Skip to main content
Geosciences LibreTexts

7.6.12: Leaders in Earthquake Mitigation; Are You Ready To Step Forward?

  • Page ID
    6519
  • Overview

    I close this chapter with two people who are ordinary citizens, not earthquake scientists or engineers, but who took on the role of citizen leader.

    The first is Diane Merten of Corvallis, a housewife with a large family, who began attending meetings at Oregon State University soon after the paradigm change recognizing the earthquake hazard facing the Northwest. Diane took it on herself to organize leaders in the city of Corvallis and in Benton County to prepare against earthquakes. This project was so successful that she was asked to lead other communities around the country in organizing themselves locally against disasters. Diane served as a citizen member of a committee appointed by the congressional Office of Technology Assessment evaluating the reauthorization of NEHRP.

    The second is Roger Faris, a native of Seattle. In the early 1980s, Roger quit his general contracting business to develop a neighborhood home-remodeling cooperative in Phinney Ridge in Seattle. In the early 1990s, he met Brian Atwater, who told him about the earthquake dangers to the Northwest. When Project Impact started, Roger was the logical choice to develop a course in retrofitting homes against earthquakes. The course was taught regularly; the tuition is ten dollars. In 1999, he was honored by FEMA as Outstanding Citizen of the Year, an award he received in Washington in Hawaiian shirt and khaki pants. As Inés Pearce of Seattle’s Project Impact put it, Roger is “one of those 1960s holdouts—a granola-headed idealist who puts his talent into building community rather than personal profit.”

    We need more contractors like Roger, who can help people who want to strengthen their homes against earthquakes.


    Suggestion for Further Reading

    American Red Cross. 1985. The emergency survival handbook. Available from your local Red Cross office.

    Lafferty and Associates, Inc. 1989. Earthquake preparedness—for office, home, family, and community. Available from P.O. Box 1026, La Canada, CA 91012.

    Morgan, L. 1993. Earthquake survival manual. Seattle: Epicenter Press. 160p.

    National Science Teachers Association. 1988. Earthquakes: A teacher’s guide for K–6 grades. NSTA Publications, 1742 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009.

    Seismic Safety Commission. 1992. The Homeowner’s Guide to Earthquake Safety. SSC 92-01. 28p.

    Yanev, P. 1974. Peace of Mind in Earthquake Country: How to Save your Home and Life. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.