All posts by Scuba Ron

Unit 8, assingment 4

It was relativity easy to find my community disaster plan.  It’s a little hard to find, but it’s linked on the city webpage.  It didn’t take me more than five minutes to find it.

I think we are semi well prepared, at least on paper.  I have a feeling that it was put together with the attitude of “well.. we should have one but we don’t care.”  However, I know about once a year there are community events that cover the topic of disaster plans, and what families should keep in mind.  So I think the general population is pretty ok.

After reading the plan, I didn’t really feel any better, but like I said, I think most of the individuals in the community aren’t really expecting the city to take care of them.  It seems everyone has some basic plan, which makes me feel better.

One thing I liked about the community plan, is there is a specific avalanche plan, which makes sense given where we are located.  I was surprised to find that.

Unit 8, Assignment 3

I think we are doing ok as a family when it comes to basic preparation.  We have some food, and first aid supplies, and a decent plan.  One thing I noticed as I was doing this, is that due to the humidity here, some of our stuff had some mold growing on it, and some of our first aid supplies were past their expiration date.  Our plan right now is to replace some of the expired stuff and moldy stuff this weekend (moldy first aid gear is no good.. ).  Also later this month we are planning on taking out the shelves we hastily built to store stuff on, and paint them.  They are currently just bare wood, but I’ve read that painted shelves actually help keep things mold free, especially if you use good paint.  Which really does make good sense, I just put them together quickly because they are in the closet and no one can see them.  Also we rearranged stuff for a little more air circulation.  So there have been actual changes made because of this class!

Disaster resilient communities

I picked an article that seems relevant to disasters in Alaska.  Its about Kivalina, a village on the coast of the Chukchi Sea, that is washing away due to erosion.  I had a hard time finding an article that I thought met the requirement, but I settled on this one because I have read about this village, and I got a chance to go to Kivalina last summer, and I think the whole situation is really interesting.

Basically, Kivalina is going to erode away.  Blame it on whatever you like, erosion, global warming, lack of sea ice, or any combination of those or any other reason, but the village of less than 400 people is eroding, and they are going to have to relocate.

Three key points of the article would be, other than they are going to have to move, the question of who is going to pay for it.  It could cost more than 100 million dollars to move the town more inland, or farther down the coast.  Another issue , or point, in the article is that no government agency is actually responsible for relocating a community, which is a problem if someone expects the government to pay to relocate one.  The last key point I thought was interesting is the mention of sea ice, or lack of.   Over the last 100 years that the village has been there (which apparently they blame the government for anyway), there has been heavy sea ice in the winter.  Ice in which the natives go out to hunt whales on.  Over the last few years, the ice has been thinner and not lasted as long, or not there at all, which ushers the erosion even faster.

I picked this article because it was one of only a few article I found that was actually about a disaster happening, and like I previously stated, I’ve been there.  I think its incredibly interesting, and I plan to go back this fall.  It’s not really “close to me,” but I do know a few people who live there, and I see it as a village that’s about to be gone.

Case Study 2, week 3

Case study 2, week three assignment

Due March 30, 2018

Mt. Vesivius

My favorite article is the BBC article, “The Unexpected Catastrophe.”  It is longer than the rest, but well written and easy to read.  I think it’s as accurate as possible for an event that occured almost 2000 years ago.  During my research I’ve found some conflicting information.  Example would that Vesivuis was inactive for a long period of time prior to 79AD, vs it was very active.  Also that the city of Pompeii was in decline prior to the eruption, vs it was in its heyday.  I’ll have to keep digging, but I think the events of the volcano are well known, just the details seem to be confused.

C.S. Week 3

Ron Radcliffe, C.S. Week 3.

The 1958 Lituya Bay Tsunami was created by a 8.3m earthquake along the Fair weather Fault.  It didn’t cause too much damage, and only 5 deaths, which is mild compared to many disasters, due to its fairly remote location.  However, the possibility of this type of event is a very high in areas around Southeast Alaska, and in some ways, we are still waiting for “the big one.”

The tsunami was the biggest wave ever recorded, at 1700 feet.  And amazingly enough, there were 4 survivors.  Howard Ulrich and his eight-year-old son, as well as two crew of another boat that sunk, but who managed to launch their lifeboat and ride it out.

My favorite article is “Surviving the biggest wave ever” (Kiffer, D).  It is a great narrative with lots of perspective from the few people who were actually there, and describes what it must have been like, as well as the cause of the wave.


Bressan, D.  (2017, July 9).  World’s Tallest Tsunami Hit an Alaskan Bay…  Retrieved from                      bay-in-1958-and-it-was-not-the-first-of-its-kind/#413a122f3d7c

N.A (N.D.)  Devastating Disasters.  Retrieved from  earthquake-alaska-july-10-1958/

Kiffer, D.  (2008, July 8).  Surviving the Biggest Wave Ever.  Retrieved from       

Davis, N. T.  (1960, April 1).  Alaska earthquake of July 10, 1958.  Retrieved from            earthquake-of-july-10-1958-intensity?redirectedFrom=PDF

N.A. (N.D.)  Worlds Tallest Tsunami.  Retrieved from


  1. why did the fire grow rapidly in Stanslais Nat’l forest, but not as rapidly in Yosemite?

