Oct 30, 2015 / Geology, M9

Don’t be scared, be prepared: A response to the New Yorker article “The Really Big One”

Shelley Chestler, UW seismology graduate student
The July 2015 New Yorker article “The Really Big One,” by Kathryn Schulz, shook up the Pacific Northwest (PNW) more than any earthquake has since the Magnitude-6.8 Nisqually earthquake in 2001. In the article’s most dooming statement, the head of the Cascadia FEMA division was quoted saying, “everything west of I-5 will be toast.” This assertion scared the living daylights out of PNW residents, creating a sense of terror and hopelessness that was the antithesis of what the article meant to do: to spur the region into preparing for this potentially devastating event. 

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Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities Lecture Recap: UW’s Kate Starbird

More than ever before, people—emergency responders, media, and the public—are turning to social media to communicate important information during times of crises, both natural and manmade. Whether to articulate their own whereabouts to friends and family after a disaster has occurred or to offer up help to others in need, connected crowds are wading through noise and rumors that persist online to assist in the aftermath of tragedy. 
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Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities: Q&A with Team Rubicon’s Jake Wood

Former Marine Jake Wood didn’t stop serving when he returned from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, he serves fellow veterans and communities in crises across the globe. Wood is the co-founder and CEO Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that works with military veterans to respond in the immediate aftermath of natural hazards—before conventional aid organizations arrive.
A CEO, author, and former U.S. 
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Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities Lecture Recap: Journalist Jed Horne

On Tuesday, October 20, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Jed Horne took the stage to discuss lessons learned and unlearned ten years after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana.
Part of the Surviving Disasters: Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities series from UW College of the Environment, UW Alumni Association, and UW Graduate School, Horne focused on life in a post-apocalyptic environment. 
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Oceanography consortium donates XPrize winnings to UW sensor lab

A team of industrial, academic, and nonprofit institutions that was among the top finishers of the recent ocean acidification XPrize is donating its winnings to a University of Washington lab that helps track ocean conditions worldwide.
The donation, made Oct. 13 during an event at the UW College of the Environment and announced by Honeywell, will allow the UW and the international Argo program to begin broadening observations to include ocean acidification. 
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Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities: Q&A with UW’s Kate Starbird

From city to city and across continents, barriers to communication are fewer than ever before. In an increasingly connected world, where the 24-hour news cycle reigns and a billion people are on Facebook, people have grown accustomed to instant, accessible information that spans the globe.
Kate Starbird, assistant professor at the UW’s College of Engineering, is exploring a new type of “digital volunteerism” that leverages social media as an online meeting place during crises. 
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Oct 19, 2015 / Weather & Climate

UW study: Will Puget Sound’s population spike under climate change?

What began as mere speculation has started to take a more serious turn. Climate change is now implicated in flooding, droughts, heat waves and other catastrophes that computer models predict will become more common. Suddenly, a region long mocked for its gloomy weather seems like it could be a welcome refuge from a hot, dry future.
A UW graduate student recently took an in-depth look at the issue, which would have implications for the region’s long-term water supplies, transportation and other infrastructure. 
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Bubble plumes off Washington, Oregon suggest warmer ocean releases frozen methane

Warming ocean temperatures a third of a mile below the surface, in a dark ocean in areas with little marine life, might attract scant attention. But this is precisely the depth where frozen pockets of methane ‘ice’ transition from a dormant solid to a powerful greenhouse gas.
New University of Washington research, whose lead author is UW professor of oceanography H. 
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Oct 15, 2015 / M9

The Great Shakeout

On October 15, 2015 at 10:15 a.m. PST, people in the northwest and around the world will practice their earthquake safety skills during the Great Shakeout. This event is a great opportunity to practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On and a good reminder on the importance of earthquake preparation.
Prepare for an earthquake

UW Emergency Management: Earthquakes
UW Emergency Management: What NOT to do during an earthquake
UW Emergency Management: Earthquake Awareness & Personal Preparedness (PDF)

  

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Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities: Q&A with journalist Jed Horne

As a journalist, Jed Horne is after the truth. During his time as the city editor at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, he spent a great deal of time examining the truth in order to tell authentic stories. Before and after Hurricane Katrina arrived at the city’s doorstep, the truth—especially what was conveyed to national and international audiences—was muddled.
Horne set out to set the record straight. 
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