The research tasks for each program were intended to develop the science, engineering, and societal approaches necessary for making better risk management choices to prevent catastrophic losses. The outreach tasks, on the other hand, were intended to facilitate the transfer of research findings into practice. The report proposes that achieving the goal of catastrophic loss prevention requires not only technological breakthroughs but also the translation of research results into professional practice and decision-making. For example, the report identified one central focus of earthquake engineering research as the need to merge current and future information technology advances into the practice of earthquake engineering, with the objective of reducing the uncertainty associated with hazard, performance, damage, and loss prediction of the built environment. However, while loss-reduction strategies that address specific structures and systems are important, the plan also stressed the need to protect the social fabric of communities against earthquake losses, requiring more comprehensive and holistic approaches.
The cost of the plan was estimated at $358 million per year for the first 5 years of a 20-year program of funding for activities within the NEHRP agencies. The total estimate for the 20-year plan, including capital investments, was $6.54 billion, with the expectation that funds would ramp up at a 15 percent annual rate over the first 5-year period of the Plan. Details of the budget over the 20-year period are presented in Tables B.1 and B.2.
The report indicated that accomplishing the plan would require a high level of coordination among the NEHRP agencies, as well as with other federal agencies and state and local government organizations, the earthquake engineering research community, organizations responsible for promulgation of building codes, engineering professionals, and government officials. Importantly, the benefits would not be limited to preventing catastrophic losses from earthquakes. Plan outcomes would also provide substantial benefits for homeland security and other initiatives to increase community resilience to extreme events. Through advances in the design of buildings and facilities, planning measures for addressing population growth and land use, and technologies that address emergency management and recovery, the initiatives presented in the report would complement and enhance programs to reduce the threat of terrorist attack and harmful effects of other extreme events such as blast, wind, flood, and fire.