Earthquakes are nothing new to Alaskans, but few people understand the significance of strategic earthquake planning. On Tuesday, June 17, 2014, Governor Parnell signed a bill to extend the term of the Alaska Seismic Hazard Safety Commission until June 30, 2020.
Michael West, the Alaska State Seismologist and director of the Alaska Earthquake Center director, part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, is one of 11 governor-appointed ASHSC members. The commission meets regularly to assess seismic hazards and risk potential within the state. They determine and recommend goals and priorities to lessen earthquake risk to public and private sectors, as well as advise the governor and legislature on policies to reduce the state’s vulnerability to earthquakes.