Diversifying HayWired Communication

What is the Challenge?

The HayWired earthquake scenario, led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), anticipates the impacts of a hypothetical, highly detailed and scientifically plausible magnitude-7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault and its aftershocks. The fault is located along the east side of California’s San Francisco Bay and is among the most active and dangerous in the United States, because it runs through a densely urbanized and interconnected region. The HayWired scenario has many audiences including emergency mangers, business continuity planners, critical infrastructure operators, levels of government, politicians, community organizations, and members of the public. While relationships have been established with many of these groups, USGS acknowledges that more emphasis needs to be placed on inclusive engagement involving diverse cultural and ethnic populations and other socially marginalized communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Project Purpose

Volume 3 of the HayWired Earthquake Scenario Scientific Investigations Report highlights the societal consequences of damages and disruptions expected to result from the events described in the HayWired scenario, including impacts to socially vulnerable and marginalized populations. The project builds on these insights to answer the following questions in support of efforts to develop a broader inclusive engagement strategy:

  • What stakeholder groups in the San Francisco Bay Area can be most effectively engaged regarding the findings of the HayWired Scenario to assist with relaying key takeaways to underrepresented communities and diverse cultural and ethnic groups?
  • What are the priorities, interests, and concerns of the identified stakeholder groups, and how do these issues link to concepts addressed in the HayWired scenario?
  • What are the communication needs of target audiences represented by the stakeholders engaged, and what kinds of products will best resonate with them?

In collaboration with USGS, the Natural Hazards Center led an interdisciplinary team of six Bill Anderson Fund (BAF) Fellows through an iterative process that leveraged their unique insights, lived experiences, and commitment to addressing the disproportionate impacts of disasters in minority communities. The BAF Fellows have: 1) implemented environmental an scan that identified stakeholders and priority areas; 2) analyzed publicly available documentation about selected organizations and conducted outreach to representatives of stakeholder groups; 3) synthesized their analyses into summary profiles (also known as design personas) that highlight stakeholder motivations, priorities, competencies, and other key information; and 4) prototyped six information products that are tailored for six categories of stakeholder organizations including the target populations they serve. These categories include:

  • Energy and environmental justice organizations
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Financial security programs for lower-income communities
  • Grassroots organizations
  • Mutual aid networks
  • Public and mental health organizations


On October 21, 2021—the anniversary of the 1868 Hayward Fault Earthquake—the BAF Fellows presented prototypes of their information products at The HayWired Connection: Societal Consequences of Earthquakes, a public event featuring the rollout of the HayWired Volume 3 report.

Additionally, the project team developed a final report that summarizes lessons learned throughout the evolution of this project, provides recommendations for future developments of inclusive engagement related to HayWired and other USGS scenario products and projects, and highlights the final designs of the information products they developed. Click the thumbnail to download this report.

Project Team

USGS-HayWired Collaborator: Anne Wein, U.S. Geological Survey (awein@usgs.gov)

Project Advisor: Maryia Markhvida, Stanford University and World Bank

Principal Investigator: Nnenia Campbell, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado Boulder (Nnenia.Campbell@colorado.edu)

Bill Anderson Fund Fellows:

  • Mojeed Bello, Morgan State University
  • Jennifer Blanks, Texas A&M University
  • Paula Buchanan, Jacksonville State University
  • Judanne Lennox-Morrison, Texas A&M University
  • TyKeara Mims, Texas A&M University
  • Jean-Claude Ndongo, Florida Atlantic University