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On November 30, 2018, Anchorage, Alaska, suffered a magnitude 7.1 earthquake followed by thousands of aftershocks. The quake was larger than the infamous 1989 Loma Prieta, California event. How did the Alaska Court System’s emergency response plans hold up? What can we learn from Alaska’s experience and its preparations? Christine Johnson and Alyce Roberts share their experiences and their insights having dealt firsthand with this powerful force of nature.
When we think of earthquakes, we think of California however Alaska’s quake was larger than the infamous 1989 Loma Prieta event (a.k.a. the World Series Quake) which burned a large portion of San Francisco’s marina district. Alaskans still remember the 1964 Good Friday quake: the most powerful earthquake ever to hit North America. This is a thought-provoking episode for listeners interested in trial courts, court administration, disaster recovery, continuity of operations plans (COOP), and emergency response plans. To see a video of the actual quake in one of Alaska’s courtroom access the YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjvpk2Fe6UQ.
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About the Presenters
Christine Johnson has been the Administrative Director of the Alaska Court System since 2009. A life-long Alaskan, she is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of Michigan Law School. She and her family lived in Anchorage during the 1964 earthquake.
Alyce Roberts is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Alaska Court System. As a member of the court’s senior staff, she is the AOC’s primary liaison with the clerks of court. In this capacity, she develops the annual statewide clerks of court conference program, facilitating the sessions and serving as a presenter. Alyce regularly works with court colleagues and justice partners to propose revisions to court rules and develop statewide clerical procedures. She serves on the Alaska Supreme Court’s Civil Rules Advisory Committee. She has worked for the Alaska Court System since 1989, holding a number of positions including clerk of court in Anchorage (the state’s largest general jurisdiction court). She serves on the National Association for Court Management’s (NACM) Board of Directors, chairs NACM’s Communication Committee, and she is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management (2010).
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