Warning and Response to the Mount St. Helens Eruption
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This comprehensive book traces the warning, planning, and response to the eruption of Mount St. Helens in May 1980, as seen through the eyes of key actors in the emergency. Based on first-hand accounts by 130 officials of government, private industry, and volunteer organizations—individuals who played prominent roles in preparing for and dealing with the eruption—it represents a unique overview of the problems and procedures involved in learning about, planning for, and dealing with a major disaster.
Ironically, the first official warning had come as early as two years previously. More warnings came several months before the explosion. Yet many persons involved either ignored them or remained unaware that they could be affected. The book shows how this happened, suggesting steps that can be taken to insure future preparedness for large-scale emergencies.
Thomas F. Saarinen is Professor of Geography at The University of Arizona. James L. Sell is Vice President of Sun Belt Research in Tucson, Arizona.