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10 June 2014

Hypothetically Speaking: Using Scenarios to Anticipate the Unanticipated

Kris Ludwig, Staff Scientist, US Geological Survey Natural Hazards Mission Area We all use some form of hypothetical situations to plan our daily lives: What if it rains? Bring an umbrella. What if you’re in an accident? Buy insurance. What if there’s traffic? Learn alternate routes. On some level, we understand and accept the risk of discrete events like a storm, an accident, or a travel delay that may adversely …

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6 June 2014

Is Hazard Mitigation Really a Priority in Your Community?

By James Schwab, AICP Manager, Hazards Planning Research Center, American Planning Association There is a simple way to find out just how serious a priority hazard mitigation may be in your community. Can you find it in your comprehensive plan? If not, you already have a signal that, even if your community has adopted a local hazard mitigation plan under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, a requirement for eligibility …

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2 June 2014

The Challenges of Seismic Mitigation in Oregon: Where Science and Policy Meet

By Jeff Rubin, Emergency Manager, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Tigard, OR We’re justifiably concerned about terrorism, but natural hazards still generate far greater risk in terms of number of incidents, geographic spread, casualties, and economic impact. On the positive side, Mother Nature is not an adaptive opponent (Gaiaism notwithstanding), which means that our actions to reduce natural-hazard impact can actually yield useful results. Earthquake Country has a distinctly different …

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28 May 2014

Increasing Disaster Resilience of Critical Infrastructure By Public/Private Partnerships Through Locally Funded Initiatives

By Mary Lou Zoback, Consulting Professor, Stanford University Friday, October 17, 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of the M6.9 Loma Prieta/World Series earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area at 5:04 PM. The shaking lasted 25 seconds. When it stopped, 62 people had lost their lives, largely the result of bridge and overpass collapse (43 deaths) as well as collapse of San Francisco homes built in a region …

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23 April 2014

Keep calm, carry on and prepare

Written by John Schelling, Washington State Emergency Management The invitation to contribute my perspective on tsunami risk reduction efforts to “The Bridge” arrived on my tablet as I sat in the Snohomish County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Everett, Washington. There I was—working as part of the response and recovery effort to a major landslide (the Oso landslide, which occurred at 10:37 a.m. on March 22)–and presented with the question, …

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10 June 2013

Risky Business

  We only have to turn on the news to see the need for better risk reduction in the United States and worldwide. Recent tornadoes in Oklahoma have killed dozens, and many people across the country were surprised to learn that sometimes local policy does not require tornado shelters in areas known for tornado outbreaks. Natural disasters can destroy livelihoods as well. On average, extreme weather events, including hurricanes, tornadoes, …

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