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SAFRR - Science Application for Risk Reduction


News Highlights

  • nshmworkshopJune 26-27, 2014
    New Audiences, New Products for the National Seismic Hazard Maps

    SAFRR disaster scientist Sue Perry organized a workshop that united USGS scientists with leading researchers in risk perception and communication to discuss ways to expand the use and understanding of the National Seismic Hazard Maps ("the Maps"), a flagship product that helps to save lives and protect property through use in international building codes, insurance modeling, and policy decisions. Currently, primary users of the Maps are building code engineers, but the Maps and their underlying information have potential value for many other groups, such as city leaders, re-insurers, and state geologists. The workshop, held June 26-27 in Denver, Colorado, launched a multi-year collaboration to develop new Maps products that will serve new Maps audiences. Workshop participants shared knowledge from some twenty fields of expertise - widely ranging from geophysics to socio-linguistics to design to urban planning - prioritizing new audiences, brainstorming products, and identifying strategies to work with new users and support development of new products. During the two days of the workshop, participants showed great appreciation for the topics and sharing of knowledge and have since expressed enthusiasm about continuing on the project. We received numerous comments akin to "this was one of the most interesting and productive workshops of which I've been a part" and "I think that everyone involved - from speakers to originators of the meeting - found something to inspire and aid them.- This workshop was the first to employ a new SAFRR strategy, the SAFRR Cadre of Relevant Experts (SAFRR CORE) - a revolving group of researchers and practitioners from inside and outside the USGS, brought together to tackle shared, thorny problems.

  • the bridgeJune 10, 2014
    New Hazard Scenarios Post on AGU's "The Bridge" Blog

    AGU's science policy blog "The Bridge" featured guest posts by speakers at the June 17th-18th AGU Science Policy Conference in Washington, DC. SAFRR staff scientist Kris Ludwig authored a post entitled, "Hypothetically Speaking: Using Scenarios to Anticipate the Unanticipated", which addresses different types of scenarios and how they are developed and used by multiple stakeholders. The Bridge is an AGU blog that connects science and policy, providing a platform for scientists, policy makers, and experts to communicate ideas about the science policy interface.

  • eewfs May 5, 2014
    Coming Soon: USGS Fact Sheet on Earthquake Early Warning

    SAFRR staff scientist Erin Burkett has worked closely with USGS Earthquake Early Warning Coordinator Doug Given and the SAFRR team to create a draft USGS Fact Sheet on Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) and ShakeAlert (, the prototype EEW system in development for the western United States. The fact sheet provides fundamentals of the science behind how EEW works and describes the current status and future plans and potential uses of ShakeAlert for the west coast. To illustrate the science and components involved in an EEW system, Erin collaborated with a graphics design staff member of the Orange County Register to merge scientifically accurate elements of EEW with visually engaging graphic design for the figure below. The draft document, titled "ShakeAlert: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the United States West Coast," has been submitted for publication as a USGS Fact Sheet.

  • CA-Tsunami-Risk_Report-CoverMarch 24, 2014
    California Tsunami Policy Work Group: Completion of Report

    The California Tsunami Policy Work Group finished its report on tsunami policy. The group formed to both create a chapter identifying policy issues for the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario and to separately develop a set of policy recommendations to be issued by the committee. The report and its press release are available on the web site for the Western States Seismic Policy Council at

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