What is seismic culture?

Lately I’ve been thinking about the idea of “seismic culture”, particularly in the PNW of the US. What does seismic culture mean to you? Here’s my definition: Seismic culture is the accumulation of mutual understandings of seismic risk that have become embedded within a region. It encompasses shared activities, attitudes, behaviors, perceptions, artifacts and documentation …

Data practices for measuring and monitoring recovery after the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence

This report presents a case study that is a part of a larger Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) effort called “Seismic Observatory for Community Resilience – A Program to Learn from Earthquakes” funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation under award number 1235573. The project builds on the multi-decade and multi-disciplinary EERI Learning From Earthquakes …

Human Centered (Re-)Design of HAZUS-MH for Community Resilience

Last year I joined University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering. A new research center was started a little before that called Center for Collaborative Systems for Security, Safety and Regional Resilience. The gist of the mission of CoSSaR is that community resilience requires putting people and communities first in helping them …

What Does Community Disaster Resilience Look Like

This is a question that guided my students and I in developing a fictional news site www.resilientkingcounty.org with fake stories about a 10 year anniversary of a future Seattle Fault earthquake. Students used information generated during workshops I designed and facilitated with King County Office of Emergency Management as part of their Resilient King County initiative. Participants of …

Community resilience: storms, earthquakes, climate change, oh my!

Roger Pielke wrote an article at FiveThirtyEight about whether the rising costs of disasters are linked to climate change. The article got a lot of comments and generated some critical press  As a result, Roger posted a followup to quell the critics. What’s all the hubbub? Roger’s conclusion is that rising disaster costs are not the result of climate change. Or at …

SCIRTing the issue of Canterbury infrastructure recovery

I just returned from a trip to Canterbury, New Zealand as part of a project between the World Bank and EERI, which I mentioned here. The objective of the project is to research how and whether recovery after the February 2011 earthquake reflects the concept of “build back better.” In interviewing stakeholders, we were focused on the three most impacted sectors: …

Is Canterbury’s Post-Earthquake Tourism Recovery Sufficiently Efficient?

In September, I’m heading to Canterbury, New Zealand as part of a joint project between the World Bank and EERI. The objective of the project is to research how and whether recovery after the February 2011 earthquake reflects the concept of “build back better.” Apparently, the World Bank is keen on developing guidelines that are relevant across different types of disasters …

San Francisco’s 1906 Identity Crisis

At the Natural Hazards Workshop this year, Daniel Aldrich gave a keynote talk about his findings from researching correlations between various variables and community recovery from disasters. In particular, he focused on his awesome empirical study of Kobe’s recovery from the 1995 earthquake. (While its not relevant to this post, he found that proxies of social capital had the greatest …