The Federal Emergency Management Agency has recently released two new publications to support disaster risk reduction and preparedness.
Issued in June 2017, FEMA P-1000, Safer, Stronger, Smarter: A Guide to Improving School Natural Hazard Safety provides up-to-date, authoritative information and guidance that schools can use to develop a comprehensive strategy for addressing natural hazards. It is intended to be used by administrators, facilities managers, emergency managers, emergency planning committees, and teachers and staff at K through 12 schools. It can also be valuable for state officials, district administrators, school boards, teacher union leaders, and others that play a role in providing safe and disaster-resistant schools for all. Parents, caregivers, and students can also use this Guide to learn about ways to advocate for safe schools in their communities. This new Guide presents information and guidance on:
- Identifying natural hazards that could potentially impact a school;
- Making new and existing school buildings safer for children and staff, and more resistant to damage during natural disasters;
- Planning and preparing for effective and successful response during a natural disaster;
- Recovering after a natural disaster as quickly and robustly as possible, and being better prepared for future events; and
- Engaging the whole community in the entire process in order to improve school and community disaster resilience.
In April 2017, FEMA released the new 2017 edition of FEMA P-366, Hazus Estimated Annualized Earthquake Losses for the United States. This new version is calculated with updates such as: Hazus®-MH 3.0, the 2010 US Census data, and the 2014 U.S. Geological Survey Probabilistic Earthquake Hazard Maps. Also, the new study has incorporated site soil effects for a more accurate estimate of hazard influences to the losses. A FEMA-developed product, Hazus is a maintained geographic information system-based loss estimation tool; and provides a method for quantifying future earthquake losses. It is national in scope, uniformed in its application and is comprehensive in its coverage of the built environment. Key findings noted in the new study are:
- The Annualized Earthquake Loss (AEL) to the national building stock is $6.1 billion;
- The majority (73 percent) of AEL occurs on the west coast (i.e., California, Oregon, and Washington);
- Approximately 61 percent ($3.7 billion) of the AEL is concentrated in Structural and non-structural losses account for 18 percent and 82 percent of the building loss in AEL breakdown for California;
- 55 metropolitan areas account for 85 percent of the national AEL, seventeen major metropolitan areas have local AEL over $50; and
- The earthquake threat is national, with 31 States exposed to AEL exceeding $10.
This new study is supports earthquake awareness, preparedness, implementation of cost-effective mitigation measures, and strategies to reduce the current seismic risk in our country’s most at-risk communities. Plans to reduce future losses nationwide need to be closely integrated with policies and programs that guide planning and development.
To access the new publications, visit the FEMA library or contact the FEMA Publications Warehouse at (800) 480-2520.