Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 2:05 PM


GRAY, Walter E., Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University, 611 N Walnut Grove Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405,

Like many state surveys, the Indiana Geological Survey (IGS) receives requests to provide outreach services to educate diverse audiences about the science of earthquake hazards and emergency preparedness. Those services are typically limited to traditional methods of content delivery such as providing presentations, printed and online publications, and exhibit display booths. None of these methods, including interactive building and liquefaction models, provides audiences with an adequate perception of the shaking intensities produced by earthquakes of different magnitudes. As a result, audiences are left to recount their experiences of often infrequent, low-magnitude earthquakes, leading to complacency and poor comprehension of the potential energy of stronger events.

In partnership with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the IGS launched a unique addition to our outreach program in 2012: The Quake Cottage— a mobile earthquake simulator (25 x 8 x 14 ft) capable of creating intense shaking that mimics earthquake magnitudes ranging from approximately 3.0 to 8.0. This simulator is one of only three units in the United States. The interior of the simulator is designed to replicate a typical living room and demonstrates the effectiveness of preparatory measures to protect lives and prevent damages to personal property. A large viewing window allows audiences outside to view the participants while the simulator is in operation. In addition, each simulator outreach event continues to include the traditional methods of content delivery including presentations, publications, and exhibit displays.

Since the inception of the Quake Cottage, the number of earthquake-related outreach requests has increased over 700 percent from a previous high of 11 in 2011 to more than 80 in 2013. Over 7,000 participants have experienced one of the more than 40 events held each year. Ancillary benefits include increased media coverage, the creation of new partnerships, and greater participation in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut exercise.