National Earthquake Resiliency Coalition Newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 2, March 2018
Coalition News
National Earthquake Conference 2020
 
Based on survey feedback from the NERC members, the top two preferred locations for the National Earthquake Conference (NEC2020) are Salt Lake City and Washington D.C. Top considerations cited for Salt Lake City include proximity to the West Coast, travel affordability versus Washington D.C., and that the conference timing could coincide with the Utah Great ShakeOut on the third Thursday of April.

Considerations for Washington D.C. include proximity to decision makers that would raise the profile of NEHRP reauthorization, drawing a wider pool of news media, and access to a larger attendee population. During the recent NERC meeting, the group discussed hosting a Capitol Hill education day or "fly in" in 2019 to raise the profile of NEHRP reauthorization as an alternative to Washington D.C. siting for the NEC2020. 

If you have not already participated, please complete this survey so we may finalize the the siting decision. Click here to take the survey. 
Upcoming Events & Disaster Conference News
QuakeSmart Workshops 

FEMA and FLASH are now completing the 2018 schedule of free Ready Business - QuakeSmart workshops for interested cities, counties, private sector partners, tribal governments, and others looking to prepare their business community for earthquakes.

If you would like to learn more  about these valuable workshops featuring the Ready Business - QuakeSmart Toolkits , expert speakers, and local risk information, contact Mike Rimoldi at Mike@flash.org today.

Please help us share and promote this opportunity through your networks.
National Earthquake Program Managers Meeting 

Attention National Earthquake Program Managers! It is time to register for this years meeting that will take place Monday, April 30 to Thursday, May 3 in Seattle. All meeting and hotel-related information is available  here and please note that the hotel room block expires on March 30, 2018, and the registration cutoff is April 23, 2018. If you have any questions,  contact Matthew Wall  or Brian Blake .
Partner Profiles 
Patricia Sutch
Western States Seismic Policy Council -Patricia Sutch, Executive Director 

Q:  What is the background/history of your organization?

A: The Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC) was the first earthquake consortia to form as a result of the passage of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act in 1977 and the establishment of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) the following year. 

The first meeting was held in 1979 with 8 western states in attendance. By 1983 there were 13 member states in WSSPC. Over the years membership grew to include 3 Pacific territories, British Columbia and Yukon. The annual meetings were organized by the western state members until WSSPC incorporated in 1996, when subsequent annual meetings were centrally organized. In 2000 we initiated the quadrennial National Earthquake Conference.  Read more >
New Reports & Findings 
The New Madrid Earthquake Struck 206 Years Ago

By K.N. Smith, Forbes, February 7, 2018

206 years ago today, an earthquake rattled nearly the entire eastern half of the U.S. People felt the shaking over a million square miles; it startled President Madison in the White House 900 miles away and rang church bells in Boston 1300 miles away. Closer to the source of the quake, the Mississippi River flowed backward, over new waterfalls formed by the shifted earth. Fissures several miles long split the ground and swallowed several people, then belched out geysers of water, mud, sand, and coal. And at the epicenter, the quake completely destroyed the town of New Madrid, Missouri.   Read more >    
New map profiles induced earthquake risk for West Texas

By Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, Science Daily, February 8, 2018

Stanford geophysicists have developed a detailed map of the stresses that act in the Earth throughout the Permian Basin in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico, highlighting areas of the oil-rich region that could be at greater risk for future earthquakes induced by production operations.

The new study, published this month in the journal The Leading Edge, provides a color-coded map of the 75,000-square mile region that identifies those potential oil and gas development sites that would be would be most likely to trigger an earthquake associated with fluid injection.  Read more >    
In shadow of San Andreas fault, hundreds of Inland Empire buildings face collapse in huge earthquake

By Rosanna Xia, Rong-Gong Lin II, and Raoul Ranoa, Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2018

In a fast-growing Inland Empire churning out new housing tracts, the city of Redlands is a throwback to an older, more regal era.

The college town is graced by historic mansions, old orange groves and a vintage downtown that stands in deep contrast to the region's big-box shopping centers and drive-through eateries. The town center is defined by century-old buildings filled with children's boutiques, bakeries and cafes serving gourmet waffle sandwiches out of brick-lined alleys.  Read more >    
'This is an urgent issue': Seattle makes little progress on buildings that can kill in earthquakes

By  Sandi Doughton  and  Daniel Gilbert , Seattle Times, February 17, 2018

As Lianne Dalziel strolled through Pioneer Square on an afternoon in late fall, she cast a wary eye at the century-old brick buildings that give Seattle's original neighborhood much of its charm.

Dalziel is the mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand, which used to have a similar historic district before an earthquake reduced the trendy pubs, restaurants and art galleries to rubble.
During a visit to share lessons from the  2011 disaster, which killed 185 people, Dalziel offered a blunt warning for the earthquake-prone Pacific Northwest: "You might be on borrowed time."

