Support the Seismic Resilience Initiative - Before the "Big One" strikes

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Home to almost 40 million people, California’s $2.4 trillion GDP is the world’s sixth largest. It is also famous for its earthquakes, with the ever-present risk of experiencing economic and social devastation. Guarding against this threat begins with identifying and retrofitting our vulnerable structures.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Southern California would result in more than 1,800 deaths, 50,000 injuries and $200 billion in damage, with long-lasting social and economic impacts. The odds are stacked against us: in the next 30 years there is a 99% and almost a 50% chance of a major earthquake of magnitude 6.7+ and 7.5+, respectively.

Safety is of course the primary concern. However, there are real financial considerations affecting building owners. The displacement of potentially tens of thousands of residents can have a devastating impact on a society, its already stretched housing market and its economic stability. The potential impacts on businesses, both large and small, are particularly troublesome when considering that many of these enterprises occupy the very buildings that are at risk of failure during an earthquake.

The urgency to address these concerns has prompted a new movement called the Seismic Resilience Initiative. This working group, includes the United States Resiliency Council, BizFed, local California building department leaders, the Structural Engineers Association of California and others. Our mission is to promote statewide policy that will identify buildings that are known to present a heightened seismic risk of death, injury and damage based on their age, structural system, size and location.

Important legislation introduced Feb. 15, 2018 by California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, a longtime advocate for earthquake preparedness, aims to help cities identify, assess and catalog buildings that could be at significant risk during a major quake, and to establish funding sources to help cover the costs to cities impacted by the law. AB 2681 will provide a “snapshot” of California’s vulnerabilities and the potential impacts we face as a state; and it will spotlight communities where there is an urgency to address the matter, giving them the information to make long term strategic planning decisions.

If you want your legislators to support AB 2681, please sign this petition. Identifying the problem is the first step to being prepared!

The following white paper discusses the case for earthquake resilience and how it impacts our communities:“The Case for Earthquake Resilience: Why Safer Structures Protect and Promote Social and Economic Vitality”  

Download to learn more. 

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