Oregon Resilience Plan
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 »
Big Story and small stories that add up
The big story was the recent New Yorker article, “The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle” that caused quite a stir both here in the Northwest and the rest of the country by providing a very well written summary of what the Cascadia earthquake and resulting tsunami will do to the region. The smaller stories are the passage of a number resilience bills in the Oregon Legislative and other efforts. These made barely a ripple in the press but they are historic and show that resilience planning for the Cascadia earthquake is here to stay. The Legislature created a State Resilience Officer attached to the Governor’s Office who will have the responsibility of tracking the 50-year effort outlined in the Oregon Resilience Plan (ORP). They significantly increased funding for the Seismic Retrofit Grant Program (SRGP) to the tune of $176 million bond grants for schools and … Read More »
OPB’s What’s my Risk?
On the anniversary of the last Cascadia earthquake and tsunami 315 years ago, OPB has done an excellent series of stories called “Unprepared: Will We Be Ready for the Megaquake?” As the articles points out, a large Cascadia earthquake and tsunami can occur anytime, and it reviews how prepared we are and compares it to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. They also have a nice little app called “What’s My Risk“. You can put in your address to see where critical buildings are located nearby and what their risk of collapse are. At the bottom of the page, you can find out if your local school has been retrofitted. The information was available online, but the app shows it in an interactive and friendly way, making this information more … Read More »
Oregon Design Professionals Day at the Capitol
On Tuesday, February 17th, Oregon’s design professional community will be coming together to meet with the Oregon Legislature. Typically these types of events are a chance for design professionals to talk to legislators about professional concerns. This year is a bit different. The design community is focussing on the passage of the Oregon Resilience Task Force (ORTF) recommendations. These recommendations range from establishing a Resilience Policy Advisor to the Governor, land uses changes related to tsunami’s, additional revenue for seismic upgrades for transportation, the schools, essential facilities, seismic resilience research, and seismic assessments of Oregon’s energy infrastructure. The ORTF recommendations were requested by the Legislature as a first step to to implementing the Oregon Resilience Plan (ORP), a fifty year plan to prepare Oregon for a Cascadia earthquake and tsunami.
Also unusual, is the extent of the collaboration of the design professional community. The professional associations of … Read More »
The Oregon Resilience Plan: A call to expand the sustainability conversation
Edward Wolf has laid down a challenge to the sustainability community to include resilience as part of sustainability in an article in Sustainable Business Oregon. Ted, a writer on environmental issues, was drawn into seismic and resiliency when he discovered how seismically suspect the schools his child was attending in Portland were. He has become an advocate for improving seismic safety in Portland Public Schools and lent his writing talents to the call of creating an resilient Oregon in an op-ed piece in the Oregonian along with Yumei Wang (DOGAMI) and I. He also was a citizen member of the Advisory Panel of The Oregon Resilience Plan, where he also … Read More »
Oregon Resilience Plan presented to Oregon Legislature
The Oregon Resilience Plan was presented to the Joint Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee today. It is a significant achievement and the start of a new era in Oregon’s efforts to prepare for the Cascadia Earthquake/Tsunami. Sen. Boquist, the chair of the committee, told OSSPAC, that this the initial overview meeting and the first of many, in which they would examine each chapter of the plan in detail with the goal of finding which recommendations could be implemented this session.
Kent Yu and Jay Wilson, the chair and vice-chair of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC), did the presenation. They reviewed the origin of the plan, which began with an op-ed in the Oregonian written by Yumei Wang, Edward Wolf and myself which suggested a 10 year resilience plan to prepare for Cascadia. This was taken up Rep. Deborah … Read More »
Oregon Resilience Plan press conference
The release of the Oregon Resilience Plan was officially announced yesterday. For those who were unable to attend here are a good set of photosthat give a flavor of the event. The importance of this plan (and a similar one for the State of Washington) cannot be over estimated and marks a milestone in the efforts to prepare for the Cascadia Earthquake and tsunami.
Thursday at 1:00 pm, the Plan will be presented to the Joint Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
Five Ways to Recover Faster ‘From The Big One’
A good article from Tom Banse of Northwest Public Radio about the efforts of Oregon and Washington to make each state more resilient in the face of a Cascadia earthquake/tsunami. I recommend listening to the radio report portion as well.
Does Sandy have any impact for Oregon?
New York is considering how they should rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the discussion is highly relevant to Oregon’s efforts to prepare for the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed solutions for making New York City more resilient is quite reminiscent of discussions held by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Committee (OSSPAC) this last year in developing the Oregon Resilience Plan requested by the Oregon House. New York is faced not only with more frequent, larger storms, and rising sea levels, but with a waterfront which now consists of expensive development that replaced the working water front of earlier years. New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge held a forum called “How Should New York Rebuild?” where various options and their implications were addressed. While seismic resilience is the major question for Oregon in … Read More »