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WHAT'S COMING FROM THE NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS REDUCTION PROGRAM Gary D. Johnson Federal Emergency Management Agency I appreciate this opportunity today to have a few minutes of your time, to give you my thoughts on the future direction of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, also known as "NEHRP" (pronounced nee-herp). Apropos this topic, I want to emphasize from the start the recently issued five year plan for NEHRP. It covers the Federal fiscal years of 1992 to 1996. It lists tasks and milestones for the Program, thus the Program's progress can be assessed. The statute which authorizes NEHRP requires that FEMA prepare and update the Program plan (in coordination with the other NEHRP agencies) and submit it to the Congress at least every three years. The last five year plan for NEHRP was for the 1989 to 1993 period and was submitted in September 1988. The preparation and issuance of the 1992-19% Plan was clearly a timely requirement. Much had transpired in the field of earthquakes since the 1989-1993 Plan. The events of 1989, 1990, and 1991 are interrelated, but can generally be characterized by two broadly stated activities: 1) Congressional oversight of NEHRP - Congress conducted and completed an exhaustive scrutiny and oversight of NEHRP. The immediate basis for this examination was the reauthorization process for NEHRP. But certainly, the Loma Prieta event of October 1989 also motivated much of the intense focus on NEHRP activities. The process resulted in Public Law 101-614, the NEHRP Reauthorization Act of 1990, which the President signed into law on November 16, 1990. P.L. 101-614 is the most far reaching piece of earthquake legislation since the original Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of October 1977. It is definitive and specific about the Agencies' role under the Program. It creates a non-Federal NEHRP Advisory Committee to advise the FEMA Director and the other Agencies on the Program. Moreover, P.L. 101-614 contains many particular requirements, with statutory due dates, with respect to seismic design and construction standards; and 2) The Loma Prieta Earthquake - This event which captured the attention of the Nation for the earthquake problem occurred nearly two years ago, to the day. It was, as I mentioned above, timely in the context of the Congressional oversight activities. Most importantly, it validated that NEHRP was on the right track, and 12
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that, overall, the correct course had been set for the Program. It also resulted in the first substantial infusion of new funds to the program Agencies, through the FY 1990 supplemental appropriation—a total of $20 million. The Bush Administration has been supportive, overall, of NEHRP activities. The NEHRP Agencies have, to a degree, been able to sustain the momentum generated by the Loma Prieta event and NEHRP, taken as a whole, has had about one-third more funds available for its work since the 1989 event. The NEHRP Five Year Plan for 1992-1996, then, responds to and blends together 1) the statutory direction provided to the Program by the Congress, e.g., its tasks and milestones are replete with reference to the various requirements; and 2) the lessons of Loma Prieta, i.e., that NEHRP is collectively on the right path to achieving earthquake hazards reduction. In addition, the Plan, to the extent practicable, is responsive to the comment and advice provided by the Congressionally authorized non-federal NEHRP Advisory Committee. Before I discuss with you the content of the NEHRP Five Year Plan for 1992-1996, I want to make one final observation about the Plan's parameters. In addition to its being responsive to the statutory direction and the lessons we've learned, it also needed to be prepared within a difficult budgetary framework. Despite any success the Agencies may have collectively achieved into FY 1992, the plan needed to be prepared assuming essentially level funding beyond 1993. Given the climate for the Federal fiscal budget, this is realistic. But it does add to the challenges facing NEHRP. So, the Plan is the future of NEHRP, at least for the next three to five years. What does the Plan say? The Plan describes how the Agencies' responsibilities and roles have been assigned through the "Program Structure" (see Table 1). The Structure is key to the actual chapter layout of the Plan, and anyone looking at the Plan should become familiar with it, at least in general terms. Taken as a coordinated whole, the NEHRP Five Year Plan expresses the Program Agencies' commitment to build toward and emphasize: • collaborative activities—dealing with this Nation's earthquake problem will take the joint work of all of us. NEHRP collaborative activities currently include earthquake loss estimation initiatives and the continuing