In 2003 the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) released the report, Securing Society against Catastrophic Earthquake Losses: A Research and Outreach Plan in Earthquake Engineering. This report was prepared by a panel of earth scientists, earthquake engineers, and social scientists involved in earthquake-related research, with input from professional communities throughout the United States, and its goal was to provide a vision for the future of earthquake engineering research and outreach focused on securing the nation against the catastrophic effects of earthquakes.
The plan comprised the following research and outreach programs:
• Understanding Seismic Hazards: developing new models of earthquakes and seismic hazards based on fundamental physics.
• Assessing Earthquake Impacts: evaluating the impact of disasters on the built environment by simulating performance of structures and entire urban systems.
• Reducing Earthquake Impacts: developing new materials, structural and nonstructural systems, lifeline systems, foundation systems, tsunami protection, fire protection systems, and land-use measures.
• Enhancing Community Resilience: exploring new ways to reduce risk and improve the decision-making capability of stakeholders.
• Expanding Education and Public Outreach: improving the education of engineers and scientists from elementary school to advanced graduate education, and providing opportunities for the public to learn about earthquake risk reduction.
The research tasks for each program were intended to develop the science, engineering, and societal approaches necessary for making better risk management choices to prevent catastrophic losses. The outreach tasks, on the other hand, were intended to facilitate the transfer of research findings into practice. The report proposes that achieving the goal of catastrophic loss prevention requires not only technological breakthroughs but also the translation of research results into professional practice and decision-making. For example, the report identified one central focus of earthquake engineering research as the need to merge current and future information technology advances into the practice of earthquake engineering, with the objective of reducing the uncertainty associated with hazard, performance, damage, and loss prediction of the built environment. However, while loss-reduction strategies that address specific structures and systems are important, the plan also stressed the need to protect the social fabric of communities against earthquake losses, requiring more comprehensive and holistic approaches.
The cost of the plan was estimated at $358 million per year for the first 5 years of a 20-year program of funding for activities within the NEHRP agencies. The total estimate for the 20-year plan, including capital investments, was $6.54 billion, with the expectation that funds would ramp up at a 15 percent annual rate over the first 5-year period of the Plan. Details of the budget over the 20-year period are presented in Tables B.1 and B.2.
The report indicated that accomplishing the plan would require a high level of coordination among the NEHRP agencies, as well as with other federal agencies and state and local government organizations, the earthquake engineering research community, organizations responsible for promulgation of building codes, engineering professionals, and government officials. Importantly, the benefits would not be limited to preventing catastrophic losses from earthquakes. Plan outcomes would also provide substantial benefits for homeland security and other initiatives to increase community resilience to extreme events. Through advances in the design of buildings and facilities, planning measures for addressing population growth and land use, and technologies that address emergency management and recovery, the initiatives presented in the report would complement and enhance programs to reduce the threat of terrorist attack and harmful effects of other extreme events such as blast, wind, flood, and fire.
TABLE B.1 Estimated Cost of Plan (millions$), Including Research and Outreach Programs and Related Activities
|Activity||Average Annual Cost (M$)||Total 20-year Cost (M$)|
|Enhancing Community Resilience||22||33||44||44||715|
|Education and Public Outreach||20||20||20||20||400|
|Management Plan Development||1||0||0||0||5|
NOTE: Capital Investments include ANSS, NEES, and field instrumentation.
TABLE B.2 Distribution of Costs (millions$) Among Research, Education, and Outreach Programs, Capital Investment, Information Technology, and Program Management
|Program Description||Average Annual Cost (M$)||Total 20-year Cost (M$)|
|Management Plan Development||1||0||0||0||5|