Resilience Ratings are here
A major recommendation of the Oregon Resilience Plan was the establishment of resilience ratings for building and communities. The idea was to let people and communities know how well a particular building, structure or community would perform in the Cascadia Earthquake. The goal was to help people make informed decisions about the acceptable level of risk. These rating systems are now being to appear. The United States Resiliency Council (USRC) is releasing its Building Resilience Rating System this fall. The rating system is completed and the USRC are now in the process of recruiting structural engineers to become certified to perform the rating system. Their rating system has three components: Safety, Cost of Repairs, and Time to Regain Function. Depending on performance, a building will get ratings from one star to five star. Similar to a LEED Rating, this information will be shown … Read More »
Making resilience a Priority in School District
The Oregon Chapter the Association of Civil Engineers was just mentioned in an article on making resilience a priority for school districts. The article from ASCE News, focuses on the efforts of the Beaverton School District to adopt the findings of the Oregon Resilience Plan (ORP) for schools. The ORP’s goals were to ensure that schools can be reopened thirty days after a Cascadia earthquake, and recommended that they be used for community shelters following the earthquake.
Although it focuses on the three ASCE members involved in the effort, I was also worked on the project as a sub-consultant for SEFT, Inc., Kent Yu’s firm. Kent led the the Oregon Resilience Plan effort when he was chair of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Committee (which … Read More »
OPB “Unprepared” Documentary
OPB has been doing an incredible integrated radio, TV, and online effort, called “Unprepared”, looking at the vulnerability of the region to a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake and resulting tsunami. The finale will be an airing of the Oregon Field Guide Special Unprepared Documentary. The premier showing will be October 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm. For those wanting a sneak peak and to participate in a question and answer session, the local chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is putting on an event at Mercy Corps at 6:00 pm, Thursday, September 24th, at Mercy Corps.
The recent subduction zone earthquake in Chile was an 8.3 magnitude which puts it in the “Small Size” Cascadia earthquake category. Since the ruptures start from the south, the rupture would stretch up northern California to Oregon. While not as powerful as a full rupture that would continue … Read More »
AIA and Resilience
I have been trying to get the architectural community more involved in the preparing for the Cascadia earthquake/tsunami and resiliency. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) was at one time very involved in emergency preparedness and in the 1970’s help come up with the response-relief-mitigation cycle. In recent years, the AIA had lost interest in the topic and even been cutting back institutional support for the topic. This is finally turning around, both locally and nationally. The Portland AIA has taken an strong interest in the seismic upgrade of schools. The New York AIA has become aware of resilience following Hurricane Sandy and created a program called Post Sandy: Creating a Resilient New York.
The national AIA is now taking a more active interest and starting the shift to resilience, led by Cooper Martin. I had worked with Cooper on an … Read More »
Tsunami Interpretative Trail
The City of Newport has a created a tsunami interpretative trail in the South Beach area. Coastal communities have been very creative in Cascadia preparedness and this trail is just one among many efforts. Knowledge about tsunami’s is the key to saving lives and this interpretative trail system should be expanded along the entire Oregon coast. Places on the coast that show distinctive geological features related to tsunami inundations or subduction zone earthquakes could have interpretative plaques. Historical plaques can tell of the impact of previous tsunami’s or relate to the folklore of coastal Indian traditions talking about tsunami’s. These traditions relayed information about what to do when the sea withdrew suddenly (a sign a tsunami is coming) and tied them to geological markers. In the Clatsop tribe stories, Haystack Rock was an overturned basket and the story reminded listeners … Read More »
Sustainability and Resiliency
I often make the point that sustainability and resiliency are intimately linked. Part of being sustainable for Oregon is learning to live in an environment that includes large earthquakes and tsunami’s on a regular basis. We tend to discount the “regular” for subduction zone earthquakes. After all, one hasn’t happened here since Americans and Europeans settlement began. However, scientists have been very good at reminding us that one is imminent. At the same time the local sustainability community has been attempting to reduce our dependence on carbon to head off the man made disaster of global warming. Bill Lascher’s piece “How low car life will save Portland when the Big One strikes” in the December issue of Portland Afoot, talks about bridges, fuel, and bikes and shows that these efforts can work together.
This is not the only area. When the sustainability … Read More »