update of the NEHRP Recommended Provisions for New Buildings; • new knowledge—developing data about the actions and reactions of the earth and our society to earthquake occurrences; • focused geological research—resolving specific questions about the size, location and frequency of earthquakes. USGS, for example, is currently focussing research in the Mid-Continent and Pacific Northwest regions; • understanding earthquake effects—analyzing how different parts of our environment react to earthquakes; • a safer built environment—determining the best techniques for enhancing the seismic resistance of our buildings and lifeline systems. As I mentioned, the Reauthorization Act for NEHRP had very specific requirements in this arena (in 13
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TABLE 1 | THE PROGRAM ELEMENTS AND RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES A. Leadership 1. NEHRP Coordination and Participation FEMA 2. NEHRP Planning and Reporting FEMA B. Fundamental Earthquake Studies 1. Implications of Plate Tectonics NSF 2. Earthquake Processes NSF C. Earthquake Hazard Potential 1. Theoretical, Laboratory, and Field Studies of Earthquake Source uses 2. Regional Geologic Framework and Earthquake Potential USGS 3. Local Earthquake Potential and Paul [-Specific Forecasting uses 4. Earthquake Prediction Experiments USGS D. Earthquake Effects and Engineering Research 1. Earthquake Ground Shaking USGS/NSF 2. Ground Failure, Siting, and Geotechnical Research USGS/NSF 3. Mapping Earthquake Effects and Loss Estimates USGS 4. Structural Analysis and Design NSF 5. Architectural and Nonstructural Components NSF 6. Research Facilities NSF 7. Earthquake Systems Integration NSF 8. Research for Standards NIST E. Planning for and Mitigating Earthquakes 1 . Design Practices and Manuals FEMA/NIST 2. State and Local Earthquake Hazard Reduction FEMA 3. Federal Response Planning FEMA 4. Risk Analysis and Applications FEMA 5. Insurance FEMA F. Information Systems and Dissemination 1 . Engineering Data and Technology Transfer FEMA/NSF/ USGS/NIST 2. Seismological Data and Information Services G. Postearthquake Studies 3. Education and Dissemination FEMA/NSF/ USGS/NIST H. International Cooperation 1 . International Research and Information Exchange NSF/USGS/ NIST/FEMA 2. International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction 14
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fact an entire section, Section 8, is devoted to this topic) and the plan reflects those. I want to dwell a moment on this Section's requirements because I think they are of particular interest to you: 1) In the new buildings area, the statute reaffirms the requirements of Executive Order 12699, Seismic Safety of Federal and Federally Assisted or Regulated New Construction, signed by President Bush on January 5, 1990. MIST and FEMA are required to work together on its implementa- tion and the Act requires the President to ensure that Agencies' rules and regulations for implementation of the E.O. be completed by February 1, 1993; 2) Existing buildings are also addressed. The President must adopt by December 1, 1994 standards for assessing the seismic safety of existing buildings, constructed or leased by the Federal Government. Also, by that date, the President needs to submit a report to the Congress on the manner in which these standards could be applied with respect to buildings for which Federal financial assistance has been obtained or the structural safety of which are regulated by a Federal Agency; 3) And in the lifelines area, FEMA, working with NIST, is required to have a lifelines Plan of Action completed by June 30, 1992. Let me continue now with two or three more areas that the Agencies, under the NEHRP Five Year Plan, are emphasizing in the near future: • research applications-transferring knowledge and techniques into products that are easily utilized. This is an important area, and one in which the NEHRP Advisory Committee took special interest. In fact, in response to their comment, Element F of the NEHRP Program structure, Information Systems and Dissemination, was revised and that section of the Plan was enhanced to a more comprehensive and integrated level; • enhanced implementation—motivating actions that have a measurable impact and reduce the earthquake threat; and • information availability—tied in to research applications, the NEHRP Agencies want to ensure that the knowledge and techniques developed by the Program are accessible to those that will use them. These then summarize the foci of NEHRP in the near future, as defined by the NEHRP Five Year plan 1992-1996. I have a few copies of the Plan with me for those that might wish a copy. If you prefer, you can also write for a copy to FEMA, P. O. Box 70274, Washington, D.C. 20024 and request one. Thank you very much for your attention, I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have. 15