Brown Bag w/ Beth Reddy on Earthquake Alert System

FRTL discussion with Beth Reddy (Doctoral Candidate and FRTL Resident) titled: Communicating Alerts: matter, meaning, and the social production of earthquake emergency

Friday, 4/29
ACWS 200

In order to prevent injury and save lives, earthquake early warning systems like Mexico’s public Sistema Alerta Sísmica Mexicana must pair timely, effective hazard detection with effective alert dissemination to responsive users. Alert dissemination is thus a crucial part of their function. Here, I attempt to reckon with the complex ways that an alert, even without a large earthquake following, can be an earthquake emergency. I engage ethnographically with just such an event which happened on the night of September 29, 2015, and the subsequent public debates about the effects it might have. Considering the ways this event was made to have meaning, I argue that attending to the social production of emergency points to the necessity of public preparation and education for more than major earth motion.

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