ISGS Participates in Earthquake Preparedness

Robert Bauer, engineering geologist at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), participated in the first meeting May 7-9, 2009, in Washington, DC, of a National Research Council committee for the project National Earthquake Resilience—Research, Implementation, and Outreach. The committee's task is to develop a roadmap for earthquake hazard and risk reduction in the United States to reach goals and objectives for achieving national earthquake resilience in public safety and economic security within 20 years. These goals and objectives have been stated in the current strategic plan of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) that was submitted to Congress in 2008.

Robert Bauer participated in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IV New Madrid Catastrophic Planning Workshop held May 4-6, 2009, in Atlanta, Georgia, and made several presentations at the FEMA Region VII New Madrid Catastrophic Planning Workshop on May 26-28 in Jefferson City, Missouri. The workshops presented the results of analysis for eight states of the estimated impact of a 7.7-magnitude New Madrid earthquake. Three maps showing how soils for the eight states would behave during an earthquake were produced by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium State Geologists (CUSEC), of which the ISGS is a member. These maps were produced for use in this computer loss estimation analysis. Participants worked in breakout sessions to produce responses for such an event. The Alabama, Tennessee, and Missouri Geological Surveys and the U.S. Geological Survey, with input from federal and state emergency managers, worked on their individual agencies earthquake response plans with consideration of coordination between agencies and states. This work will result in plans that will be used in an eight-state earthquake exercise in May 2011.

Robert Bauer was an invited participant at the National Level Exercise 2011 Concepts & Objectives Meeting on May 19, 2009, in Washington, DC. This meeting was the roll-out to the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and other federal agencies of the 2011 national exercise that has been developed from the state level up. This exercise is the first bottom-driven national exercise and the first national level exercise that pertains to a natural disaster, a magnitude 7.7 New Madrid Earthquake. All other exercises have been based on terrorism. This exercise will also be the largest, with eight states and four FEMA Regions participating. The exercise is based on the FEMA New Madrid Catastrophic Planning Initiative scenario, for which the CUSEC State Geologists had prepared soil site class and liquefaction susceptibility maps. The national exercise is scheduled for May 16-20, 2011.