AF8 Roadshow 2021: The Science Beneath Our Feet

 


August 2021

 

We can’t predict earthquakes, but we can prepare for them. The AF8 Roadshow: The Science Beneath Our Feet shares Alpine Fault hazard science and preparedness information with communities likely to be impacted by the next Alpine Fault earthquake. It is designed to enable conversations, activate local knowledge, and support informed decision-making to increase awareness of, and our preparedness for, a future event.

New Zealanders are excellent at coming together to support each other in an emergency. The AF8 Roadshow encourages people to have these conversations in advance, so we can be better prepared for a future Alpine Fault earthquake.

Building on the success of the 2019 AF8 Roadshow, the 2021 itinerary was expanded to 16 public science talks and 16 school visits around the South Island. This second tour was well-received with record turnouts and an increased demand for information, reaching a total of 2,974 people over the course of 8 weeks from March-July 2021. The full 2021 itinerary can be found here.

 

Full house in Kokatahi. Credit: AF8

The AF8 Roadshow leverages the close partnership between science and emergency management, demonstrating the value of working together to be better prepared for natural hazard events in New Zealand. The talks are hosted by the local Emergency Management Group, with 11 science presenters of diverse expertise supporting the delivery of the public science talks in 2021.

AF8 Programme Lead, Alice Lake-Hammond explains, “By making this science available in a community setting, sharing it in a local context where it is of most relevance to the community, this is where it comes alive and where we see actions beginning to be taken.”

Mt Hutt College, Methven

“An hour-long talk is typically followed by an hour-plus Q&A session where the audience can gain clarification of the hazard science and better understand how it applies to them.”

“Often the answers start to come from within the community itself and it this sharing of local knowledge and experience that is so crucial to moving from a general awareness of the hazard to an active preparedness for a future event.”

The South Island Emergency Management Groups also recognise the AF8 Roadshow as one of the most effective way to bring their communities together to connect:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our communities to be involved in learning more about an event that could impact on them. The Roadshow really makes science accessible.” – Emergency Management Officer, Marlborough.

And, the engagement and feedback from schools has been equally as positive:

“The 3D mapping demonstrated the content really well. Students were able to visualise content that had been previously discussed. The tutor was inclusive and made sure everyone could see and have input into the discussions.” – Teacher, Otago

“I’m really scared of earthquakes. But now I understand why we have they and what I can do about them, I feel much better. Thank you for coming.” – Student, Golden Bay

The more we talk about the Alpine Fault, the more people want to know and it’s important that we keep these conversations going. A third AF8 Roadshow is planned for 2022.

 

AF8 Roadshow partners include: the six South Island Emergency Management Groups, The Earthquake Commission, QuakeCoRE: NZ Centre for Earthquake, Resilience to Nature’s Challenges and GNS Science.