From Pompeii to Katrina: What Lessons Can Be Learned from 'The Big Ones'

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A sign is posted warning of earthquake damage to the road from seismic activity at the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island on May 17, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. The U.S. Geological Survey said the volcano erupted explosively in the early morning hours today launching a plume about 30,000 feet into the sky. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Dr. Lucy Jones knows earthquakes. For years, the seismologist was called in by news outlets to explain earthquakes after they had hit, earning her the nickname "The Earthquake Lady." But what Jones came to understand -- and eventually to promote in her decades-long career at the U.S. Geological Survey -- is that even though events like earthquakes and floods are inevitable, humans don't often prepare for them. Jones joins us to discuss her new book, "The Big Ones," which describes natural disasters from Pompeii to Hurricane Katrina and what we can learn from them.

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Dr. Lucy Jones, author, "The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them); founder, the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society; research associate, the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech