Initial Publication Date: February 17, 2022

Pathway 4: Community Resilience

How can we prepare our communities for earthquakes?

Essential Questions

  • What particular vulnerabilities exist in the built environment of my community?
  • What preparations can we do ahead of time as individuals, and as communities, to be ready for an earthquake?
  • How do different sectors prepare for earthquakes differently?

Essential Understandings

  • The risk you need to prepare for depends on the potential event you could experience
  • Planning and priorities will depend on the specific risks, resources and perspectives ("sectors")
  • Community resilience is strengthened with network connections; awareness contributes to more preparedness actions

Activity Pathway

Glossary of activity types (ex. Introductory, Inquiry, etc.) (Opens in a new window.)

Primary Activities

Engaging With Earthquake Hazard and Risk
Learners study earthquake hazards and the risk these hazards pose to humans in the communities in which we live. They compare three maps of Anchorage, AK, and consider factors that influence shaking intensity and damage to the built environment during earthquakes.
                        Introductory    |    Collaborative
Geologic Hazards and the Built Environment
Collaborative, research-based activity of varying lengths. Main outcome is to identify potential vulnerabilities in the built environment and possible solutions.
                              Collaborative    |    Inquiry
Geologic Hazard Community Action Plan (Capstone Presentation)
Culminating activity in which action teams collaborate to make a presentation to a City Council, School Superintendent, etc. about a problem in the community that needs to be addressed to ensure better geohazards resilience.

Supplementary Activities

Build a Better Wall
How can we design buildings to withstand an earthquake? This activity uses simple materials and gives learners a chance to experiment with structures that can withstand an earthquake.
                              Collaborative    |    Hands-on    |    Inquiry
Base Isolation
Exploration for learners to discover principles of engineering earthquake resistant structures. Base isolation a powerful tool for earthquake engineering. The buildings are constructed by two- or three-person learner teams.
                              Collaborative    |    Hands-on    |    Inquiry
Be Smart, Be Prepared! Planning an Emergency Backpack
Participants learn what to do before, during, and after a potentially damaging earthquake. They brainstorm contents for an emergency supplies backpack and then present on their ideas.
                              Introductory   |    Collaborative 
Alaska Earthquake Hazard Inventory & Mitigation Planning
Learners identify hazards for their community or area of interest in the event of a Magnitude 7 or larger earthquake. They inventory critical infrastructure, write a summary statement assessing strengths and vulnerabilities, propose actions to mitigating risks, and create an Action Plan.
Tsunami Vertical Evacuation Structures (TVES)
Students learn about tsunami vertical evacuation structures (TVES) as a viable solution for communities with high ground too far away for rapid evacuation. Students then apply basic design principles for TVES and make their own scale model that they think would fit will in their target community.
                              Collaborative    |    Hands-on


« Previous Page