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#58552 - 08/24/11 10:36 AM Earthquake & Microwave Survival
dust-e sheytoon Offline
member


Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 206
Loc: NYC
Some members of the 600 Club community have knowledge of RF equipment, and some may also have knowledge of structural engineering and of earthquake survival. So I'm posting this here.

Yesterday while the East Coast experienced a 5.8 earthquake and the building I live in creaked and swayed, I considered my options.

I live in 6th floor of a New York City wood frame, brick building constructed in 1897. Unfortunately, since 2001, forty to fifty tons of cellular base station battery cabinets, microwave antennas, electrical cables, and steel support beams were installed on the roof, which is directly over my apartment.

Which is the best option during an earthquake? Do you have any advice?

1.) Run down the interior stairwell and risk being crushed if the building collapsed.

2.) Stay in the apartment and risk being crushed and burnt if the exterior walls supporting the cellular base station began to give and the microwave equipment came crashing into my apartment, possibly also catching fire--including the sulphuric acid in the battery cabinets.

3.) Go to the roof and definitely expose myself to elevated levels of RF, but at least be on the same level as the tons of equipment, rather than under it. Trying to stay away from the antennas...

4.) Run down the fire escape on the back wall of the building, which is full of windows--and which is unfortunately is one of the main walls supporting the cellular base station. The fire escape links to the roof of a one story building and from there I could crawl down a rope ladder to the street.

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#58555 - 08/24/11 12:06 PM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: dust-e sheytoon]
Squiddles Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/21/11
Posts: 17
Loc: California
They say the best place to situate yourself in an earthquake is either in the frame of a door, or under something sturdy like a good desk. Unless you get a major earthquake, the building will probably be fine. But I've been through a lot of earthquakes in California and have never taken cover or done anything during/after except thought "wow! that was a real rattler!"
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~SQUIDDLES

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#58556 - 08/24/11 12:20 PM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: Squiddles]
Nemesis Offline
senior member


Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
You're not taking into account the fact that buildings built on the East Coast were not designed to handle earthquakes such as the ones on the West Coast. Also, half of California is part of the Pacific plate and is comprised of completely different substrate than the North American plate.

To quote a geophysicist on the subject:

"The West Coast is a much more active region, with earthquakes, volcanoes and high rates of deformation overall and with a relatively warm, "squishy" young crust compared with the old, "cold" rock material underneath the East Coast. This means that the seismic waves that radiate outward from an earthquake in California are absorbed much more and are not felt as strongly as they would be for a similar earthquake here on the East Coast.

Scientists often say that the East Coast "rings like a bell" after an earthquake, with the seismic waves remaining strong over long distances, whereas in California the seismic waves are absorbed relatively quickly, so their effect is more like the thud you'd hear if you rang a wooden bell."
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Nothing is sacred.

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#58559 - 08/24/11 01:15 PM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: Nemesis]
dust-e sheytoon Offline
member


Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 206
Loc: NYC
Thank you, Nemesis and Squiddles, for your replies. Yes, Nemesis, the different geology of the East and West Coasts need to be taken into account, especially, "the seismic waves remaining strong over long distances."

I should add that the building I live in was constructed on top of landfill, rather than the bedrock upon which other parts of Manhattan were constructed. This neighborhood was historically a marsh. I'm wondering if maybe that might actually be helpful if the landfill "squishyness" deadens vibrations rather than transferring them in the way that (I'm guessing) bedrock might.

Unfortunately, though, this building is also near a river and near the upper bay between New Jersey and New York. So I'm thinking that maybe it would be better to stay on top of the building or rubble than to go to the street, in case an earthquake-triggered tsunami came in and flooded the neighborhood. There's a (hurricane) flood map here: http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/environment/20080310/7/2460
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Fly for your lives! A great magician comes! He summons armies from the earth itself! ~ ArabianNights

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#58560 - 08/24/11 01:17 PM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: Nemesis]
Squiddles Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/21/11
Posts: 17
Loc: California
Hmm, that's a good point about east coast vs. west coast building design. I don't know how squishy the land is out here, but there's a lot of people who are soft-headed.
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~SQUIDDLES

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#58571 - 08/24/11 06:16 PM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: dust-e sheytoon]
Nemesis Offline
senior member


Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
Plate tectonic action happens several miles beneath the surface. A marshy land area would have zero effect on the strength of the quake and how it is felt. And you have little to fear where tsunamis are concerned on the East Coast--landslides are rare in that region due to the nature of the rock. You should be more concerned with submarine landslides off the Caribbean coast--those suckers can definitely cause an Atlantic tsunami:

Atlantic Ocean Tsunamis
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Nothing is sacred.

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#58572 - 08/24/11 07:00 PM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: Nemesis]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
 Originally Posted By: Nemesis
Plate tectonic action happens several miles beneath the surface. A marshy land area would have zero effect on the strength of the quake and how it is felt.

