CONNECTING HAZARDS RESEARCH AND GEOLOGIC MAPS TO RISK REDUCTION
The foundation of hazard assessment is characterization: hazard type, history, expected frequency, areas at risk, and range of severity. Detailed characterization, particularly via primary and derivative geologic maps, can inform preparedness efforts from programs to policies. Geospatial information helps delineate potential threat to life, the built environment, and natural systems: this can be applied to hazard vulnerability analyses and policy decisions, e.g., building codes, land-use laws, insurance requirements and pools. Geologic mapping, particularly enhanced by high-resolution imaging, have more immediate applications as well: contributing to planning and exercises, informing public warning during emergency response, and supporting recovery and restoration.
One of the most important applications of hazards research is also one of the greatest challenges: making information accessible to users in policymaking, public safety, and the general public. Effective risk and crisis communication demands understanding and incorporating risk perception principles, identifying audiences, and recognizing their needs and constraints.