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A New National Earthquake Strategy [USGS]
A NEW NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE STRATEGY
The NESW's review has resulted in the formulation of a strategy that will enhance existing elements of NEHRP and mobilize and coordinate the actions of numerous programs in the federal government into an aggressive, focused National Earthquake loss reduction Program (NEP).
The NEP will enhance cooperation and coordination among the NEHRP agencies and will include numerous other federal agencies involved in earthquake-related activities to avoid duplication and ensure focus on priority goals. The program will ensure inter-agency strategic planning so that our financial resources are directed to the most effective means for savings lives and property and limiting the social and economic disruptions from earthquakes. The NEP will strive to improve the linkages in earthquake loss prevention and mitigation between the federal government and the State and local governments and private sectors where much of the mitigation measures must be undertaken. One of the most important elements of the NEP is education - informing and educating people of the regional hazard and of steps that could be taken to mitigate the hazard.
The NESW also recognized that a major reason for the difficulty in identifying priorities and in evaluating the success of NEHRP has been a lack of specified goals, targets, and priorities against which expectations can be set and performance measured. An important feature of this national Strategy is the establishment and articulation of goals in nine major categories, each supported by specific targets, products, and proposed timelines that provide a framework for measuring progress and mapping a path forward. Existing federal programs will be streamlined and tailored to attain these goals; no new funding is expected.
The goals of the National Earthquake loss reduction Program are:
Provide leadership and coordination for federal earthquake research;
Improve technology transfer and outreach;
Improve engineering of the built environment;
Improve data for construction standards and codes;
Continue the development of seismic hazards and risk assessment tools;
Analyze seismic hazard mitigation incentives;
Develop understanding of societal impacts and responses related to earthquake hazard mitigation; Analyze the medical and public health consequences of earthquakes; and
Continue documentation of earthquakes and their effects.
The NEP will also examine wind effects and their mitigation as part of its charter. The expansion is appropriate because the forces from severe storms and ground-shaking have similarly destructive effects on the built environment and because mitigation efforts and improved building standards and practices will be most usefully and efficiently implemented if developed for both earthquake and wind hazards.