sleeper
Castel Araujo Montgomery -- He has caramel skin, black eyes, and short black hair. His heritage is Hispanic. He is 11 years old at the time of the Cascadian Cataclysm. Castel is the adopted son of Edith and Norman, younger brother of Edwin and Linota. They live in the yellow single house in Clover Grove, an off-grid community just outside of Portland, Oregon. Castel was adopted out of foster care and has bonded with the family very well. However, his miserable birth family left him with a hatred of all things Hispanic, so he is assimilationist to the point of being obnoxious about it. He enjoys the Society for Creative Anachronism but hasn't chosen a specialty yet.
Qualities: Good (+2) Affectionate, Good (+2) Linguistic Intelligence
Poor (-2) Hates Hispanic Culture
Edith Montgomery -- She has tawny-fair skin, green eyes, and long straight blonde hair. She is 38 years old at the time of the Cascadia Cataclysm. She is the wife of Norman, mother of Edwin, Linota, and Castel. They live in the yellow single house in Clover Grove, an off-grid community just outside of Portland, Oregon. Edith works as a counselor. She enjoys the Society for Creative Anachronism, which has taught her many rustic skills. She can make cooking equipment out of almost anything. However, she does much less well with modern technology.
Qualities: Expert (+4) SCAdian, Good (+2) Counselor, Good (+2) Mother, Good (+2) Rustic Skills
Poor (-2) Modern Technology
Norman Montgomery -- He has pinkish-fair skin, brown eyes, and short brown hair going white. He wears a short mustache and beard. He is 48 years old at the time of the Cascadia Cataclysm. He is the husband of Edith, father of Edwin, Linota, and Castel. They live in the yellow single house in Clover Grove, an off-grid community just outside of Portland, Oregon. Norman works as a doctor and volunteers as a chirurgeon in the Society for Creative Anachronism. He has a very practical perspective and tends to dismiss existential issues as incomprehensible and irrelevant.
Qualities: Expert (+4) SCAdian, Good (+2) Doctor, Good (+2) Family Man, Good (+2) Leader
Poor (-2) Existential Intelligence
Malila Labarre -- She has fair skin, brown eyes, and long wavy brown hair. She rides a pinto gelding named Facepaint. Malila runs a homestead just northeast of Portland, Oregon neighboring Clover Grove. She is important in her community. She excels with animals and does well with plants, but struggles to handle machinery.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Horsewoman, Good (+2) Community Spirit, Good (+2) Homesteader, Good (+2) Naturalistic Intelligence
Poor (-2) Mechanical Intelligence
Vinyasa (Taral Rogerson) -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short wavy brown hair. His heritage is American, Britannian, and Indian. He speaks English, Esperanto, Farsi, Hindi, Sanskrit, Spanish, and Telugu. He is 26 years old at the time of the Cascadia Cataclysm. Vinyasa lives in Lodi, California. His mellow personality makes him popular, so he has friends in far-flung places. Practicing yoga makes him very flexible. He doesn't understand attachment to worldly goods, though, which makes budgeting hard, and sometimes he doesn't realize how attached other people get to their things.
Origin: His powers grew in slowly as he studied yoga.
Uniform: Vinyasa likes casual menswear, often yoga clothes or other athleisure outfits.
Qualities: Good (+2) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Friends Everywhere, Good (+2) Languages, Good (+2) Mellow, Good (+2) Yogi
Poor (-2) Worldly Goods
Powers: Good (+2) Telempath, Good (+2) Teleportation
Vinyasa has a particular knack for finding people. He can teleport to anyone he knows, wherever they are. However, his ability to teleport somewhere that doesn't have a person he knows is Average (0) if he's been there before or Poor (-2) if he has never been there.
Motivation: To be one with the Universe.
Vinyasa – Translates as “to place in a special way” and is commonly referred to in class as flow. Moving in and through postures synchronized with the breath.
