RESILIENCY in our HOUSING

 

RESILIENCY is defined as the capacity of a system, community or society potentially exposed to hazards to adapt, by resisting or changing in order to reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning and structure. This is determined by the degree to which the social system is capable of organizing itself to increase this capacity for learning from past disasters for better future protection and to improve risk reduction measures (UN ISDR, 2006; also SDR, 2005).

 

SOME HISTORY - In 1977, congress established the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). In carrying out their mandate, they established four new federal agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). NIST, in its role as the NEHRP lead agency, published a Strategic Plan in 2008. NIST requested the National Research Council of the National Academies to conduct a study, building on the Strategic Plan, to recommend a roadmap of national needs in research, knowledge transfer, implementation and outreach to provide the tools necessary to make the United States more earthquake resilient. The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute  published a report in 2003 titled Securing Society Against Earthquake Losses. To carry out the study the NRC established the Committee on Earthquake Resilience - Research, Implementation, and Outreach using an ad hoc committee of the Division of Earth and Life Studies.

 

       The EQSafehouse Project outlined in this website is an attempt to carry out the goals outlined in the NIST Strategic Plan for the housing stock that most of us use to provide shelter for ourselves and our families. Resiliency of these structures following a major earthquake is the primary goal. Significant damage to our housing stock can result in abandonement of whole areas of the intercity, as was evident after Katrina in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

 

          One of the goals in any attempt to improve resiliency is the abilty of the population to Shelter in Place. What Does It Mean to Shelter in Place? SPUR defines “shelter in place” as a resident’s ability to remain in his or her home while it is being repaired after an earthquake — not just for hours or days after an event, but for the months it may take to get back to normal. For a building to have shelter-in-place capacity, it must be strong enough to withstand a major earthquake without substantial structural damage. This is a different standard than that employed by the current building code, which promises only that a building meets Life Safety standards (i.e., the building will not collapse but may be so damaged as to be unusable). A shelter-in-place residence will not be fully functional, as a hospital would need to be, but it will be safe enough for people to live in it during the months after an earthquake. While utilities such as water and sewer lines are being repaired and reconnected, residents who are sheltering in place will need to be within walking distance of a neighborhood center that can help meet basic needs not available within their homes.   SPUR Report 1/2012

HISTORICAL RECORDS

LOMA PRIETA

MAGNITUDE 7.1

63 DEATHS, 3757 INJURIES

1800 LOST RESIDENTIAL UNITS

155,000  HOUSES UNINHABITABLE

360,000 FORCED FROM THEIR HOMES

PROJECTED ANNUALIZED EARTHQUAKE LOSSES

Expected Loss Locations

Losses By Region

Personal Loss of Housing

 1994 NORTHRIDGE

72 DEATHS, 11,846 INJURIES

20,000 HOMELESS

112,000 DAMAGED STRUCTURES

 1906 SAN FRANCISCO

3000 DEATHS, 227,000 HOMELESS

80% OF CITY DESTROYED

LOSS IN 2015 DOLLARS

$10,500,000,000

EXPECTED ANNUALIZED EARTHQUAKE LOSSES EXCEEDING $10 MILLION

CALIFORNIA

$3.5 BILLION

 

LOS ANGELES, LONG BEACH, SANTA MONICA

$1.3 BILLION

 

SAN FRANCISCO, OAKLAND, FREMONT

$781 MILLION

 

RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNADINO, ONTARIO

$397 MILLION

 

SAN JOSE, SUNNYVALE, SANTA CLARA

$277 MILLION

ANNUAL ESTIMATES

 

DISPLACED HOUSEHOLDS

5130

 

DEATHS

158

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