The Big One

It’s okay if you’ve been avoiding pictures of what’s happening in Mexico City. We were not designed to process all of the suffering that is broadcast into our homes 24/7. There’s only so much we can take. But for those in California, the glimpses of the destruction send a chill down our spines because we know that we’re next. We live on top of the country’s most well-known fault lines, and it is long overdue for a devastating release of the energy it holds.


The “Big One,” as it’s come to be called, has seemed closer than ever as we’ve watched Mexico endure a brutal September of seismic catastrophe. The devastation to the capital is just a taste of what is impending when the fault gives way. A 2008 study estimated that a 6.7-or-greater earthquake in SoCal would kill 1800 people, injure 53,000, and cause $214 billion’s worth of damage. Honestly, those figures seem too conservative to me. Sacramento passed a measure 2 years ago to reinforce the area’s older building with infrastructural improvements. That’s all well and good and could very well bring the devastation below the ’08 figures, as could the warning system technology that gave Mexico a precious 30 seconds to brace themselves (mere hours after commemorating the quake of 1985, exactly 32 years before).


Doomsaying aside, what matters to us at Enviro is response and recovery. As nice as it would be to emphasize preparation, history shows that almost nobody will actually bother to prepare. Hundreds of thousands of people will be displaced by this catastrophe, and many more will be stuck where they are with no connection to the outside world. You can call 911 as much as you please, no one will answer. You need to be able to survive. We have several different first aid kits on our website. They’re designed for serving large amounts of people, and are differentiated by how many people the supplies are supposed to be enough for (10, 25, 50, etc). That may seem like an absurd amount of supplies, but if you’re stranded in your house for weeks or months and the landscape you have to live off of until help arrives is a devastated wasteland bristling with dangerous material, you’ll want more emergency supplies than you’d have known what to do with before. These kinds of situations change people on a fundamental level. Paradigms shift, priorities shuffle, and life itself takes on a different meaning that our “civilized” existence obscures.


Some of the product pages on our site have more information than others. In the case of our first aid kits, the one that has the most detail seems to be the 10-person vehicle first aid kit (K201-048) from Certified Safety Manufacturing. As you can see, it’s more expensive than other first aid kits since it’s actually a package of 10 distinct units. But it enumerates each item in the kit, which most of our pages don’t seem to (I will personally update them when I get the chance). The bulk packaging could also work in your favor: this earthquake will force us to engage and cooperate with our neighbors to survive, so you might as well initiate that process now and throw in together to stock the whole neighborhood with these.


The Big One, whenever it comes, will be the most brutal disaster in Californian history and a landmark for America easily on par with distant events like the Peshtigo fire or Johnstown flood, and recent traumas like Katrina and 9/11. It will be a tragedy of epic proportions, but it is also necessary. It must happen for California to learn what truly matters, and the dust will settle on a better, stronger people than before.


Next time, we’ll focus on the equipment that first responders will be using when they go into the field. Stay tuned, and stay safe.

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