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Plan on Earthquake Hazards Open for Comment
Earthquakes cannot be prevented, but their impacts on life, property, and the economy can and should be managed. That is the challenge Congress has given the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). Now, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the lead agency for NEHRP, has released a draft strategic plan for public review and comment through May 9, 2008.
NEHRP, a federal interagency program, works to reduce earthquake losses through improved design and construction techniques for new and existing buildings and lifelines, monitoring and early-warning systems, coordinated emergency preparedness plans, and public education.
The final plan for 2008-2012 will guide the activities of the four NEHRP agencies — NIST, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Geological Survey — working with state and local governments, private enterprise, professional organizations and academia.
The draft plan lists nine strategic priorities for the next four years to understand earthquake phenomena, develop cost-effective measures to reduce impacts on individuals, society and construction, as well as improve rapid community recovery from earthquakes. Some of these priorities include:
• implementing the Advanced National Seismic System for impact notification, deployment of response, hazard assessments and research
• developing cost-effective techniques and tools to design new, earthquake-resistant buildings and to improve the survivability of existing buildings
• creating realistic earthquake scenarios to help communities and businesses better understand and plan for earthquake consequences
• designing earthquake-resilient infrastructure to end vulnerabilities and possible cascading failures in critical, interconnected transportation, ports, energy, water, sewage, communications, and industrial production systems.
The draft NEHRP strategic plan and information on submitting comments is available on the NEHRP Web site.
The 2008 NEHRP Annual Report submitted to Congress in March 2008 also is available on the Web site.