SAFRR - Science Application for Risk Reduction
August 23, 2013
SAFRR Contributes to Understanding of Evacuation Behaviors
SAFRR has partnered with social and behavioral scientists at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Earth Institute, Columbia University (url: http://cred.columbia.edu/) to create a virtual simulation system that will improve public understanding of debris flows and enable researchers to better understand how people make decisions about evacuation when a debris flow or wildfire threatens. As part of this project, CRED mails surveys to southern Californians with recent evacuation experience. To determine where to send the surveys, CRED relies on USGS volunteer James Carter, who carefully monitors local radio, web, and television for weather, fire, and evacuation updates. Carter provides the local eyes and ears needed to target participants accurately and updates his reports daily during active fires. SAFRR disaster scientist Sue Perry says "a number of SAFRR partners in emergency management, in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange Counties, have indicated great interest in this study and Jim Carter's careful, dedicated effort has been a great asset as we proceed." Contact: Sue Perry, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information contact Sue Perry.
August 14, 2013
Lucy Jones presents on Earthquakes and ARkStorm at LAX for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)
Lucy Jones spoke at LAX on August 14th, 2013, presenting on earthquake and flooding risks in California. The presentation was part of a "Prepare" series organized for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) staff to help toward LAX preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Dr. Jones covered topics including vulnerabilities to the probable next large San Andreas earthquake, as demonstrated by the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario, along with risks associated with even less frequent but potentially more disastrous winter storm flooding events as outlined with the ARkStorm Scenario (http://www.usgs.gov/natural_hazards/safrr/projects/arkstorm.asp). Pamphlets were provided for the ShakeOut Scenario and earthquake preparedness ("Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country") to encourage awareness of available resources.
For more information contact email@example.com.
July 8-9, 2013
SAFRR, Art Center, and others collaborate in an Earthquake Risk Communication Design Storm
On July 8-9th, 2013, the USGS met at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design for an Earthquake Risk Communication Design Storm, in a project coordinated by the SAFRR team that brought together seismologists, emergency managers, risk communication researchers, and design professionals to develop a framework for earthquake probability messages for emergency managers and the general public. The seismologists provided guidelines for earthquake information that can be produced, the emergency managers explained what they need to do their jobs and help inform people what they need to be safe, the risk communication researchers helped advise on theories of how people perceive risk and what approaches lead to action or are known to not work, and the Art Center designers helped develop possible interfaces to present effective messages incorporating guidance from all of the above. The outcome included several sets of promising possible earthquake early warning messages and approaches, including potential sounds, phone and television application interfaces, and creative awareness training ideas in the form of mascots or PSAs. Following the Design Storm, the candidate messages will be tested with focus groups by the researchers at the Division of Risk Communication at the University of Kentucky.
Sue Nami public service announcement now available online
Sue Nami, a tsunami awareness PSA resulting from collaboration between the USGS SAFRR team and the Pasadena Art Center College of Design, is now available online. For more information, see the Sue Nami Project. Vimeo | Behind the Scenes
April 19, 2013
$5 Million in UASI Funding for EEW Secured by USGS Partnerships
USGS scientists Lucy Jones and Doug Given participated in a press conference at the LA City Emergency Operations Center with Mayor Antonio Villaragosa to announce $5 million in funding from the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) to ANSS partner institution Caltech for Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system development, for which USGS efforts were integral in securing (see LA Times article).
May 6-7, 2013
Lucy Jones speaks at IAPH 28th World Ports Conference about Tsunami Risk and Mitigation Tools
Dr. Lucy Jones speaks at the International Association of Ports and Harbors 28th World Ports Conference, May 6th and 7th at the JW Marriott at LA live in Los Angeles, for an audience of over 500 registrants from around the globe. The presentation includes an emphasis on awareness of port vulnerabilities to tsunamis, examples of scientific tools useful for preparedness and mitigation efforts such as tsunami simulation results from research work with collaborator Dr. Patrick Lynett, potential benefits to reaching out to scientists for information useful for hazard mitigation, and provision of USGS contact information for facilitating access to related resources and means of communication with scientists.
