ZAZEN by Vanessa Veselka, Chapter 24: “Hazard Maps”
from Arthur Magazine, posted over 3 years ago
I started with FEMA maps.
“This is how they cost out earthquake damage.”
I laid one on the drafting table so Jules could see.
“Sometimes people call them Ground Failure Maps or Hazard Maps. They show you where the land is unstable and prone to liquefaction.”
He leaned over. I traced a river gorge.
“Check that out.”
Jules brought the arm light closer.
“And if you think that’s bad, look at this.”
I unfolded a second map.
“That’s the city.”
Jules shook his head.
“I can’t believe you can just get these.”
“Everybody has them. It’s how they sell insurance.”
But it’s not like we were going to blow up a volcano or anything. Toppling a transmission tower was really a civil engineering problem. My job was just to figure out whether soil improvement techniques could be crudely adapted to destabilize land on a slope…