2023 Keynote Speaker
Resilience Director at Ethos Preparedness
Steven and his wife were living in Sri Lanka when a massive tsunami struck the country, taking 35,000 there and 200,000 others in communities surrounding the Indian Ocean. His work on the Lanka Tsunami Response Team took him to every tsunami-impacted district, where Steven saw firsthand the toll that disasters take on unprepared countries and communities.
Only upon returning to the US did he learn that his native Pacific Northwest is awaiting a very similar event: a tsunami-generating subduction zone earthquake. Since 2016, Steven has dedicated his career to disaster preparedness education and advocacy, with a particular focus on communities and workplaces that will be impacted by the Cascadia Subduction Zone and San Andreas Fault system. He’s delivered more than 200 earthquake preparedness presentations, reaching more than 25,000 audience members.
The aim of Steven’s work is best embodied by a 2018 TEDx Talk, "Why we do not prepare for earthquakes." Disaster un-preparedness is a fragile cultural phenomenon that can be undone if enough people step up to the challenge. His role is to recruit new voices to the challenge. Steven specializes in earthquake and tsunami preparedness for the home and office, creating workplace preparedness culture, Earthquake Early Warning (ShakeAlert), and presentation training.
2023 Keynote: The Pursuit of a New Normal
Tuesday, March 7, 2023 • 8:45-9:45 a.m.
Studies have shown that people are not even minimally prepared for disasters in an increasingly disaster prone world. In an unsparing examination of its own efforts, FEMA concluded that the development of “individual cultures of preparedness from the bottom up could eventually lead to a more resilient nation.” Your workplace is potentially such a culture. With your leadership, your employees are 75% more likely to prepare. Where do you start?
This presentation attempts to answer two fundamental questions about workplace disaster preparedness:
- Why do people not prepare for disasters?
- How do we create cultures of preparedness?
By the conclusion of the presentation, the audience will understand:
- The elements of effective preparedness education
- How disaster preparedness differs from other public safety/health issues
- The influence that visibility plays in the adoption of new behaviors
- The role that emotion plays in taking preparedness actions
- Data-backed examples of moments when people are likely to take preparedness actions
- The “Goldilocks Moment” demand curve for preparedness
- Tactics that their workplace can implement to cultivate preparedness culture
Breakout session: Shake Alert! The New Earthquake Early Warning System
Tuesday, March 7, 2023 • 1:15-2:30 p.m.
An overview and practical application of an earthquake early warning.