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6 Public Awareness, Education, and Capacity Building The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) national strategy proposal states that "before individuals and communities can reduce their risk from landslide hazards, they need to know the nature of the threat, its potential impact on them and their community, their options for reduc- ing the risk or impact, and how to carry out specific mitigation measures. Achieving widespread public awareness of landslide hazards will enable communities and individuals to make informed decisions on where to live, where to purchase property, or locate a business. Local decision makers will know where to permit construction of residences, business, and critical facilities to reduce potential damage from landslide hazards" (Spiker and Gori, 2000, p. 19~. The strategy indicates that a range of activities, tailored to local needs, will be needed to raise public awareness of landslide hazards and encourage landslide hazard preparedness and mitigation activities nationwide: · Develop public awareness, training, and education programs involving land-use planning, design, landslide hazard curricula, landslide hazard safety programs, and community risk reduction. · Evaluate the effectiveness of different methods, messages, and curricula in the context of local needs. · Disseminate landslide hazard-related curricula and training modules to community organizations, universities, and professional societies and associations. 73
74 PARTNERSHIPS FOR REDUCING LANDSLIDE RISK This component of the strategy recognizes that knowledge about the risk and about various options for mitigating the risk must form the fundamental basis for providing support to communities at risk from landslides. Providing the data and information that will lead to knowl- edgeable communities is a complex undertaking that can best be accom- plished with a combination of federal-level coordination and resources and state-level interaction with decision makers, professionals, and the general public. Education and information dissemination activities should be carefully targeted, recognizing that these different groups have differ- ing education and information requirements. Outreach materials may have to be prepared in multiple forms targeted toward the different audiences, and scientific information, maps, and monitoring data must be available in appropriate forms for use in emergency management, land- use, and public and private policy decisions. Disasters that occur provide an excellent opportunity to educate the public about natural hazards and lessons one can learn, especially with respect to improving hazard mitigation. Although this information is important for decision makers, it is of critical importance for educating the general public. The public can, in turn, bring pressure to bear on elected officials to take appropriate mitigation measures. The committee agrees that the brief statement in the strategy proposal provides a broad outline of public awareness and education requirements. The remainder of this chapter presents comments and suggestions related to capacity building for decision makers and professionals, together with a brief description of a program Learning from Landslides- for gaining the maximum information from past landslides. 6.1 EDUCATION FOR DECISION MAKERS Planning for the education component of a national landslide hazard reduction strategy must recognize that the reduction of landslide losses through land-use planning and application of building and grading codes for private lands is the function of local government and will be imple- mented by local government decision makers. All of the advice and infor- mation supplied to decision makers will be of little value if they are not convinced of the need to take a recommended course of action and guided in understanding and using the available information. Well-prepared landslide risk analyses that relate to the geographic area of a jurisdiction are an excellent way of pointing out to decision makers the seriousness of a landslide hazard and the consequences of not taking appropriate miti- gation steps. Well-illustrated studies that describe the risk of financial and personal losses can also be an effective tool.
PUBLIC AWARENESS, EDUCATION, AND CAPACITY BUILDING 75 The strategy should ensure that information about the need for land- slide hazard mitigation and the available tools to achieve mitigation are available at the local level in all areas of the country where landslides pose a significant threat to urban and urbanizing areas, and that decision makers are provided with natural hazard decision support systems that are appropriate for their particular jurisdictions. Education and training at national, state, and local levels will be required, designed and targeted to ensure that they reach those most responsible for hazard mitigation. This must be tied to major natural hazard mapping efforts undertaken at the federal and state levels. As well as provision of maps, it should also include interpretive materials and guidelines to assist with using the maps in the local planning and regulatory environment, recognizing that locali- ties throughout the nation differ in both their regulatory authority and their approach to reducing losses from landslide hazards. It is likely that programs specifically developed for lower levels of governments, with local involvement (e.g., participation of state geologists), will be more readily received and widely implemented at the local level. In some areas, regional associations of government entities might also become a focus of such programs, and regional offices of federal agencies (e.g., Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA], Federal Highway Administra- tion [FHWA], U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [USAGE]) could play a sig- nificant role in coordination and funding efforts. In addition, centers should be identified in each state to which cities and counties can turn for additional information and assistance. Such outreach must be a continu- ing effort rather than a single occurrence. Several agencies, such as FHWA and FEMA, operate regular training programs for state and local officials that might serve as models for devel- oping training courses for the landslide hazard mitigation program. Another model might be the successful training program developed and operated by the Colorado Geological Survey, where specialists from the state survey meet regularly in various parts of the state with engineering and building practitioners and local government personnel, including elected officials, to discuss geologic issues of concern to local communi- ties. During these sessions, the agenda includes education components and discussion of specific problems. Similar education activities involving interaction between state and local officials, to target aspects of landslide mitigation, should be developed for all landslide-prone areas. In addition, examples of successful past programs exist. Two pro- grams financed by FEMA in California, the Southern California Earth- quake Preparedness Project and the Bay Area Regional Earthquake Pre- paredness Project, attest to the success of vigorous outreach programs. In each instance, boards representing the user constituency provided overall