* * *
"Our true destiny...is a world built from the bottom up by competent citizens living in solid communities, engaged in and by their places."
-- David W. Orr
See a map of Oregon predicting effects of a Cascadia earthquake. This one shows the faults in and around Portland. Read about Portland's risk factors.
At 3:58:20, Portland has a 9.0 earthquake with intensity XI. The shaking lasts 4 minutes 50 seconds.
9.0 and above < 1 XI – XII great – extensive damage over broad areas, most buildings destroyed
IX. Damage considerable in specially designed structures; well-designed frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations.
X. Some well-built wooden structures destroyed; most masonry and frame structures destroyed with foundations. Rails bent.
XI. Few, if any (masonry) structures remain standing. Bridges destroyed. Rails bent greatly.
XII. Damage total. Lines of sight and level are distorted. Objects thrown into the air.
Clover Grove is entirely off-grid. The community uses well water and produces its own electricity from solar panels and wind turbines. They have geothermal heat pumps too. All homes and the Common House have full basements. The community uses only electric and human-powered vehicles. Residents raise a majority of their own food with a community garden and surrounding fields, food forest, goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and bees.
Clover Grove has a Common House, three 4-bedroom single houses, two 3-bedroom duplexes, and three 2-bedroom triplexes. That's a total of 42 bedrooms, with an average of 2 people per room, so about 84 residents. There are two bike sheds with crafts space, a garden shed, a trash and recycling shed, and several other storage sheds. There are two carports and a parking lot with open spaces.
The community garden courtyard provides a place to gather. See closeups of the garden at spring planting and summer.
An old white oak tree towers over the community.
In the central courtyard, the common house is the blue building on the left. To the right, the pinkish house is a duplex and the coppery one is a triplex.
There are three triplexes. Each has a basement instead of a garage. The main floor of each unit features a great room, dining room, and kitchen. The upstairs has two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
There are three single houses. In each single house, the basement bathroom is finished and the other rooms walled in, but they're not necessarily used as bedrooms, just as extra space. Some houses have a den or a guest bedroom down there, others have it all as rec room space. The single houses each have a great room with kitchen, living, and dining room; a bathroom; and two bedrooms downstairs. Upstairs they have two bedrooms and a bathroom.
This is the yellow house with its kitchen and a bedroom.
The Common House has a basement with a recreation room and a utility room. The first floor has a kitchen, powder room, dining room, and living room. The second floor has two guest bedrooms and a bathroom, which can be used for group activities when not hosting guests.
This is the red duplex. Each unit has a basement, living room, kitchen, and three upstairs bedrooms plus a powder room downstairs and full bathroom upstairs. Outside it has a flower garden and a vegetable garden.
In the midground you can see picnic tables, and in the background a laundry carousel for drying clothes.
This is one of the solar cookers.
This shed holds the recycling and trash bins.
The bicycle storage includes wall racks to maximize use of space.
Another shed features tool storage for community equipment.
Clover Grove keeps a large flock of chickens, which they move around the community in small groups. If you look closely, you can see Dutch white clover in the foreground. They don't spray weedkiller, so they don't need fertilizer. The lawns are trimmed and fertilized by sheep and goats, plus nitrogen from the clover.
These wooden rabbit hutches stand near a small orchard. Dutch rabbits are popular for meat, as well as pets, fur, and fertilizer. They come in a variety of colors, all with the characteristic banded pattern.
Portland sheep and La Mancha goats are other small livestock at Clover Grove.
I found one person being brutally honest about the threat in Cascadia, which is largely unprepared because the faults there were just discovered (by white people, the local tribes have always known) several decades ago.
