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Projects : CUREE-Kajima Joint Research Program

CKI-13: Multidisciplinary Strategies for Earthquake Hazard Mitigation - Earthquake Insurance

• Prof. Henry J. Lagorio
• Mr. Robert A. Olson
• Mr. Stanley Scott
• Dr. Kenneth A. Goettel

This project led to the preparation of five papers on various socioeconomic earthquake hazard mitigation issues. They include a discussion of earthquake insurance in the U.S., a summary of the socioeconomic impacts of several U.S. earthquakes, an examination of the decision-making processes involved in two base isolation decisions, a summary of design lessons learned by prominent earthquake engineers during their careers, a paper outlining a comprehensive approach to earthquake hazard mitigation, and a set of recommendations to improve knowledge transfer.

Earthquake Insurance
The report on earthquake insurance in the U.S. summarizes the current state of law, regulation, and practice in this field. It also describes some of the key policy issues now being debated at the state and national levels of government. The recently established earthquake insurance program in California, which is in its early stages of a difficult implementation, is also discussed in detail. The paper summarizes the content and recent history of earthquake insurance legislation which has been proposed in the U.S. Congress.

Socioeconomic Lessons
The paper on socioeconomic lessons learned examined data from five U.S. earthquakes (Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964, San Fernando Earthquake of 1971, Coalinga Earthquake of 1983, Whittier Narrows Earthquake of 1987, and the Lorna Prieta Earthquake of 1989). In addition to some basic socioeconomic data about each of these earthquakes, the paper presents some general conclusions about formal and informal emergency response; casualties, rescue, and building occupant behavior; families and social groups; public information and the media; recovery and reconstruction; and other socioeconomic lessons learned.

Base-isolation Decision Making Process
Two buildings - one new and one old - have had base isolation foundation systems installed. The paper examining base isolation as· an engineering innovation examined the decision-making processes involved in the two buildings. Its purpose was to identify the factors that favored the use of this innovation. Several were identified, including an organizational culture that encouraged innovation, internal leadership, agreement among members of the technical community, special considerations of the buildings themselves, economic justification, the existence of examples to learn from, and the presence of an effective decision-making process.

Lessons From Prominent Engineers
For several years, oral histories have been collected from U.S. leaders in earthquake engineering, earth sciences, and hazard reduction. This paper synthesizes some of the main conclusions drawn from the numerous and extensive interviews. Among the key subjects addressed are early professional development, influences on the design and construction processes, and the nature of engineering firms who have specialized in earthquake engineering.

Framework for a United Hazard Mitigation Strategy
The last paper, which builds on the Kajima Corporation's 1991 report, "Long Road, Earthquake Hazard Mitigation," discusses a framework for preparing a "unified hazard mitigation strategy." The concept is based on the need for the public, private firms, and government agencies to form a partnership to achieve mitigation. The paper notes the importance of various social and technical interdependencies, the role of knowledge of transfer in stimulating action, and how studies of innovation contribute to understanding how the process of adopting and implementing mitigation actions take place.

The recommendations resulting from the Year One work on knowledge transfer are included in the report, and they are being sent separately to a variety of professional and technical organizations. The CUREe-Kajima research team hopes that such organizations will implement and publicize the recommendations so that the application of research will be accelerated.

The Year Two papers are intended to support the Year Three project which focuses on the conceptual development of a "Socioeconomic Consequences Model," It is possible that such a model could be used for improving future earthquake loss estimates and planning scenarios; identifying cost-efficient mitigation measures; and rapidly estimating probable impacts of actual earthquakes to improve emergency response activities.

Multidisciplinary Restarch on Socioeconomic Aspect and Earthquake Insurance

• Dr. Kaoru Mizukoshi
• Dr. Masamitsu Miyamura
• Mr. Y oshikatsu Miura
• Mr. Toshiro Yamada
• Dr. Mitsuharu Nakahara
• Mr. Hiroshi Ishida

This paper describes the majour earthquake damage occurred in Japan since Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, focussing on the interaction between damage and socioeconomic background. As the major earthquakes, five earthquakes were selected , which are Kanto, Niigata, Tokachi-oki, Miyagiken-oki and Nihonkan-chubu earthquakes. The result will be reviewed and compared with the study by CUREe and pursue major socioeconomic factors or aspects affecting on earthquake damage.

File Download Type Size
CKI-13 PDF 5.9 MB

Also listed as Report No.: CK92-04 (February 1992)

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Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering
last updated 02.20.15