LISTEN: What Alaskans’ response to the 1964 earthquake can teach us about approaching crises today.

Jon Mooallem, journalist and author of “This is Chance!” about renowned Alaskan journalist Genie Chance and her coverage of the 1964 earthquake (photo credit: Meghann Riepenhoff)

The COVID-19 outbreak has drawn comparisons to other viral outbreaks and disasters in history like the Spanish Flu of 1918 or even 9/11.

It can be scary and isolating when a singular event suddenly makes life uncertain. But, it also provides an opportunity for people to help each other out.

That observation colors the new book “This is Chance! The Shaking of an All-American City, a Voice that Held It Together” about renowned Alaska journalist Genie Chance and her extraordinary coverage of the 1964 earthquake that devastated the state.

Journalist and author Jon Mooallem talks with Lori Townsend about his book and what he learned about how Alaskans made it through a day that literally turned their world upside down.

Listen to this story:

Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at or call 907-350-2058.

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