For a complete list of FEMA’s National Earthquake Hazard Reduction publications and products, please visit www.fema.gov/earthquake-publications
FEMA National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program’s Seven Design and Construction Features Important to Seismic Performance Animation emphasizes the importance of proper construction for seismic performance. The six minute animation video provides state, local and tribal governments, emergency managers, building inspectors, as well as home and business owners, an overview of the importance of understanding seismic risk. Also taught in the animation video is the need for the adoption and implementation of building codes with appropriate seismic design and construction standards.
The FEMA Earthquake School Hazard Hunt Game is presented in the form of an interactive school hazard hunt where students have to identify the hazard and the action needed to mitigate it. The goal is to teach students tips and tricks about how to prepare and mitigate for an earthquake while at school. As a companion piece to the FEMA Earthquake School Hazard Hunt Game, the poster provides visuals and descriptions so that students can identify and learn about at-risk areas of their school to reduce future earthquake damage.
FEMA P-807, Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Multi-Unit Wood-Frame Buildings with Weak First Stories (ATC-71-1 Project)
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
To review complete Webinar information, and to register, click here.
NETAP. This Webinar is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP), which is a mechanism for delivering direct assistance to the public to increase their knowledge and ability to analyze their risk, make a plan, and take actions aimed at reducing their earthquake risk and supporting overall community resilience. NETAP is not a grant or cooperative agreement program, but a contract managed by FEMA to rapidly deploy training and technical assistance to organizations and communities. For more information about NETAP please visit the FEMA website by clicking here.
Purpose. The Purpose of the Webinar is to introduce participants to the FEMA P-807 report, Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Multi-Unit Wood-Frame Buildings with Weak First Stories, developed by the Applied Technology Council for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2011. The report presents guidelines for cost-effective retrofit procedures for a vulnerable class of buildings with a history of poor performance in earthquakes. These buildings have weak ground stories with few walls, required to accommodate parking or commercial uses. The upper structure, with numerous walls, tends to be strong, but brittle. This relative weakness concentrates damage and deformations in the ground story. These structures are prevalent in the seismically active regions of the Pacific Northwest and California. The guidelines have been developed to be easy to use while providing a practicable and cost-effective means to reduce damage and the risk of collapse. While sophisticated and extensive nonlinear response history analyses form the technical basis of the guidelines, the procedure itself is straightforward and prescriptive.
Intended Audience. This Webinar on FEMA P-807 has been designed for building officials, engineers, architects, and others who need information on seismic retrofit of weak-story wood-framed buildings.
Registration Information. The Webinar is free to all who register. To review complete Webinar information, and to register, click here.
2014 ATC Webinar Program. The 2014 ATC Webinar Program is under development. To view upcoming scheduled and tentative Webinars being planned, please click here.
Deathtrap: Moore tornado debris reveals construction flaws, code violations
The Journal Record by: Scott Carter
MOORE – When the storm came, seven students in the Plaza Towers third-grade center sheltered in the hall. At Briarwood, the students and teachers thought the school building would protect them.
Then the tornado hit, and the schools fell.
Instead of offering protection on May 20, 2013, Plaza Towers became a deathtrap, Briarwood a pile of rubble.
Detailed in a soon-to-be-released report for the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineering Institute, an analysis of the debris of the Briarwood Elementary School showed that several of the building’s steel roof beams were not attached to the walls, many of Briarwood’s cinder-block walls were not properly reinforced with steel rebar and large portions of the walls were not backfilled with concrete.
Chris Ramseyer, the civil engineer who studied photographs of the Plaza Towers School, said the photographs showed similar problems and raised serious questions about Plaza Towers’ design and construction quality.
Both Plaza Towers and Briarwood were destroyed when an EF5 tornado struck. Neither school had safe rooms. Seven students were killed at Plaza Towers after walls of the third-grade center, a building next to the main school, collapsed. At Briarwood, at least 24 pupils and teachers were injured when the school’s cinder-block walls fell.
“Odds are, if the schools had been built right, the walls would not have fallen,” Ramseyer said.
In addition, construction documents obtained through an open records request show that Briarwood Elementary was designed by a now-defunct architectural and engineering firm whose founders were disciplined for design flaws in other projects.
Study: New Madrid fault zone alive and active
Associated Press – January 23, 2014
LOS ANGELES — The New Madrid fault zone in the nation’s midsection is active and could spawn future large earthquakes, scientists reported Thursday.
It’s “not dead yet,” said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough, who was part of the study published online by the journal Science.
Researchers have long debated just how much of a hazard New Madrid poses. The zone stretches 150 miles, crossing parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
In 1811 and 1812, it unleashed a trio of powerful jolts, measuring magnitudes 7.5 to 7.7, that rattled the central Mississippi River valley. Chimneys fell and boats capsized. Farmland sank and turned into swamps. The death toll is unknown, but experts don’t believe there were mass casualties because the region was sparsely populated then.
Unlike California’s San Andreas and other faults that occur along boundaries of shifting tectonic plates, New Madrid is less understood since it’s in the middle of the continent, far from plate boundaries.
Previous studies have suggested that it may be shutting down, based on GPS readings that showed little strain accumulation at the surface. Other research came to the same conclusion by blaming ongoing quake activity on aftershocks from the 1800s, which would essentially relieve strain on the fault.
The latest study suggests otherwise. Hough and USGS geophysicist Morgan Page in Pasadena, Calif., analyzed past quakes in the New Madrid region and used computer modeling to determine that the continuing tremors are not related to the big quakes two centuries ago.
“Our new results tell us that something is going on there, and therefore a repeat of the 1811-1812 sequence is possible,” Hough said.
The USGS estimates there’s a 7 to 10 percent chance of that happening in the next 50 years.