Alaska’s Next Big Earthquake - a workshop
October 31, 2015

Michael West

Registration closes in a few days for this workshop being hosted at UAF on Nov. 12-13. The purpose of this event is to bring under one roof the numerous agencies and organizations that have a stake in earthquake hazard mitigation and preparedness in Alaska. Alaskans are all too aware of the myriad threats posed by earthquakes. Unlike many states, however, our next Big One is not a singularly well-known (nor well-understood) earthquake. Our next big one could be an Aleutian earthquake and tsunami that swamps bustling port towns; a “modest” earthquake, say M6, that occurs in downtown Anchorage or Fairbanks; or an earthquake in outlying areas of the state that takes out unusually fragile infrastructure or industry facilities with impacts that quickly cascade across the state. Many of us have come to believe that Alaska’s ability to plan effectively is hobbled by the inability to define a singular most-likely scenario. Facing many different scenarios, ironically, makes it challenging to prepare for any one of them.

The goal of this workshop is to identify actionable ways to address and advocate these hazards in ways that leverage the expertise across organizations. The notably diverse set of invited speakers is sure to provoke discussion. Full information and registration at