Meeting notes are available online.


EBMUD Board Room


“The Bay Area Prepares for the Next Large Earthquake”

Meeting Agenda

Opening Remarks and the Great ShakeOut, 2012
Jack Boatwright, Alliance Co-Chair and Thor Poulsen, Public Education Officer, Hayward Fire Department
Being Smart and Social About Preparedness - Smart Phone Technology and Social Networking
Emily White, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter and Kristin Hogan, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management
ShakeAlert - Building an Earthquake Early Warning System for California
Dr. Peggy Hellweg, UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory
Earthquake Safety Program and Earthquake Early Warning at BART
Kevin Copley and Thomas Horton, Bay Area Rapid Transit System

Speaker Biographies

Thor Poulsen, City of Hayward Fire Department
photo of Thor Poulsen

Thor Poulsen has spent the past thirty three years in fire service including working as a Firefighter, Operator, Suppression Captain, Haz-Mat Specialist, Acting Battalion Chief, Training Officer and currently serves as Hayward Fire Dept’s Public Education Officer. He also works with the Disaster Preparedness Outreach Program and is in charge of communication activities including the website and CERT training. In addition to these duties, he is also the media information liaison for significant events involving fire department emergencies. Captain Poulsen brings a wealth of experience and employs a realistic approach as to what the fire department can deliver in a timely format that enables the public knowledge of what to expect during a large scale disaster.

Emily White, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
photo of Emily White

As Director of Community Preparedness for the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, Emily oversees a team of hundreds of volunteers, AmeriCorps members and paid staff who deliver free disaster preparedness training to diverse Bay Area communities. She places special emphasis on preparing vulnerable populations – those who are most adversely affected by disaster and face the hardest road to recovery – by partnering with the neighborhood, government, nonprofit and faith-based agencies that serve them and customizing the message to meet their unique needs.

In 2009 Emily and her team completed the Prepare Bay Area initiative through which more than 1 million local residents learned how to make an emergency communication plan, build a disaster supply kit and safely respond to emergencies of all kinds. Building on the success of Prepare Bay Area, her team launched the Ready Neighborhoods initiative in 2011, a four year program designed to transform 50 underserved communities into models of disaster resilience, empowering local residents with the skills, tools and networks necessary to play a leadership role in their own community’s disaster response effort when the time comes.

Emily began her career at the American Red Cross in 2005 as a volunteer in their national call center supporting the response to Hurricane Katrina. She joined the staff shortly after to produce the chapter’s annual “Paint the Town Red” gala and other major fundraising events. Before joining the Red Cross, she served as Program Director with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, an international nonprofit organization providing business skills to youth from low-income communities. Emily developed her passion for social entrepreneurship after college when serving as a Small Business Educator with Peace Corps Nicaragua and has always found ways to support youth endeavors in business, arts, health and technology.

Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Barnard College of Columbia University, and she is a proud Leadership San Francisco alumna. Emily lives in Berkeley with her fiancé and is working on her green thumb, starting with tomatoes.

Kristin Hogan, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM)

Kristin Hogan is the Strategic Communications Planner at the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM) where she implements preparedness and resilience strategies. A goal of DEM’s outreach is cultural adoption of preparedness and resilience behavior through social communications, a methodology that leverages trusted social networks. Prior to joining DEM, Ms. Hogan developed social communications strategies for a variety of organizations at the local, state and federal levels. She also serves as the Earthquake Country Alliance Statewide Steering Committee Chair where she works to coordinate statewide earthquake and tsunami preparedness education activities and promotes the Earthquake Country Alliance’s cornerstone initiative: ShakeOut.

Dr. Peggy Hellweg, UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory
photo of Peggy Hellweg

Dr. Peggy Hellweg is the Operations Manager at the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (BSL). The BSL, which is celebrating 125 years of monitoring earthquakes in California and around the world, operates the Berkeley Digital Seismic Network (BDSN) with seismic stations and other geophysical instrumentation throughout central and northern California. Together with the USGS, the BSL bears responsiblity for monitoring and reporting on central and northern California earthquakes.

Dr. Hellweg has been a seismologist at UC Berkeley since 2001, and is currently a commissioner on the state’s Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the California Integrated Seismic Network.

She obtained her B.A. degree in Physics from the University of California San Diego and then spent 15 years in Germany. There she earned a Masters in Physics at the University of Goettingen (1976), and then entered seismology. She entered seismology with a position at the German Geological Survey’s broadband seismic array. After Dr. Hellweg returned to California, she worked at the US Geological Survey on the Parkfield Prediction Experiment before earning her degree with a study of volcano seismicity submitted to the University of Stuttgart (2000). Her research interests include seismic sources of all kinds and sizes. Most recently she has been working with a team to update magnitude estimation in the state, and to determine moment tensor mechansims for earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 3.5.

Kevin Copley, Bay Area Rapid Transit District
photo of Kevin Copley

I am the Manager of BART’s Computer Systems Engineering Division and have worked at BART since 1985.

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