GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 182-27
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


LUGO BENDEZÚ, Raquel1, ÁLVAREZ GANDÍA, Yahaira1, HUGHES, K. Stephen1, DAVIS, Lindsay A.2, GODT, Jonathan W.3 and PEEK, Lori A.2, (1)Department of Geology, University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez, Call Box 9000, Mayagüez, PR 00681-9000, (2)University of Colorado Boulder, Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, CO 80309, (3)U.S. Geological Survey, Geologic Hazards Science Center, Denver Federal Center, P.O. Box 25046, MS 966, Denver, CO 80225

Heavy rainfall associated with Hurricane Maria triggered over 40,000 landslides on the island of Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of the disaster, Puerto Rican officials expressed a desire for educational materials related to landslide hazards. To address this need, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder have partnered with geologists and students from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez to develop landslide outreach materials. We aim to increase awareness of landslide threats and inform risk reduction strategies by creating a range of products tailored to the Puerto Rican context that emergency managers and mitigation practitioners can use to communicate landslide risk to residents of Puerto Rico.

This poster will feature a mock-up of a Spanish-language graphic-based educational booklet on landslides that reflects the local geologic and cultural setting of Puerto Rico. Printed pamphlets are a commonly used form of educational materials for landslide hazards, and we examined a range of existing pamphlets to inform the development of the educational materials for Puerto Rico. Informal interviews and existing risk communication literature targeted to communities on the island suggest that such pamphlets are useful but not sufficient to adequately communicate hazard risk in Puerto Rican communities. Thus, the booklet we are developing will be the first step in a broader effort to facilitate discussions with disaster risk communication stakeholders and will be expanded into multiple modes (e.g., animated videos, flyers, and social media posts) to be distributed in community-based settings. The project will use ongoing monitoring and evaluation to update the educational materials based on user input and to inform future risk communication efforts.