Title

Public Knowledge of Earthquake Hazard and Perceptions of Risk and Preparedness in Ellensburg

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Earthquakes, Kittitas, Public Survey

Abstract

The possibility of earthquakes in the Kittitas Valley is a reality; however, it is unclear how members of this community perceive this hazard, how much they know about earthquakes in general, and how prepared they feel in the event of a disaster. The Douglas Honors College course, “Hazards, Risks, and Resilience in the Pacific Northwest”, set out to find answers. The class conducted a community survey to address these concerns. The purpose was to gather information regarding the public’s knowledge, perception of risks and vulnerabilities, and the level of preparedness in the event of an earthquake in Ellensburg and Kittitas County. The online survey, available from January 30 to February 15, 2015, was conducted by asking citizens to participate and was shared via word of mouth, Daily Record newspaper, KLXE radio station, and a variety of social media sources. One hundred and twenty-four responses were recorded in total. Earthquakes were not seen to be as likely as wildfires and floods and yet the feedback from the survey suggests that people would still experience some amount of vulnerability if an earthquake were to occur. Although many people have experienced an earthquake and believe them to be possible, only one third of the respondents knew the best way to respond to an earthquake, less than one half had emergency kits in their homes, and less than one third had an evacuation plan. The class created some suggested mitigation strategies that include creating opportunities for citizens of all ages to participate in earthquake drills, and encourage preparation of evacuation plans and emergency kits.

Poster Number

6

Faculty Mentor(s)

Pamela McMullin-Messier, Anne Egger, Tim Melbourne

Department/Program

Music

Additional Mentoring Department

Sociology

Additional Mentoring Department

Geological Sciences

Additional Mentoring Department

Geological Sciences

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May 21st, 8:30 AM May 21st, 11:00 AM

Public Knowledge of Earthquake Hazard and Perceptions of Risk and Preparedness in Ellensburg

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

The possibility of earthquakes in the Kittitas Valley is a reality; however, it is unclear how members of this community perceive this hazard, how much they know about earthquakes in general, and how prepared they feel in the event of a disaster. The Douglas Honors College course, “Hazards, Risks, and Resilience in the Pacific Northwest”, set out to find answers. The class conducted a community survey to address these concerns. The purpose was to gather information regarding the public’s knowledge, perception of risks and vulnerabilities, and the level of preparedness in the event of an earthquake in Ellensburg and Kittitas County. The online survey, available from January 30 to February 15, 2015, was conducted by asking citizens to participate and was shared via word of mouth, Daily Record newspaper, KLXE radio station, and a variety of social media sources. One hundred and twenty-four responses were recorded in total. Earthquakes were not seen to be as likely as wildfires and floods and yet the feedback from the survey suggests that people would still experience some amount of vulnerability if an earthquake were to occur. Although many people have experienced an earthquake and believe them to be possible, only one third of the respondents knew the best way to respond to an earthquake, less than one half had emergency kits in their homes, and less than one third had an evacuation plan. The class created some suggested mitigation strategies that include creating opportunities for citizens of all ages to participate in earthquake drills, and encourage preparation of evacuation plans and emergency kits.