Rain and Humidity played a role (weather), as well as how dry the forest was.  Allocation of resources is another issue, budget, etc.   From what I understand from the articles, the “forest management” was different in these two areas.  In the national parks (Yosemite), they typically let a fire run it’s course, as opposed to the Forest Service, who.. manages fires?  I’m not really sold on the ‘managing fires’ thing.  I don’t think humans are near good enough to try to manage nature, in really any way (I’ve read about lots of “managed fisheries” that are in horrible shape, which is why I have no interest in pursuing fisheries as a career).  It may be a little off topic, but there were some phrases in the video that I found ironic.  One was a “devastated forest,”  What is a devastated forest? Is it one that looks different than it looked last year?  Less people buying food at the local grocery stores because they can’t fish there right now?  Or “reforested the right way,”  What is, ‘the right way”?  Just let nature do its thing.  It’ll be fine.  This topic actually came up at work in the last week.  I do some work involving helicopters and firefighting, and in some situation in the past couple years, there were fires that we could put out, but they hadn’t gotten big enough yet, or threatened enough homes to yet, so the financial incentive wasn’t there to start fighting them, so the powers that be just let them get big enough to become a concern, and then started “managing” fires.  I’m not involved in this job to “save the forest” or towns, but I just like the excitement of working around fires. Otherwise it’s boring.  And I have seen there is a strong financial motivation for to fight fires.  There’s money to be made in fighting them.  Not so much is extinguishing.  Ok. Off my soapbox.

2) Social media is defiantly a double edged sword.  In some ways it can be a great way to disseminate information amongst a large number of people, very quickly.  But there really is no system of “checks and balances” to verify that information is correct.  I don’t know of any way to fix that, people are going to have to be smart and decide for themselves.


Comparison of Chilean and Nepalese earthquakes.

1, Why did the Chilean event result in a lower loss of life, compared to the Nepal or Haiti events?

I think after reading the articles, that the Chilean people are just better educated and more prepared to deal with earthquakes than the people of Nepal or Haiti.  Also the 2010 earth quake in Chile was farther away, 140 miles (give or take) as compared to the earthquake in Nepal, while was only 40 miles away

2.  How many were evacuated in Chili.

Due to the tsunami warnings in Chili, over 1 million were evacuated.

3.  Why was Chili was so well prepared, vs Haiti or Nepal?

Chile is not unfamiliar with earthquakes, and according to the articles, they devote some effort into preparing for and mitigating damaged/deaths from earthquakes.  There’s a better “public awareness” for earthquakes.  They have an educational campaign aimed at educating people how to be prepared, and what to do.  They also have stricter building codes.  And the continue to improve and prepare: after the 2010 earthquake they built a network of seismic sensors, which helps scientists send out warnings.  Haiti or Nepal do not do any of those things.


EOTW #3,

The most expensive two types of disasters from 1980 to 2017 are tropical cyclones, (850.5 Billion) and Droughts ( 236.6 Billion).

These are also the two deadliest, with cyclones claiming 3461 dead, and Drought 2993.

One idea for mitigation would be for the US to improve building codes in areas prone to cyclones (or hurricanes).  When I lived in Japan, I went thru several major typhoons, and it was a serious emergency for US personnel, but the Japanese people were driving there little cars to work like it was nothing.  I think a lot of it had to do with the types of buildings they lived/worked in, that seemed to be built with typhoons in mind (low, brick or concrete).  The biggest worry off base was a random coconut getting blown around, or a tree branch.


R Radcliffe

Dr. Larson

GEOS 380

Feb 7, 2018

1).  What geologic phenomena specifically caused the tsunami that inundated Whittier, AK, in 1964?  The tsunami was caused by underwater landslides, from silt that accumulates at the base of the fjord, slipping (being shaken loose) and sliding down into deeper water, causing the tsunami.

2)  How often have magnitude 9 earthquakes happened in the South Central Alaska region in the past 50 years?  Nine.  Roughly ever 630 years.

3)  Which Alaskan town was moved after the 1964 earthquake because it was built on unstable ground?  Valdez, Alaska

4)  Briefly describe the most interesting thing you learned fromt his video.  Everything about this event I find super interesting!  The dynamic landscape of coastal Alaska is why I live here!  If I had to pick one thing, I’d say how little time to react someone has once they feel an earthquake.  This is the first video I’ve seen that suggests people start making their way to higher ground immediately, even before the shaking has stopped.  I think the video said something like “less than 3 minutes” between the earthquake and the tsunami.  Thats fast!

Case studys

Here’s my two choices for case studies (sorry I’m late!),

My first case study will be on  the 79 AD Mt Vesuvius eruption.  I chose this because I’d like to know why it seems people didn’t leave Pompeii when an eruption was imminent.  I think this is one of the more interesting eruptions in volcano “lore” and history.  Three things I’d like to learn are:

  1.  Why didn’t people leave
  2. Can it happen again, and when
  3. Would people leave if enough warning was give?

For my second case study I’d like to do the Lituya Bay megatsunami, that occurred on July 9, 1958, when an earthquake caused landslide created one of the highest waves in recorded history.  There weren’t mass casualties, but there were three fishing boats in the bay at the time, one of which sank, killing the crew.  Similar events happen around southeast Alaska with some frequency.  I’d like to learn:

  1. If there is way to predict “problem areas”
  2. How to improve monitoring and prediction
  3. How to improve community development near these areas