"These lax safety policies guarantee that many people inside the inundation zone will not get out. Twenty-two per cent of Oregon’s coastal population is sixty-five or older. Twenty-nine per cent of the state’s population is disabled, and that figure rises in many coastal counties. “We can’t save them,” Kevin Cupples says. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say, ‘Oh, yeah, we’ll go around and check on the elderly.’ No. We won’t.” Nor will anyone save the tourists. Washington State Park properties within the inundation zone see an average of seventeen thousand and twenty-nine guests a day. Madin estimates that up to a hundred and fifty thousand people visit Oregon’s beaches on summer weekends. “Most of them won’t have a clue as to how to evacuate,” he says. “And the beaches are the hardest place to evacuate from.”
Brief and complete notes from the Oregon Resilience Plan predict total or near-total devastation in coastal areas, moderate in the valley area, and light in the eastern area. However, plans to reduce vulnerability can cause problems of their own, such as hospital construction. T-America deploys a complex system of community clinics and hospitals to care for lower-level problems across a wide network. This means that they use clinics to cover inundation zones, and place hospitals farther back. Since the clinics are used only for ambulatory patients, and serious cases are transported to hospitals, they provide immediate care for typical complaints without putting a drag on evacuation plans. Similarly there can be community classrooms but not schools, police stations but not whole departments, nap rooms but not hotels, etc. in the inundation zones. Light support covers the short-term essentials on the spot while aiming to keep large, important, full-time facilities in safer territory. Look at a tsunami evacuation map for Gold Beach, Oregon.
The Earthquake Country Alliance offers resources on how to prepare for and survive earthquakes. You should secure objects, make safety plans, stock emergency supplies, and copy important documents. During an earthquake, drop and cover. Afterwards, render aid and work toward recovery.
Choose an out-of-state friend or relative to be your contact person in case of a disaster. Ideally, they should be able to host you if you need a place to stay for a few days or weeks. Most people in T-America have such arrangements, often reciprocal with several friends in different places.
Emergency notification systems aid coordination in times of crisis. Consider selling points and best practices before choosing one. Some can also be used for other communication purposes. Here are some popular emergency notification systems.
M-FYN in T-America is one of several programs designed to identify survivors immediately after a disaster and help them contact friends or family. Registered members can log in from any device to record their status. The original release just offered "I'm fine" but quickly expanded to "I need assistance," "I'm fine," and "I can help." Later upgrades added more options such as "In care," "Missing," and "Confirmed dead." Those account not just for personal updates but also official ones. After logging their basic status, members can add details like their current location and anything they need (e.g. a place to stay, clothes, emergency funds). Members can also link accounts to friends and family in the network, to receive notifications of safety or need after an incident. An array of Mute tools can be set in different ways to account for mass-casualty events, such as turning off alerts about nearby members to avoid getting deluged with messages, or turning them down to just immediate family. The original acronym stands for Massacre-Find Your Name, and is pronounced "I'm fine."
Buildings face many challeges from earthquakes. In that context, earthquake resistant structures tend to fare much better than historic buildings. One factor aiding resilience in T-America is the greater popularity of dome homes, whose structure makes them resistant to disasters whether they are geodesic, shotcrete, or sprayfoam. You'll see this in action with the Archivist's monolithic dome in Rain City. Clover Grove has earthquake-resilient buildings, which helps reduce the severity of casualties, but the structures themselves just can't stand up to that much shaking.
Solar panels are vulnerable to breakage during earthquakes. Follow seismic guidelines and/or use flexible panels to minimize damage.
It is possible to make buildings earthquake-resistant. These houses were well built and securely fastened to their foundations. However, a 9.0 earthquake simply exceeds the design parameters. Even in Terramagne, that's at the fringe of what human technology can withstand. Not everyone wants or can afford a monolithic dome with flowglass windows, which is the only thing that seems to have survived the 9.2 of the Rain City area without a scratch.
Japan has some of the most earthquake-resistant infrastructure on the planet, including wind turbines.
(These links are sad.)
