Large damaging urban earthquakes will occur again, and they will not necessarily occur in areas that are adequately monitored. However, if they do hit monitored areas, researchers will have an opportunity to assess quantitatively and qualitatively whether the use of ShakeMap, HAZUS loss estimates, and other products derived from monitoring made a significant difference in the timeliness and efficiency of emergency response. This assessment could be accomplished through careful content analysis of duty logs, after-action reports, hospital admission records, shelter records, and other documentation of response and recovery activities, comparing time frames and content with records of earthquakes of similar characteristics that occurred prior to the use of technologies based on seismic monitoring. Surveys could also be conducted to determine how these monitoring-based technologies were used and how effective they proved to be. Only over the last decade or so have seismic networks, because of significant advances in computing and software, developed capabilities that address the needs of emergency response and recovery. Partnerships between network operators and emergency managers in well-monitored regions are strong, new technologies are being integrated into response and recovery plans, and capabilities are waiting to be proven.

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