October 13, 2011

I’m back! What I missed and what’s to come

Posted by Austin Elliott

Howdy Loyal Readers,

Dare to Prepare.

After three months of field work, weddings, and conferences, I finally have a settled, relatively stationary schedule ahead of me, during which time I can get back into the routine of posting the interesting things I find and various seismological musings. I have bunches to talk about, so you can expect plenty o’ earthquake discussion in the future, which, as I will discuss and try to convince you, is very important because the best way to protect yourself is to be prepared, and that requires thinking about earthquakes.

Over the summer you all probably (hopefully?) realized the importance of being earthquake-aware, when a sizable earthquake jiggled the tops off the National Cathedral’s cornices and cracked the top of the Washington Monument. It seems to have been about as harrowing inside as you would expect an earthquake to be at the top of an enclosed 555-foot obelisk. The surprising and quite unexpected quake caught the nation’s attention, and despite a sassy (if recycled) repartee between the coasts trivializing its occurrence, it was a rather fearsome reminder of our vulnerability to the unpredictable forces beneath our feet. More on that quake later.

If it can happen in the Hamptons, it can happen to you.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a friendly reminder that the ShakeOut drill is coming up in a week (!) and no matter how lame you think participating in a voluntary preparedness drill sounds, you would be well served by registering on the website and browsing their thorough, practical earthquake tips.

In the near future you can expect posts from me on field work, lessons from recent conferences, discussion of how to deal with the threat of earthquakes, updates on my quake-related presentation at the AGU conference, and of course literally phenomenal videos of quakes happening from around the world; or, more specifically, the following:

  • A recap of field work in China!
  • Earthquake risk to CA’s nuclear power plants!
  • Why the 8/23 Virginia quake happened, and why a third of the continent felt it!
  • How we deal with rare/unpredictable but devastating natural disasters!
  • What scientists discuss about the riskiest quakes facing California!
  • Figures from my upcoming American Geophysical Union presentation on the 2010 Baja quake!
…and so forth. Those are just the ones I have drafts of saved already. I have to pace myself.