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Archive for July, 2011

Preparation for an earthquake should include proactive, interactive and reactive actions.

Proactive actions include completing seismic retrofit of buildings, bridges, dams, power plants; establishing a means of planning for and sharing the risk of economic impact (earthquake insurance); setting aside emergency supplies; planning for, establishing, and practicing emergency procedures, including  means of communication to be used during and after an earthquake.

Interactive actions include, among other things, the use of Earthquake Early Warning systems.  Here’s a video about an EEW system from Japan (thanks Alfredo Gomez)  Link to YouTube.

Reactive actions include search and rescue; triage and recovery; operation and use of the systems and supplies established proactively; reconstruction to new standards shown to be important by the most recent full-scale “experiment” performed the earthquake, and evaluation of the performance of the proactive and interactive actions and improvements to those actions as necessary.

All these actions require diligent, competent, caring citizens in a wide range of fields, including government, industry, and the professions.  Structural engineers can be a very important part of several of those actions, but the most important ingredient is the larger society as a whole which understands the risk of an earthquake and values the need for preparation.

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