Living in the Pacific Northwest, we all know that a major quake is imminent. Oregon Public Broadcasting has had a great series, Unprepared, about the pending quake in Oregon. There are also a wealth of books on the topic. I particularly recommend John Clague, Chris Yorath, Richard Franklin and Bob Turner’s, At Risk: Earthquakes and Tsunamis on the West Coast. This well written book is filled with images and maps, to detail the potential risks of an earthquakes in different sections of the Northwest. If you live in Western Washington you’ll want to check out the map on page 117; Portland or Vancouver? See the map on page 118. And if you live on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands, you’ll want to look at the map of tsunami run-up potential on page 138. Then you’ll want to check out the photo of what a piece of 2 by 4 lumber did to a tire during a tsunami during the 1964 Alaska earthquake. The book conveys complex scientific information in clear and readable prose. The chapters on diverse topics also have a clear flow. If only all science writing was as approachable as in this book.
Still, I love podcasts, so my favorite resource is probably the five part CBC series Fault Lines. The series is organized by time, so that the first episode discusses different forms of quake that may strike Vancouver, while the second episode describes the quake itself. What makes the podcast particularly insightful, however, is that the majority of the episodes focus on the period of time after the quake. This compels the listener to imagine what that experience will be like for survivors, and how well prepared they themselves may be. Surviving the earthquake is only the first step on a long journey. The podcast is an unsettling and insightful exploration of the topic, which will leave you musing about the danger for days. Curious? You can hear the teaser here.