Induced Earthquakes and Your Disaster Management Plans

Erik Bernstein crisis management, disaster crisis management Leave a Comment

Are man-made quakes putting your organization at risk?

Most organizations in our home state of California have disaster management plans that include the possibility of earthquakes because everyone is well aware that the state sits on several major fault lines. But, did you know that fault lines aren’t the only thing causing quakes?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), oil and gas industry practices are responsible for an increasing number of tremors in areas with little to no natural occurrence. By pumping wastewater from fracking operations into deep wells for disposal the industry is reportedly putting additional pressure on faults, which in turn results in what the USGS calls “induced earthquakes”. In fact, recently released USGS maps indicate that the risk of damage from earthquakes in certain areas of the Central and Eastern United States  is comparable to that of natural quakes in high-risk areas of California.

USGS natural and induced earthquakes map 2016

In terms of crisis management, this means that many who formerly may not have considered earthquakes likely may need to rethink. In the bigger picture, this is a reminder that it’s important to regularly re-evaluate the threats that could impact operations because they can and do change.

The BCM Blogging Team

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