Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Great Southern California shakeout results provide new communication strategies

Date:
February 22, 2010
Source:
University of Colorado at Boulder
Summary:
Researchers who devised the largest earthquake preparedness event ever undertaken in the United States say one of the biggest challenges was translating devastation projections from a hypothetical magnitude 7.8 San Andreas Fault temblor into timely, usable information to the more than 5 million California participants in 2008.

Researchers who devised the largest earthquake preparedness event ever undertaken in the United States say one of the biggest challenges was translating devastation projections from a hypothetical magnitude 7.8 San Andreas Fault temblor into timely, usable information to the more than 5 million California participants in 2008.

Known as the Great Southern California Shakeout, the event was designed by more than 300 experts in fields including earth sciences, engineering, policy, economics and public health, said University of Colorado at Boulder Research Professor Keith Porter, who coordinated estimates of physical damages in the scenario. He said the interests of the scientists -- including high-tech research and state-of-the-art projections -- did not always coincide with concerns of the general public and emergency preparedness planners looking for timely, simple information on issues.

"One of the biggest challenges of the ShakeOut was to get scientists to speak the language of citizens," said Porter of CU-Boulder's civil, environmental and architectural engineering department. "While many researchers were concerned about advancing the state of science through different modeling scenarios and debate, the citizens made it clear to us they needed the big picture."

Porter gave a presentation on the subject at the 2010 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held Feb. 18-22 in San Diego. Porter's talk was part of a session titled "Earthquake Science and Advocacy: Helping Californians Live Along the San Andreas Fault." The Great Southern California ShakeOut event was led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Pushing the limits of science, including efforts like the ShakeOut, almost invariably creates a lack of consensus among scientists that can cause confusion in the public sector leading to "ambiguity aversion" -- a preference by people to deal with known risks and to avoid dealing with risks where there is significant disagreement about the level of uncertainty, said Porter. "We found these people needed a single, discreet, story, which led us to explore and present what we thought was a single, realistic outcome of the hypothetical earthquake, as opposed to a discussion of possible outcomes."

The 2008 ShakeOut scenario and a follow-up 2009 ShakeOut exercise involving more than 5 million Californians participating in "drop, cover and hold on" earthquake drills and other family, school and organizational emergency plans were huge successes, causing the USGS and collaborators to make the ShakeOut an annual event, Porter said. "Our hope is the activities undertaken by participants will become second nature," he said. "In a sense it is similar to people taking CPR courses annually to keep up to speed."

The USGS team that created the ShakeOut is now creating an emergency preparedness scenario known as ARkStorm to simulate the outcome of a series of massive West Coast storms similar to those that pounded California in 1861 and 1862. Those storms lasted for 45 days, flooded vast areas of northern and southern California, submerged a swath of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys 300 miles long and up to 60 miles wide and inundated large areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Such storms draw heat and moisture from the tropical Pacific Ocean, forming "atmospheric rivers" that cause damage on the same scale of earthquakes and are projected to become more intense as a result of climate change, said Porter. Porter is leading the ARkStorm team that is assessing the potential outcome from such a storm in terms of physical damages, repair costs and the restoration time for buildings, dams, levees, harbors, bridges, roads, water supply systems and electric power.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado at Boulder. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Colorado at Boulder. "Great Southern California shakeout results provide new communication strategies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100220184335.htm>.
University of Colorado at Boulder. (2010, February 22). Great Southern California shakeout results provide new communication strategies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100220184335.htm
University of Colorado at Boulder. "Great Southern California shakeout results provide new communication strategies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100220184335.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

AFP (July 22, 2014) As part of the 14-ship convoy that will accompany the Costa Concordia from the port of Giglio to the port of Genoa, there will be a boat carrying experts to look out for dolphins and whales from crossing the path of the Concordia. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins