Scientist to discuss how we can adapt — and improve our survival — to future natural disasters

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Camp Fire survivor faces second natural disaster in one month

Heavy rain Thursday led to flooding and muddy conditions on Centerville Road in Chico, leaving behind even more damage in communities already burned by the Camp Fire.

Although, muddy roads and occasional fires may not be new for many residents on Centerville Road, nothing could have prepared them for back to back natural disasters.

Camp Fire survivor Steve Heliker says he and his wife have lived in their dream home off Centerville Road for more than 20 years before the November fire…


Scientist to discuss how we can adapt — and improve our survival — to future natural disasters

What makes a natural disaster?

Lucy Jones knows — she spent three decades as a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Today, she leads the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, an organization that helps communities adapt to disaster. She defines “disaster” as an event in which a community’s ability to respond is outpaced by one of Earth’s natural forces.

On Thursday, Jones will discuss the history of natural disasters at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Northwest Washington. In “The Big Ones,” she will consider how past disasters can help societies become more resilient today. (Those outside of the District can tune in live via the Carnegie Institution’s website or Facebook page.)

You’d think societies would adapt following fires, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes and more. But Jones says there is a major hurdle to overcome: human psychology. When we survive disasters, it’s easy to believe that we can withstand worse events…


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