July 23, 2013
Dr. Erin Burkett presents "Summer of Safety" Seminar for Capital Group
On July 23rd, SAFRR staff scientist Dr. Erin Burkett gave an invited presentation "Understanding Your Earthquake Risk in Southern California" as part of a "Summer of Safety" brown bag lunch series for employees and safety team members of Capital Group, a company in downtown LA serving investors and financial institutions. For an audience of about 100 attendees in a lecture hall on the 55th floor of the downtown Los Angeles Bank of America high-rise, Dr. Burkett gave an overview of earthquake science along with risk specific to Southern California, shared current updates on projects underway including development efforts for Earthquake Early Warning, provided links to SAFRR and USGS resources for scientific and preparedness information, and addressed a variety of questions following the talk. For questions or more information contact: Erin Burkett, firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 1, 2013
SAFRR and LA Children's Hospital Convene a Meeting on Children and Earthquakes
SAFRR team members Lucy Jones, John Bwarie, and Erin Burkett co-convened a meeting with LA Children's Hospital representatives at the LA City Emergency Operations Center July 1, 2013 to bring together participants representing various libraries, museums, and children's centers around Los Angeles to discuss "Earthquakes, Children, and the Future of LA". The meeting consisted of short presentations, including "Earthquake Risk in Los Angeles" by Lucy Jones and "Special Considerations for Children in Earthquakes" by Jeffrey Upperman from CHLA, followed by break-out group discussions on current strategies and safety measures as well as gaps and opportunities to be addressed in future meetings and efforts. A major focus of the talks and discussions was on addressing vulnerabilities specific to children, and in particular, how to help ensure that museums, libraries, children's centers or daycares can develop and have emergency plans in place to effectively provide water, food, shelter, safety, instructive guidance, and care for children that might become separated and stranded from their families in the event of an earthquake that severs LA transportation and supply lifelines.
June 14, 2013
SAFRR Partners with Hawaiian Civil Defense to Assist Tsunami Messaging Efforts
Over the next several months, the State of Hawaii will decide changes to its tsunami messaging and - to ensure that the new messages strengthen existing education - Hawaiian Civil Defense has sought advice outside traditional tsunami messaging circles by requesting assistance from SAFRR to connect with researchers in risk communication and risk perception. Thus Sue Perry assembled a group of partners to serve as advisors to State of Hawaii. The group's expertise comprises socio-linguistics, psychology, anthropology, marketing, design, public health, and health policy, and includes Columbia's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Art Center College of Design, School of Public Health at Hunter College, UC Los Angeles Center for Public Health and Disasters, and the Rand Corporation. The group has participated in phone and email discussions to draft an informal set of best practices and recommendations which Hawaiian Civil Defense has requested that SAFRR co-author as a white paper. The results will also help to inform future outreach within SAFRR. This is a pilot effort in SAFRR to explore new ways to share expertise with partners inside and outside the USGS. For more information contact: Sue Perry, email@example.com.
June 6, 2013
Erin Burkett Presents on Earthquakes and Seismic Instrumentation at CSTE Annual Meeting
USGS staff scientist Erin Burkett spoke at the annual meeting of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) in Pasadena, California on June 9th. Her presentation was part of the "Disaster Epidemiology: From Fukishima to Super Storm Sandy" workshop and covered an overview of earthquake science and instrumentation, including a demonstration of seismic equipment. The invited purpose was to further educate epidemiologists on earthquakes and related hazards for exposure assessment. The audience consisted of a variety of cancer, infectious, chronic, disease, and environmental epidemiologists who enthusiastically received the presentation and came away with a new awareness of available USGS resources. For more information contact: Erin Burkett, firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 1, 2013
"Living in Earthquake Country: Los Angeles and the Big One" - Dr. Lucy Jones presentation at LA Natural History Museum
Dr. Lucy Jones presented a public lecture at the LA Natural History Museum and hosted questions from attending public members. A podcast of the talk is available. Also see information about her presentation and the LA Natural History Museum First-Fridays program.
February 25, 2013
Welcoming Dr. Erin Burkett to USGS and the SAFRR Project
Erin completed a bachelor's degree in Physics at the University of Delaware (2004) and a doctorate in Geology/Geophysics at the University of California, Davis (2010). Erin most recently worked as a Geophysics post-doctoral researcher with Caltech (2010-2012), where her experiences with leading tours of the Caltech Seismological Laboratory and the USGS Media Center exposed her to the work and collaborations with USGS Natural Hazards projects, leading to her interest in and opportunity to join the SAFRR team. Erin was hired in February as a Geophysicist working with the SAFRR team to add a combination of scientific expertise with writing, artistic design, and communication skills to ongoing efforts to engage users and increase the use of USGS science. Erin Burkett's Professional Page