76 PARTNERSHIPS FOR REDUCING LANDSLIDE RISK guidance. Staff then went out to local communities with materials and assistance, and remained available on a continuing basis. More recently, the HAZUS program and Project Impact, both developed and promoted by FEMA, have been major steps in providing information and assistance to local communities. In addition, local training sessions have been held in some areas, with information about geologic hazards being supplied and practical applications explained. In the mid 1990s, the USGS funded a series of such workshops in the San Francisco Bay area. These workshops were conducted by earth scientists and planners and addressed local government employees (including engineers, building inspectors, plan- ners, and consultants). The objective was to improve the level of under- standing and performance at the local level. In the late 1970s-1980s, the USGS and the Department of Housing and Urban Development spon- sored the San Francisco Bay Region Environment and Resources Planning Study (see Box 3.5) (USGS-HUD, 1971; USGS, 1974; Kockelman, 1975~. That study focused on developing geologic information and guidelines for using the information in planning and policy making. It was highly successful in the region and serves as a model for what might be accom- plished in other areas. These efforts have depended on a combination of federal assistance and a receptive audience. If loss reduction with respect to landslides is to occur, these types of programs must be instituted and promoted vigorously in landslide-prone regions. Another avenue for increased interaction among the various practi- tioners would be to implement a formal arrangement among federal, state, and local governments to loan or rotate employees. This effort could use the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) program that presently exists and would only require active encouragement by senior management. Such cross-fertilization would help to create a working, effective network; would aid effective communication; and would broaden the experience base of the employees involved. It is clear that there is no single correct approach to developing a strategy for providing the required education and information to decision makers. Rather, it will take the varied efforts of many agencies and indi- viduals to be successful. Some of these efforts will require a high level of coordination, whereas others will depend on the actions of individuals under differing circumstances. 6.2 ASSISTANCE FOR PROFESSIONALS An extensive amount of research and practice has occurred in land- slide science and engineering over the past 150 years. Consequently, a substantial amount of valuable information regarding landslides exists, encompassing fundamental science; hazard identification; assessment and
PUBLIC AWARENESS, EDUCATION, AND CAPACITY BUILDING 77 mapping; techniques and methods for evaluation and analysis; and strat- egies, tools, and procedures for mitigation. This knowledge is available from a wide range of agencies and locations, including the published literature (e.g., Turner and Schuster, 1996~; federal, state, and local agen- cies; private engineering and applied science firms; and developers, planners, and others. One of the most valuable aspects of a national land- slide mitigation program would be the efficient dissemination of existing and future knowledge to engineers, scientists, planners, developers, and other professionals who deal with various landslide issues on a day-to- day basis. At present, there are a number of agencies and institutions offering continuing education programs in landslide assessment, analysis, and mitigation for practicing professionals, including FEMA, FHWA, USACE, some academic institutions, and several state highway departments. Many academic institutions offer undergraduate and graduate courses in geo- science and engineering that focus on, or include, landslide mitigation topics. However, despite the large number of education programs and the involvement of several agencies offering valuable guidance, there is no coordinated approach to ensure that the required education and guidance are provided to the wide range of professionals and offices having inter- ests and responsibilities in landslide hazard mitigation. There are at least five fundamental areas in which coordinated educa- tional programs for professionals should be established: (1) the funda- mental science of landslide mechanisms; (2) landslide hazard and risk assessment and mapping; (3) geotechnical engineering evaluation and analysis of landslides; (4) mitigation of active and potentially active land- slides; and (5) social issues in landslide hazard mitigation. Educational programs for each of these five areas are described briefly below: 1. Understanding the fundamentals of landslide mechanisms is a basic requirement before the other issues and challenges can be addressed. For the most part, the mechanisms of various landslide processes are reasonably well known (see Chapter 2~. The problem in predicting land- slides is a lack of understanding regarding the detailed site conditions and subprocesses that change in time and space. Education in the funda- mental mechanics of slope failure processes would provide the necessary scientific background for the scientists, engineers, and planners at the local level that deal with landslide problems on a frequent basis. 2. Planners, scientists, and local engineers must be trained in the methods and concepts of landslide hazard and risk assessment and map- ping (and even, in some cases, in the use of maps). Many city, county, and state offices have the data systems (geographic information systems and databases) with which to begin to develop landslide hazard and quantita-
