UW News

December 3, 2002

800 Puget Sound-area businesses needed for study exploring impacts of earthquake-caused transportation disruptions

Researchers exploring the impacts of transportation disruptions caused by earthquakes and other natural disasters on businesses in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties are looking for 800 Puget Sound-area companies to participate in an on-line questionnaire by mid December.

The questionnaire, designed by University of Washington geography professors William Beyers and Stephanie Chang, takes up to 15 minutes to complete and explores the earthquake vulnerability of local business.

“We want to know what kinds of transportation disruptions businesses experienced during last year’s Nisqually earthquake and what their impacts would be under different scenarios of likely future earthquakes described in our survey,” said Beyers.

“We are focusing on transportation because it is the piece of public infrastructure that is at greatest risk in a major earthquake. The ideal person at a company to complete the questionnaire is someone who is knowledgeable about earthquake risk or is the firm’s disaster coordinator.”

All responses will be treated as confidential, and respondents will not be asked to identify their firm, Beyers said. The data will help improve preparedness for future earthquakes which seismologists say could be far more damaging than the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually quake.

The survey is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. It is part of the Project Impact of Pierce and King counties effort, a public-private partnership. Participants include the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the emergency management agencies of King and Pierce counties, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the UW’s Pacific Earthquake Engineering Center, Bank of America and EQE, an engineering consulting firm.

Company representatives interested in participating in the study can find the questionnaire at http://www.geographicresearch.org/


For more information, contact Beyers at (206) 543-5871 or beyers@u.washington.edu or Chang at (206) 616-9018 or sec@u.washington.edu