Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Guidelines for developing an earthquake scenario

As outlined in my wiki article (which amazingly has survived intact!), an earthquake scenario is a planning tool. For this article, I am just outlining some of the points in the EERI publication.

First, why would a city (or province!) want an earthquake scenario?

Scenarios are widely used to better understand and help plan for the future. A successful scenario tells the story of a defined earthquake and its specific impacts. It draws the reader in by incorporating familiar aspects of the community that they can readily recognize. It helps decision makers to visualize specific impacts that are based on currently accepted scientific and engineering knowledge.

See? A scenario is not something to be scared of! It's not like you're admitting that a great white shark is cruising the beaches! It's just a boring planning tool.

Scenarios help to challenge assumptions. Conflicts that arise between planners when constructing a scenario can help to clarify issues or areas where knowledge is lacking. Challenges from other agencies provide new views which would not be possible if disaster planning occurred privately or individually.

There is nothing worse than the current assumptions for Western Lake Ontario, and the Ottawa Valley.

What can ordinary people do? Emergency Measures Ontario is just a big police call centre, they don't have the flexibility to spend money. I would suggest that if anybody finds the next OPG regulatory hearing (perhaps held in the Ajax Pickle Factory!), then they raise the point about regional earthquake planning. After all, it affects the safety of the plant, if everybody is running around like headless chickens! They might slough off responsibility, but they are the only ones that can make things happen (along with the sleepy CNSC!).

*Note to CNSC: If you want to restore your reputation after gutted out all your brains, then you should jump on this!

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