application of earthquake knowledge, as does the private sector, especially in the area of building design. Altogether, the contributors to reducing earthquake losses constitute a complex enterprise that goes far beyond the scope of NEHRP. But NEHRP provides an important focus for this far-flung endeavor. The committee considers that an analysis to determine whether coordination among all organizations that contribute to NEHRP could be improved would be useful and timely.

IMPLEMENTING NEHRP KNOWLEDGE

Most critical decisions that reduce earthquake vulnerability and manage earthquake risk are made in the private sector by individuals and companies. The information provided by NEHRP, if made available in an understandable format and accompanied by diffusion processes, can greatly assist citizens in their decision-making. For example, maps of active faults, unstable ground, and historic seismicity can influence where people choose to live, and maps of relative ground shaking can guide building design.

NEHRP will have accomplished its fundamental purpose—an earthquake-resilient nation—when those responsible for earthquake risk and for managing the consequences of earthquake events use the knowledge and services created by NEHRP and other related endeavors to make our communities more earthquake resilient. Increasing resiliency requires awareness of earthquake risk, knowing what to do to address that risk, and doing it. But providing information is not enough to achieve resilience—the diffusion of NEHRP knowledge and implementation of that knowledge are necessary corollaries. Successfully diffusing NEHRP knowledge into communities and among the earthquake professionals, state and local government officials, building owners, lifeline operators, and others who have the responsibility for how buildings, systems, and institutions respond to and recover from earthquakes, will require a dedicated and strategic effort. This diffusion role reflects the limited authority that resides with federal agencies in addressing the earthquake threat. Local and state governments have responsibility for public safety and welfare, including powers to regulate land use to avoid hazards, establish and enforce building codes to withstand earthquake forces, provide warnings to threatened communities, and respond to an event. The goals and objectives of NEHRP are aimed at supporting and facilitating measures to improve resilience through private owners and businesses, and supporting local and state agencies in carrying out their duties. Although implementing NEHRP knowledge should move ahead expeditiously, it is also essential that the frontiers of knowledge be advanced in concert, requiring that improving understanding of the earthquake threat, reducing risk, and developing the processes to motivate implementation actions, should all be continuing endeavors.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement