InherstoryabouttheloomingearthquakethatwillobliteratepracticallyallofthecoolpartsofthePacificNorthwest,KathrynSchulzquotedKennethMurphy,theheadoftheFEMAdivisionresponsiblefortheregion:“OuroperatingassumptionisthateverythingwestofInterstate5willbetoast。

”Alarming!

Today,SchulzclarifiedwhatMurphymeantbytoast,precisely:

WhatMurphydidnotmeanisthateveryonewestofI-5willbeinjuredorkilled;FEMA’scasualtyfigures,whilehorrifying,amounttounderone-halfofonepercentofthepopulationoftheregion。

Nordidhemeanthateverystructurewestoftheinterstatewillfail,althoughtherethenumbersaregrimmer:region-wide,theagencyexpectstoseeseriouslydamagedordestroyedeighty-eightpercentofportsandpotablewatersources;seventy-sevenpercentoffirestationsandwaste-watertreatmentplants;two-thirdsofallairports,hospitals,railways,andschools;almosthalfofallhighwaybridges,policestations,andemergencycommandcenters;plusalmostthreethousandmilesofnaturalgaspipelines,sevenhundredandforty-threeelectricpowerfacilities,andnearlyamillionresidentialbuildings。

…Soabetteranalogythantoastisthis:theCascadiaearthquakeisgoingtohitthePacificNorthwestlikearockhittingsafetyglass,shatteringtheregionintothousandsoftinyareas,eachisolatedfromoneanotherandallextremelydifficulttoreach。

That’swhyMurphy’splaninvolves,inhiswords,“leasing,buying,orstealinganyhelicopterIcangetmyhandson。

”Helicopterscan’tdoeverything,buttheycan,atleast,getalmostanywhere。

(FEMAhasalsomadearrangementswiththeU。

S。

NavyThirdFleettoconductamassivesea-liftoperationforthosestrandedonthecoast?

—?

but,forlogisticalreasons,itwilltakethefleetsevendaysfromthetimeofthequaketo?

arrive。

)

Hmm,haveyouconsideredmovingtoFarmingtonHills,Michigan?

PhotobyStephen?