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Perception of earthquake hazard and risk in the province of Quebec and the need to raise earthquake awareness in this intraplate region

Maurice Lamontagne and Brian Flynn
Perception of earthquake hazard and risk in the province of Quebec and the need to raise earthquake awareness in this intraplate region
Seismological Research Letters (September 2016) 87 (6): 1426-1432

Abstract

In 2014 and 2015, two telephone surveys were conducted by the Insurance Bureau of Canada to evaluate the perception of earthquake hazard and risk in the province of Quebec, Canada. An additional survey evaluated the uptake of earthquake insurance in Quebec and in British Columbia. The surveys brought to light some sobering aspects regarding the perception and knowledge of earthquake hazard and risk and of individual earthquake response in Quebec. The surveys show that despite the large proportion (>75%) of the population who live in medium-to-high hazard zones, most Quebecers remain unaware of the potential danger or downplay the associated risk of damage and falsely assume that their basic insurance policy includes earthquake coverage. Also, only a small proportion of the population (15%) know the appropriate actions to take during an earthquake (i.e., drop, cover, and hold on [DCH]). This situation leads to the question of what role seismologists can play to improve earthquake awareness and preparedness. To increase awareness of the proper reaction during an earthquake, we suggest that seismologists use every opportunity to communicate DCH The DCH message is especially important when the public's attention is increased, for example following felt or damaging earthquakes, either local or distant. Seismologists could include DCH in their postearthquake media communications and in their public lectures. The low earthquake awareness is a major impediment to preparedness. Enhancing earthquake preparedness of the general population is a big challenge, and communicating hazard information is just one element of a larger picture. Direct earthquake experiences, attitudes and beliefs, and the perception of personal risks are all important factors in message receptivity with respect to earthquakes. Improving the general public's preparedness requires coordinated and well-considered strategies and actions derived from seismological and social sciences knowledge with the active participation of emergency management organizations. In regions with low earthquake awareness, this requires a coordinated, well-considered long-term plan with a strong public involvement at the local level.


ISSN: 0895-0695
EISSN: 1938-2057
Serial Title: Seismological Research Letters
Serial Volume: 87
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Perception of earthquake hazard and risk in the province of Quebec and the need to raise earthquake awareness in this intraplate region
Affiliation: Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Pages: 1426-1432
Published: 20160926
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, El Cerrito, CA, United States
Number of pages: 7
References: 32
Accession Number: 2016-092844
Categories: SeismologyEnvironmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendices
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
N45°00'00" - N63°00'00", W79°00'00" - W57°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201645
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