78 PARTNERSHIPS FOR REDUCING LANDSLIDE RISK live risk evaluation and mapping programs. Several localities, such as Cincinnati, Ohio (see Box 1.3), have already developed an impressive capability for landslide hazard and risk evaluation and mapping. Lessons learned from the Cincinnati program and other successful efforts should be considered during the development of a standard recommended approach and the preparation of educational programs for local and state agencies. 3. One of the most important activities following the occurrence of a landslide in a critical area is the geotechnical evaluation and analysis of the feature. There appear to be as many methods of geotechnical investi- gations as there are practitioners. One reason for the broad range of investigational procedures is the uniqueness of each landslide. There are, however, fundamental data requirements for every type of landslide investigation that should be determined before mitigation activities are initiated. Several chapters in Landslides, Investigation, and Mitigation (Turner and Schuster, 1996) provide an excellent foundation for the development of a standard geotechnical investigation program for engineers and geo- scientists. The educational program for geotechnical investigations should focus especially on the roles of the geologist and the engineer in terms of each person's responsibility, the criticality of dialogue between the two at all phases of the investigation, and opportunities for synergy. 4. Upon completion of the geotechnical investigation of active or potentially active landslides, mitigation activities commence. Mitigation may include decreasing driving forces, increasing resisting forces, avoid- ance, or some combination of all of these approaches. Many state and local agencies and private engineering firms have substantial experience in developing and implementing engineering methods for landslide miti- gation. These agencies and firms have developed methods that work in their area or in the various areas in which they have been involved. A concerted effort should be made to catalogue these experiences and methods and to develop a comprehensive educational program for agen- cies and firms in all areas. This would ideally be undertaken by a federal- state-local-private partnership, probably with state geological surveys acting as the principal point of contact because of the geological variability among states. 5. The social issues in landslide hazard mitigation are often more difficult to resolve than the technical issues. Generally, the social issues revolve around the mitigation alternative of avoiding landslide hazard areas when possible. Use of the alternative of avoidance for landslide miti- gation requires that a large number of issues be addressed, many of which are dear to persons in the area affected. Consequently, those with the responsibility for developing mitigation plans have to be aware of all of the challenges associated with the social issues of landslide mitigation. In
PUBLIC AWARENESS, EDUCATION, AND CAPACITY BUILDING 79 this respect, the social science-focused activities of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder, represent a valuable resource. Professional societies such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Association of Engineering Geologists, the American Geological Insti- tute, the American Institute of Professional Geologists, and the American Planning Association (APA) serve as conduits of information from researchers to practitioners and from practitioners to researchers. The recently established two-year partnership between USGS and APA to pro- vide training and technical support to local planners (Gori et al., 2003) is an example of this type of activity. Professional societies are generally the source of model codes, handbooks, and professional training for their membership, who in turn use the information to improve the state of knowledge of landslide loss reduction in the private and public sectors. These all can become valuable assets in the dissemination of information on landslide hazards. There are at least four areas in which guidelines and specifications could be developed from existing information that would offer immediate benefit: 1. landslide hazard and qualitative risk assessment; 2. methods and procedures for landslide identification, evaluation, investigation, and analysis; 3. tools, materials, and conceptual designs for landslide mitigation; and 4. decision making by the public. 6.3 LEARNING FROM LANDSLIDES Lessons learned though investigation and documentation of land- slides can result in important insights that are invaluable for reducing losses from future events. To accomplish this, a Learning from Landslides (LFL) program should be created to carry out field investigations of sig- nificant landslides and to record and disseminate their findings. Such a program would generate new knowledge and should lead to changes in practice across many disciplines. This LFL program would provide a forum to observe and document landslide-generating mechanisms, as well as the effects of landslides on the natural and built environment and their resultant social, economic and policy implications. Findings from the LFL program, available on the web, would stimulate new research in each of the interrelated fields that landslides impact. The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, a highly regarded national nonprofit association of earthquake engineering academics and practitioners, has a well-developed Learning from Earthquakes program that is in the process of being expanded
80 PARTNERSHIPS FOR REDUCING LANDSLIDE RISK to include additional hazards (e.g., floods), and this program could serve as a model for the LFL program. The LFL program should be overseen by a broad, cross-disciplinary steering committee that would develop criteria for selecting the landslides to be investigated, determine the level of investigative response, and select members and define the responsibilities of the investigating team. The range of expertise of team members would encompass geological and geotechnical engineering, transportation and public utilities, emergency management and response, urban planning, and public policy. The range of factors that would influence the choice of particular landslides to be investigated would include the location relative to public works or popu- lation centers, risk of death or injuries, potential secondary or consequen- tial impacts, and so forth. The LFL program could provide small grants during the one- to five-year period after a major landslide to document lessons learned from the recovery and reconstruction process.