Appendix C [USGS]

Appendix C. Goals and Targets of the National Earthquake Loss Reduction Program (NEP)

The National Earthquake Strategy Working Group recognized that NEHRP lacked an effective means of coordinating non-NEHRP agencies' earthquake activities, as well as efforts of non-governmental and state and local governmental sectors dealing with earthquakes. A major difficulty in evaluating the success of NEHRP and identifying future priorities has been the lack of specific goals, targets, and products against which performance can be measured or expectations revised. The new strategy establishes specific integrated and coordinated research targets and associated products with timelines for completion. Though these targets will undoubtedly be revised, modified, and supplemented as more is learned about earthquake loss reduction, they provide a framework for measuring progress.

The following sections set forth the primary goals that define the strategy. Each goal has several targets which in some cases could be described as projects, but generally are more broadly based. While the targets are prioritized in order of decreasing importance, the goals are not. For most targets one or more products have been identified. The aim of the strategy is to maintain a focus on these products as the separate supporting projects are developed, conducted, reviewed, and completed so that information and technology transfer meets public expectations on national earthquake loss reduction. Consistent with their mission, the Federal agencies planning allocation of limited earthquake-designated resources will take into account the specific targets and products identified as high priority issues by the user community in both the public and private sectors. The dates suggested for meeting targets or completing products are estimated guidelines, not commitments.

Funds for the attainment of these goals are presumed to be limited to those currently in the budgets of agency programs involved in earthquake research or loss mitigation technology development.

Goal 1: Provide leadership and coordination of federal earthquake research

1. Work with the National Science and Technology Council to establish a leadership mechanism to assure implementation of the Strategy. The mechanism shall report every two years to the President and to the Congress on its findings, progress, and recommendations relating to earthquake risk reduction. Leadership mechanisms are needed for both national oversight and day-to-day coordination functions.

2. Integrate federal earthquake-related program planning into the new mechanism over a five year period beginning in Fiscal Year 1996. This shall include a detailed analysis during FY 1996 of agency expenditures and planned expenditures with the objective of identifying any redundancies and redirecting expenditures toward high priority targets.

3. Develop a balanced national prioritized research and mitigation agenda, confirmed or adjusted on a regular basis, incorporating a broad-based assessment of user needs that includes the needs of agencies to support special or unique missions.

4. Facilitate cooperation and leverage across all agencies and groups with programmatic interests in earthquake loss reduction, including, but not limited to federal, state, local, private, voluntary, and public utility agencies and groups.

5. Develop an overall nationwide strategic plan to integrate and coordinate existing but currently separate research and mitigation programs into a unified, needs-driven, goal-oriented program consistent with the National Earthquake Strategy goals.

6. Advocate policies and practices nationwide and recommend legislation as appropriate.

7. Conduct a biennial performance assessment and report of coordination and integration activities under the Program. This report shall include accomplishments towards achieving the goals and recommendations for improving the Strategy. As the Program matures the assessment and report can be conducted at less frequent intervals.

8. Provide a focal point for federal international collaborative programs in research on earthquake loss reduction and in technology transfer for improved earthquake hazard mitigation.

Goal 2: Continue to expand technology transfer and outreach

1. Develop credible earthquake scenarios including vulnerabilities and loss estimates which are sensitive to economic and political issues, using GIS technology.

2. Develop assessments of the costs and benefits of various mitigation strategies for new and existing construction.

3. Targeted training and education programs.

4. Encourage and assist regional consortia.

5. Embrace and support voluntary mitigation.

6. Communicate achievements, progress, and successes of the National Earthquake loss reduction Program and its member agencies and alliances

7. Encourage and assist the insurance industry through publishing regular reports and presenting updates in information and methodology at insurance industry fora.

8. Develop and disseminate tools for design professionals that incorporate state-of-the-art information on mitigation strategies and methods.


Goal 3: Improve engineering of the built environment

1. Develop improved analytical techniques for dynamic, non-linear response of complex, unconventional materials, structures, and lifelines.

2. Develop new and innovative systems of construction that are economical yet inherently earthquake resistant.

Products: 3. Develop performance-based * design concepts and criteria for buildings and lifeline systems.

[*Performance-based design criteria go beyond the intent of extant codes by incorporating a combination of more stringent practices in hazard definition, design analysis, test, construction, and inspection specifically tailored to ensure a specified level of structure damage control and contents functionality for a defined earthquake threat.]

4. Understand seismic behavior of non-building structures and lifeline systems.

5. Develop effective and economical methods to evaluate and retrofit existing seismically hazardous structures.

6. Develop experimental engineering research capability and conduct verification and proof-of-principle projects.


Goal 4: Improve data for construction standards and codes

1. Develop and make available for use by code writing bodies, state insurance offices, and insurance firms resource documents on improved, functionality-preserving seismic design criteria for new buildings and other structures, including cost estimates.