The human impact of disasters can be tremendous. One key difference between L-American and T-American disaster response is the handling of refugees. L-America tends to keep them close to ground zero in makeshift shelters. T-America acts to move people fast and far from danger. If the disaster is localized, people are moved to nearby cities; if statewide, to surrounding states. Regional disasters transport people all across the country. For anyone whose "sister city" is outside the affected area, they follow the predetermined plans for taking refuge there, and many T-American cities have such arrangements. The West Coast has two primary dangers, of which earthquakes can hit anytime and wildfires peak in summer. So most of their sister cities are in the northerly parts of the central and eastern regions where the key threat is winter storms. That means a lot of refugees will be pouring east into a system of shelters and other resources ready to receive them. Citizen Emergency Response Training offers one way to prepare.
(These are just appalling).
America has history in this regard. The Dust Bowl was a catastrophic environmental disaster. It triggered waves of mass migration, as shown in these photos. Instead of help from neighboring stages, the environmental refugees were met with extreme hostility. And these weren't global refugees -- they were American citizens, internally displaced persons. The damage hasn't faded entirely; my Californian friends tell me that terms like "Okie-rigged" are still in use today. The government made some efforts to address the problems of the Dust Bowl, but ultimately failed to prevent the wholesale devastation of lives. Look at L-America today and you can see shoddy disaster response, completely unprepared to handle large-scale scenarios. T-America does better, but even they will need a lot of help.
Emergency preparedness largely began with Civil Defense. In local-America it hasn't developed into a very cohesive system, as much of it fell apart after the Cold War ended. In Terramagne-America they have a thriving system of bunkers useful in all types of emergency, and people generally have a good level of family preparation. Emergency response includes making plans for businesses and events in case of mishap. Terramagne divides emergencies into two broad categories based on response: evacuation vs. shelter.
Being a hero, or a superhero, requires understanding how to handle emergencies.
Emergency supplies are essential in earthquake areas. Notice that they have stocked kits in multiple places, so even after losing a majority of their structures, they are still able to locate a few usable supplies like this Millennium Advanced First Aid Trauma Kit. A typical triage scene gets messy fast, but organization helps a lot.
(Messy medical details follow.)
Earthquakes cause a variety of injuries.
Crush syndrome should be expected any time victims are trapped more than briefly, and has serious threats. Crush injuries are caused by objects pressing on the body. Some prehospital care is possible, but most of it requires an expert. What ordinary people can do is extract victims as fast as humanly possible. If you get them out fast enough, there's no time for extra damage to build up.
Cuts and scrapes from debris are ubiquitous. Most can be treated with basic first aid. Deep cuts benefit from expert care, as they often require stitches.
Ankle injuries vary in type and severity, but the first aid is pretty much the same for all of them. Mild to moderate injuries will heal with just that. Severe ones need expert care if available. Ankle and foot injuries are common in earthquakes due to the ground heaving.
In mainstream superhero fantasy, ordinary people are useless. T-America does much better in this regard. Those willing and able to help become citizen responders, which is at least 10% of the population. Training is available for those who want it. Children, elders, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable folks are taught to evacuate in an orderly manner if they can or shelter in place if they can't. The difference between a tactical withdrawal and a rout is measured in lives. Citizen seismology also helps a lot. This is why you rarely see T-American folks screaming and running in a mindless mob. They're just as scared as anyone else in an earthquake, but they know what to do. That reduces feelings of helplessness and PTSD risk, as well as raising the rate of survival. The crowd scenes just look totally different.
(These links are intense.)
In case of crisis, providing emotional first aid can make the difference between a resilient response and a crippling injury. Learn how to support people during an emergency. Read a brochure about emotional first aid and a community guide to disaster resilience.
Intentional neighboring expects everyone to give and receive help according to their strengths and weaknesses, which minimizes the need for official programs.
"North American Field Song" by Innocence Mission
The Soup & Chili Mix Sampler COMBO includes Dried Vegetable Soup Mix and Mixed Bean Chili Mix.
Jerky is just dried meat that you can soak to reconstitute when you don't have fresh meat. You can substitute jerky into many campfire recipes. An example appears in Trucker's Rice with Deer Jerky.