A NEW NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE STRATEGY
The NESW's review has resulted in the formulation of a strategy that willenhance existing elements of NEHRP and mobilize and coordinate the actionsof numerous programs in the federal government into an aggressive, focusedNational Earthquake loss reduction Program (NEP).
The NEP will enhance cooperation and coordination among the NEHRP agenciesand will include numerous other federal agencies involved in earthquake-relatedactivities to avoid duplication and ensure focus on priority goals. Theprogram will ensure inter-agency strategic planning so that our financialresources are directed to the most effective means for savings lives andproperty and limiting the social and economic disruptions from earthquakes.The NEP will strive to improve the linkages in earthquake loss preventionand mitigation between the federal government and the State and local governmentsand private sectors where much of the mitigation measures must be undertaken.One of the most important elements of the NEP is education - informing andeducating people of the regional hazard and of steps that could be takento mitigate the hazard.
The NESW also recognized that a major reason for the difficulty in identifyingpriorities and in evaluating the success of NEHRP has been a lack of specifiedgoals, targets, and priorities against which expectations can be set andperformance measured. An important feature of this national Strategy isthe establishment and articulation of goals in nine major categories, eachsupported by specific targets, products, and proposed timelines that providea framework for measuring progress and mapping a path forward. Existingfederal 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 toearthquake hazard mitigation; Analyze the medical and public health consequencesof earthquakes; and
- Continue documentation of earthquakes and their effects.
The NEP will also examine wind effects and their mitigation as part of itscharter. The expansion is appropriate because the forces from severe stormsand ground-shaking have similarly destructive effects on the built environmentand because mitigation efforts and improved building standards and practiceswill be most usefully and efficiently implemented if developed for bothearthquake and wind hazards.