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"Preparing for the Big Earthquake: Memphis' Katrina?" U of M Will Host Timely Earthquake Panel Discussion and Public Forum Oct. 28
For release: Oct. 20, 2005
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How will a major earthquake affect Memphis? How will first response agencies react? How can scientists help prepare for the inevitable? What should individuals do for their own survival?

Not only are these questions very timely in light of the major natural disasters to hit New Orleans and Pakistan within the past eight weeks, they are also the topics of a public forum Friday, Oct. 28, at the University of Memphis beginning at 7 p.m. in the Rose Theatre.

Panelists at the meeting will include political leaders, heads of crisis response agencies, and U of M faculty members with expertise in earthquakes, crisis response, and related areas.

U.S. Representative Harold Ford Jr., State Senator Mark Norris, and State Representative Joe Towns Jr. will participate. Norris is chairman of the Tennessee Senate Transportation Committee, and Towns is the chairman of Shelby County's legislative delegation.

Representing response agencies will be Joseph Rachel, earthquake program manager, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region IV; Eddie Boatwright, deputy director, Tennessee EMA; James Bolden, director, Department of Homeland Security, District 11; and Claude Talford, director, Memphis-Shelby County EMA. Glenn Curole, president, Mid-South Chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners, and Rick Howe, a private consultant, will also join the agency panel.

U of M panelists will include Dr. Arch Johnston, director, Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI), and Gary Patterson, director, Information Services, CERI; Dr. Brian Waldron, Ground Water Institute; Richard Janikowski, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice; and Dr. Arleen Hill, Department of Earth Sciences.

The panel discussions will be moderated by Dr. Buddy Schweig, Central and Eastern U.S. coordinator, Earthquake Hazards Program office, U.S. Geological Survey. Following the panel discussions, the session will be open to questions from the audience.

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