Atlantic Ocean Tsunamis


Actually, those of us who lived around San Francisco found that the marshiness of the land might not increase the strength of a quake, or how it is felt, but it can contribute greatly to the amount of damage caused because of "liquification." Much of the Marina district of San Francisco was built on marshy land that had been filled, but there was still a lot of sand-content. During quakes, liquification occurs due to shaking, and the foundations of buildings built on such land tend to disintegrate.
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Bury your dead, pick up your weapon and soldier on.


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#58577 - 08/24/11 08:57 PM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: Jake999]
dust-e sheytoon Offline
member


Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 206
Loc: NYC
Thanks, Jake999 and Nemesis. I bet this neighborhood would be in danger of liquification. And the building I live in would surely collapse if the landfill liquified. Hmmm...sounds like if I am able to keep my balance while the building sways and hang on to the handrails, it might be best to run down the fire escape outside the building, onto the rooftop of the building next door, down to the street and run like hell to a nearby park built over bedrock--and away from very tall buildings. There are trees there I could climb if minor flooding did occur.
_________________________
Fly for your lives! A great magician comes! He summons armies from the earth itself! ~ ArabianNights

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#58580 - 08/24/11 11:51 PM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: dust-e sheytoon]
Nyte Offline
member


Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 380
Loc: Ohio
Thanks you guys! I finally get a knee wobble not related to my back being messed up and now, after reading all of this, I have to think about all the extras because of THIS thread! That's just way too messed up. We're not ALLOWED to have a tsunami in Ohio and I don't care what might cause it....It's NOT ALLOWED, I tell ya!

Now stop with all the frettin' Dust and get with the idea that if something major happens like a big quake, you'll probably completely forget everything you've even worked out in your head and end up running around the room freaking out like Chicken Little, screaming that the sky is falling. Oh wait....that probably would be most of us if a big quake hit the North Eastern part of the US, not just you. \:D
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If only just for today.....

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#58584 - 08/25/11 03:28 AM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: Nyte]
Meph9 Offline
member


Registered: 04/02/11
Posts: 161
This whole thing reminds me of awhile back when GOP politicians claimed that energy damages would be able to challenge myself

This is a reminder that infrastructure is vital to our society
and that it must be regularly cleaned

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#58593 - 08/25/11 09:43 AM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: dust-e sheytoon]
Wicked Satanist Offline
member


Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 244
Loc: Michigan
I imagine it is scary as hell to think about, but it's better to be prepared than dead. Obviously the quickest rout out of the building and away from any large falling object would be ideal.

I am from Chicago and I have seen the Sears Tower sway to the side on a horrible day, it's an amazing site. They did also build it with some bad conditions in mind and it has something like a million lbs of rubber under it's foundation. I'd still shit myself if I was able to see the floor below me while looking out the window.

Maybe you can go to a military surplus store and purchase a parachute... keep it by your window and hope for the best?
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Forever in Darkness,
Timothy

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#58595 - 08/25/11 11:03 AM Re: Earthquake & Microwave Survival [Re: Wicked Satanist]
dust-e sheytoon Offline
member


Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 206
Loc: NYC
 Originally Posted By: Wicked Satanist
I imagine it is scary as hell to think about, but it's better to be prepared than dead. Obviously the quickest rout out of the building and away from any large falling object would be ideal.

...Maybe you can go to a military surplus store and purchase a parachute... keep it by your window and hope for the best?


Thanks for the idea, Wicked Satanist. Although 6 Floors is not high enough for a parachute to open, plus I'd get stuck on nearby trees, specially designed parachutes could be great for people living or working in high rise buildings. They would need parachutes that open much faster than those designed for jumps from airplanes. A search brought this up:

http://www.fabulousrocketeers.com/Photo_See_Ya.htm
"BASE jumpers are parachutists who jump from fixed objects such as skyscrapers and cliffs.  (BASE is an acronym that stands for Buildings, Antenna, Spans (bridges) and Earth (Cliffs), the four types of objects typically jumped). Because most BASE jumps take place well below 2000 feet, BASE jumpers have been forced and inspired to rethink equipment design and parachute packing & deployment methods. 
"As a result,  BASE jumpers have developed highly specialized parachute equipment and packing techniques designed to get a parachute open very fast.  In the world of BASE jumping, successful free-fall parachute jumps from below 200 feet have been achieved.  I have personally made freefall BASE jumps from 350 feet, one static line jump from 145 feet, and a few "direct bag" (a type of assisted deployment) jumps from 210 feet."

If a person landed safely, the next thing of course would be to get away from the area around the building, because if gas or electrical shorts started fires and people started freaking out, they might jump without a parachute. Some rescue workers were killed during 9-11 by jumpers who fell on them.
_________________________
Fly for your lives! A great magician comes! He summons armies from the earth itself! ~ ArabianNights

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