But Seattle's  decades-old effort to strengthen vulnerable buildings remains stuck.  Read more >    
Scientists create AI system to detect and locate earthquakes

By Karen Graham , Digital Journal, February 22, 2018

The state of Oklahoma has seen a rise in the number of earthquakes, many of them believed to be caused by the fracking boom. Before 2009, earthquakes above magnitude 3.0 in the state went from fewer than three a year to as many as 903 in 2015.

Researchers have been working on a number of new technologies, including satellites, underwater seismic sensors and software to detect earthquakes and even predict them. One new tool unveiled in the journal Science Advances last week looks to be very promising. 
Read more >
Record Number of Californians Applied for Earthquake Retrofit Grants

By Insurance Journal , February 26, 2018

The Earthquake Brace + Bolt program closed its latest registration with more than 7,500 California homeowners applying for 2,000 retrofit grants.

The EBB, funded primarily by the California Earthquake Authority, closed registration on Friday.  The CEA reported the turnout on Monday.

EBB is designed to help lessen the potential for earthquake damage to qualifying older houses by granting up to $3,000 toward a seismic retrofit.  Read more >
Garcetti wants better earthquake safety for L.A.'s day care centers, private schools and steel towers

By Rong-Gong Lin II , Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2018

Mayor Eric Garcetti  on Friday called for Los Angeles to significantly improve its planning for a major earthquake, saying the city should consider mandatory retrofits of steel-framed buildings and earthquake evaluations of private schools and day care centers.

Los Angeles already has some of California's strongest quake retrofit laws, which cover brick buildings, concrete-frame structures and wood-frame apartments. Friday's announcement marks the first time Garcetti has specifically raised the possibility about whether the city should require the retrofitting of vulnerable steel buildings built before the 1994 Northridge earthquake.  Read more >
Cascadia Earthquake Prep: Parents Want Stockpiles At Schools To Prepare For 'The Big One'

By Tom Banse , Northwest Public Broadcasting, March 13, 2018

Planned student walkouts Wednesday bring attention to reducing the threat of school shootings. One group of Northwest parents is pushing schools to prepare better for another kind of disaster, a major earthquake. 

If the Big One happens on a school and work day, Portland mother Laura Hall figures fallen bridges and buckled roads will prevent many parents from reuniting with their kids quickly. And if a Cascadia megaquake strikes afterhours, disaster victims may end up at the nearest school in hopes of finding help and shelter.

So a group Hall co-chairs called  Parents4Preparedness is asking local schools for permission to stockpile emergency supplies to last for days in a shed or shipping container.  Read more >
New Cascadia quake analysis shows building retrofits could save many lives

By Sandi Doughton , Seattle Times, March 15, 2018

There are plenty of grim statistics in a new analysis of potential damage from a Cascadia megaquake, but the report also includes several surprisingly hopeful findings.

Among them:
  • Most single-family homes, with their flexible wood frames, should hold up well to the type of moderate ground shaking expected.
  • The bulk of injuries will be minor, which means training more people in basic first aid could have a big payoff.
  • Even moderate seismic upgrades to older commercial buildings would significantly reduce the number of people killed or injured and the level of property damage.
The report , released Thursday from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, is the most detailed damage estimate for a magnitude 9 Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake in a major urban area, said Ian Madin, the agency's deputy director. It focuses on the three-county Portland area, but experts say many of its conclusions apply to Seattle and surrounding communities.  Read more >
California earthquake standard designed to save lives but not buildings. There's a new push to do both

By Rong-Gong Lin II , Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2018

California's seismic construction requirements are designed to protect the lives of those inside. But even with the most modern codes, building to the state's minimum requirements would leave even new buildings severely damaged in a major earthquake - to the point of being a complete loss.

Earthquake experts have become increasingly concerned about this, noting that a massive temblor would leave many without homes and offices for months if not years.

When a magnitude 6.3 earthquake directly hit Christchurch, New Zealand's third largest city, in 2011, 70% of the buildings in the central business district were damaged, but all were completely closed because it was too dangerous to be anywhere downtown.  Read more >
Earthquake insurance rates rise as S.C.'s risk heightens

By Waren L. Wise , Post and Courier, March 17, 2018

The fault line under Charleston shifts, and a massive earthquake jolts South Carolina.
Buildings crumble, fires rage and roads become impassable. Functioning hospitals are overrun, potable water is hard to come by and tents sprout up outside homes.

It's happened before. In 1886, when what is believed to be a 7.3-magnitude quake startled Lowcountry residents one warm August evening just as everyone was about to go to bed. About 60 people lost their lives, and the shaking was felt up and down the eastern seaboard and as far west as the Mississippi River.  Read more >
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