The well known statement "Earthquakes don't kill people, buildings do" highlights the need to make our communities more earthquake resilient. The impact of earthquakes on public safety and the national economy can be reduced through improvement of the built- environment to resist earthquake effects such as ground shaking. Reduction of the economic impact on individuals and the nation can also be reduced by additional means such as earthquake insurance.
Improving the ability of the built environment to resist earthquakes requires research in at least three areas: (1) quantification of earthquake effects, such as ground shaking, into a form suitable for use by design engineers (e.g., structural and geotechnical engineers), (2) improvement of design practices, and (3) knowledge of the types of damage that occur as a consequence of earthquakes.
Objectives that work toward achieving this goal include:
- Develop state-of-the-art web tools to estimate earthquake losses. These will incorporate the latest scientific and engineering data available from the project along with existing data, such as that developed in the HAZUS Project (conducted by NIBS with funding by FEMA).
- Develop fragility/vulnerability models for specific structural systems for use by the engineering community and earthquake loss modeling community.
- Maintain close interaction with the earthquake insurance industry and earthquake loss modeling community to prepare products that can be used in the evolving area of earthquake loss estimation.
Furthermore, this task aims to increase the percent completion of earthquake hazard assessments for moderate to high hazard areas, by increasing the use of such assessments for mitigation.