Cover image for Earthquake fears, predictions, and preparations in mid-America
Title:
Earthquake fears, predictions, and preparations in mid-America
Author:
Farley, John E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
xvi, 198 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1420 Lexile.
ISBN:
9780809321773

9780809322015
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library QE535.2.U6 F37 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

The New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) generated the strongest earthquakes ever observed in the lower forty-eight states in 1811 and 1812. And the region is overdue for another damaging quake. When self-proclaimed climatologist lben Browning predicted that a major earthquake would shatter the Heartland on 2 or 3 December 1990, many living within reach of the New Madrid fault zone reacted with varying combinations of preparation and panic.

John Farley s study reports the results of four surveys conducted in the NMSZ both before and after the quake prediction. Thus, Farley notes the level of awareness and preparation at the height of the Browning-induced scare and shows to what extent earthquake awareness and preparedness were sustained in this region after the most widely publicized prediction in recent history proved baseless. All four surveys offer important insights into what people believe about earthquake risk in the NMSZ, what they know about earthquakes, what specific actions they haveand have nottaken in preparation for earthquakes, and what they think a severe quake would do to their neighborhoods.

Farley is the first researcher to study the response to an earthquake prediction while the prediction remained in effect and to continue the inquiry after the date covered by the prediction had passed. He is also the first researcher to look at earthquake awareness and preparedness in the NMSZ over an extended period of time."


Summary

The New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) generated the strongest earthquakes ever observed in the lower forty-eight states in 1811 and 1812. And the region is overdue for another damaging quake. When self-proclaimed climatologist lben Browning predicted that a major earthquake would shatter the Heartland on 2 or 3 December 1990, many living within reach of the New Madrid fault zone reacted with varying combinations of preparation and panic.

John Farley s study reports the results of four surveys conducted in the NMSZ both before and after the quake prediction. Thus, Farley notes the level of awareness and preparation at the height of the Browning-induced scare and shows to what extent earthquake awareness and preparedness were sustained in this region after the most widely publicized prediction in recent history proved baseless. All four surveys offer important insights into what people believe about earthquake risk in the NMSZ, what they know about earthquakes, what specific actions they haveand have nottaken in preparation for earthquakes, and what they think a severe quake would do to their neighborhoods.

Farley is the first researcher to study the response to an earthquake prediction while the prediction remained in effect and to continue the inquiry after the date covered by the prediction had passed. He is also the first researcher to look at earthquake awareness and preparedness in the NMSZ over an extended period of time."


Author Notes

John E. Farley is a professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. His books include Majority-Minority Relations, Sociology, and American Social Problems: An Institutional Analysis.


John E. Farley is a professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. His books include Majority-Minority Relations, Sociology, and American Social Problems: An Institutional Analysis.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

A rare sociological and psychological phenomenon developed in the early 1990s in the central US, centered on the complex subject of earthquake awareness, knowledge, prediction, and preparedness, and seriously impacted every citizen. Since the strongest earthquake series ever to hit the continental US did in fact occur there (not California!) in 1811-12, earthquake fears are naturally real, and much attention has been directed to the problems facing the region. Farley addresses the history, analysis, and impact of the pseudoscientific earthquake prediction by Iben Browning, uncritically and pervasively reported by the media. Trends in public awareness, concern, planning, reliable knowledge dissemination, and attempts at preparedness are revealed from extensive research and opinion surveys. Complexity of truths and perceptions, of human reactions, and of unavoidable scientific uncertainties are integrated and linked into several earthquake preparedness models for facing the inevitable occurrences of damaging earthquakes in the central US. Charts and graphs record hard data on public impressions and responses. Comprehensive, reliable, and very useful bibliography of about 125 citations. Must reading for all who are intelligently concerned about the sociological and psychological effects of earthquakes. All levels. T. L. T. Grose; Colorado School of Mines


Choice Review

A rare sociological and psychological phenomenon developed in the early 1990s in the central US, centered on the complex subject of earthquake awareness, knowledge, prediction, and preparedness, and seriously impacted every citizen. Since the strongest earthquake series ever to hit the continental US did in fact occur there (not California!) in 1811-12, earthquake fears are naturally real, and much attention has been directed to the problems facing the region. Farley addresses the history, analysis, and impact of the pseudoscientific earthquake prediction by Iben Browning, uncritically and pervasively reported by the media. Trends in public awareness, concern, planning, reliable knowledge dissemination, and attempts at preparedness are revealed from extensive research and opinion surveys. Complexity of truths and perceptions, of human reactions, and of unavoidable scientific uncertainties are integrated and linked into several earthquake preparedness models for facing the inevitable occurrences of damaging earthquakes in the central US. Charts and graphs record hard data on public impressions and responses. Comprehensive, reliable, and very useful bibliography of about 125 citations. Must reading for all who are intelligently concerned about the sociological and psychological effects of earthquakes. All levels. T. L. T. Grose; Colorado School of Mines


Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
1 A Brief History and Analysis of the Browning Episodep. 1
2 Who Believed Browning, What Did They Plan to Do, and Why?p. 21
3 What They Did Compared with What They Plannedp. 61
4 Trends in Awareness, Concern, and Preparedness, 1990-1993p. 87
5 Awareness, Concern, Knowledge, Experience, and Preparedness: Making the Linkagesp. 123
6 Explaining Awareness and Concernp. 142
7 Putting It All Together: What Explains Preparedness and How Can It Be Encouraged?p. 160
Referencesp. 185
Indexp. 193

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