This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Postby oregon » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:28 pm

Good Afternoon!

I've looked for this topic and haven't a seen it, so I'd like to know a bit about the earthquake situation.

I live in "earthquake country" and we all are waiting for our "big one" But compared to Oregon, Alaska seems to be the big winner in this category. So....I've read the geologic maps and such and would like to choose a town that has smaller or no quakes. I don't know if I want to live way up north so any insight would be lovely.

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Re: Earthquakes

Postby Johncn » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:02 am


Well, there is a question we've never had before that I remember! I think I can help a little.

Alaska is indeed a very seismically active area. This means we have lots of volcanoes and earthquakes. Most Alaskans have experienced earthquakes, and depending on where you live and what kind of structure you are in, it can be anything from a bit exciting to a bit scary. Of course, earthquakes also cause tsunamis. I've worked at schools where we had earthquake drills and tsunami drills, and in villages where air travel is temporarily halted due to volcanic eruptions. We raised our kids in these communities, so obviously we thought the risks manageable.

Assessing the risk of earthquakes alone, FEMA puts out maps that color code risks by “seismic design categories” (SDCs) on alluvial soils. These re䌀ect the likelihood of experiencing earthquake shaking of various intensities. They are intended to guide engineers and architects in building suitable structures to minimize risk, but seem to specifically address your concerns. You can learn about these here:

FEMA Seismic Design Categories Maps ... __fema.pdf

Here is the one for Alaska:


And the key to reading it by risk:


It would make sense to me to use the SDC map correlated with a map of Alaska school districts in your planning.

Here at ATP we have an archive of the map of school district boundaries that Alaska EED used to publish, but no longer does so far as we know. The map is still accurate, and can be downloaded using the link below the thumbnail below:


Download Alaska School District Map:

Hope this helps, and thanks for the interesting question.


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Re: Earthquakes

Postby oregon » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:19 pm

Thank you so much John for this reply. It is very helpful and we love the maps!
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Re: Earthquakes

Postby madowlspeaks » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:19 am

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Location: New England

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