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FEMA Funds Help Create Greater Awareness of Seismic Activity in Big Sky Country

Western Montana has a history of large damaging earthquakes, and it remains seismically active. Many of these earthquakes occur along faults that do not extend to the Earth's surface and are thus unmapped and unknown.  Thanks to a new program developed in Montana with the assistance of funding from FEMA, area residents will now have a greater understanding of the threat earthquakes pose.

FEMA has provided a grant of $30,822 to Montana via a Direct State Assistance Grant from the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.  The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG) is using the funds to match state funding to develop an online story map to help inform the public about seismic risks. A story map combines Geographic Information System (GIS) visualizations with related images and text to tell a story about a topic in a user-friendly, non-technical format.

The seismic hazards in the story map is intended to increase public awareness of earthquake hazards in Montana and educate the public about steps they can take to prepare for earthquakes. It includes information on historical Montana earthquakes, how the MBMG analyzes ongoing seismic activity, and how to prepare for future earthquakes and mitigate their effects.

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program is the coordinated federal effort to address earthquake risks facing the nation. To support national, state, and local earthquake safety and resilience activities, FEMA awards non-competitive, cooperative agreements to 36 states and territories as well as regional Earthquake Consortia and other multi-state groups to enhance and implement earthquake risk reduction activities.

Last updated July 12, 2020