By the year 1998 -
By the year 2000 -
2. Develop and make available resource documents for use by code writing bodies, insurance companies, and regulators on performance-based seismic design standards for lifelines.

Products: 3. By the year 2005, develop and make available resource documents for use by code writing bodies, insurance companies, and regulators on rehabilitation standards for existing buildings and other structures.

4. By the year 2000, introduce multi-hazard standards.

5. Develop improved capabilities for analysis and testing of structures, including lifelines.

Products: 6. Develop means to mitigate tsunami effects by incorporating readings from deep-water pressure sensors to improve early tsunami warning systems.

Goal 5: Continue development of seismic hazards and risk assessment tools

1. Improve loss estimation methodology. Develop earthquake scenarios linking building types and lifelines with the effects of strong shaking and ground failure to provide better estimates of life losses, injury, public health impact, property losses, and indirect economic effects.

2. By the year 1998, develop seismic risk assessment methodology and quantify seismic risk for communities exposed to high seismic hazard.

Products: 3. By the year 2000, provide demonstration seismic hazard microzonation maps for representative sections of selected cities exposed to the highest earthquake hazard.

4. By the year 2005, provide regional seismic hazard maps, interpretations, and guidelines as the basis for seismic zonation, implementation of earthquake codes, and local land-use decisions.

5. Improve earthquake hazard assessment and forecasting using historical seismicity and paleoseismicity, and evaluate the role of emerging technologies such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) differential interferometry, high performance seismometers, borehole strainmeters, and monitoring of microseismicity and hydrologic effects at depth.

6. Provide high-quality earthquake recordings and derived basic seismic information to researchers and practitioners on an ongoing basis.

7. Understand critical earthquake topics such as plate interactions in subduction zones, blind faults, and fold and thrust belts appropriate to such geographically diverse areas as the Pacific Northwest, mid-continent, and Eastern United States.

8. Improve understanding of strong ground motions, including nonlinear site response, directivity and topographic effects, and foundation instability.

Products: 9. Provide an accessible digital GIS database.

Products: 10. Improve foreknowledge of and response to tsunami hazards.


Goal 6: Analyze seismic hazard mitigation incentives

1. Evaluate mechanisms and advise Congress and relevant Executive Branch Offices to achieve adoption and enforcement by the year 2000 of up-to-date model building codes and standards to govern all new building and lifeline design and construction.

2. Provide guidance and lead by example on specific mitigation measures which may be used in a federal incentive program.

Products: 3. Better understand the socioeconomic barriers to mitigation and preparedness.

Products: 3. Investigate barriers to insurance premium restructuring.


Goal 7: Develop understanding of the societal and institutional issues related to earthquake hazard reduction

1. Determine the social and economic benefits and costs of various mitigation measures such as codes, land-use planning, insurance, and educational programs for different sectors of society.

Products: 2. Identify the social, economic, and political factors that facilitate and hinder the adoption and implementation of seismic safety measures.

Products: 3. Investigate the societal responses to earthquakes, including emergency response systems, and individual, business, and community recovery from such events.

Products: 4. Analyze multi-hazard mitigation and preparedness planning.


Goal 8: Analyze the medical and public health consequences of earthquakes

1. Identify potential strategies to prevent or mitigate the adverse public health consequences of earthquakes through epidemiological research.
2. Integrate casualty and medical needs predictions into earthquake loss estimates.

Products: 3. Develop validated indicators for rapid assessment of the health effects and potential health effects of earthquakes and related health needs in order to determine the most appropriate medical requirements during the critical first few hours after impact.

4. Develop more effective rescue, medical training, and public health programs.

5. Review effective operational procedures for meeting the health needs of people with special requirements such as evacuees from hospitals and nursing homes.

6. Develop an emergency communications system to ensure effective coordination of medical and health needs at the local, State, and federal levels.

Goal 9: Continue documentation of earthquakes and their effects

1. Establish standards and specifications for official documentation of earthquakes by 1996.

2. Prepare and publish a reconnaissance report, collect ephemeral data, and complete major aspects of a research plan within one year of each major earthquake event.

3. Prepare and publish an in-depth report within four years of each major earthquake event.

4. Post information on electronic data base for easy access by any interested party.

Return to Contents of
Strategy for National Earthquake Loss Reduction

National Earthquake Loss Reduction [USGS]

A Severe National Threat [USGS]

Current Earthquake Program [USGS]

Need for Change [USGS]

A New National Earthquake Strategy [USGS]

Targets and Responsibilities [USGS]

Utilization of New Technologies [USGS]

Implementation [USGS]

The NEP and National Goals [USGS]

International Collaboration [USGS]

Appendix A [USGS]

Appendix B [USGS]

Appendix C [USGS]

Appendix D [USGS]

Abbreviations/Acronyms [USGS]

Executive Summary [USGS]

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