Earthquake briefing on Capitol Hill

September 12, 2005

ALEXANDRIA, VA - About 75 million Americans in 39 states face a significant risk from a strong earthquake. Because of this significant risk, the Congressional Hazards Caucus Coalition will sponsor an earthquake hazards briefing Tuesday, September 20 at 3:00 pm, in room 2325 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

The recent Hurricane Katrina disaster highlights the importance of being prepared for and responding to natural hazards. Thus, it is imperative to prepare the public and their communities in advance to minimize the loss of life and property. The briefing will show how the public can become involved in monitoring earthquake shaking, how to design and build earthquake-resistant structures and how to protect our infrastructure, including communications, oil and gas pipelines, and water and sewage systems. The briefing will also address how to respond to an earthquake after it happens, providing information on emergency response systems and personal safety.

The Congressional Hazards Caucus Coalition Briefing will be moderated by Linda Rowan, Director of the Government Affairs Program at the American Geological Institute, and will include four speakers from a variety of organizations.

David Wald of the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo., will discuss Rapid Earthquake Information: Citizen Science and New Tools for Emergency Response.

Clifford J. Roblee, a geotechnical engineer with the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation Consortium, Inc. in Davis, Calif., will talk on How to Design and Build More Earthquake-Resistant and Cost-Effective Structures.

Stuart Nishenko, a Pacific Gas and Electric Power Company seismologist in San Francisco, Calif., will discuss Most Cost-effective Approaches to Monitor Seismic Response in Buildings and Lifelines and How to Protect Vital Infrastructure.

Russ Paulsen, an emergency manager with the American Red Cross in Washington, DC, will present on How to Prepare for and Respond to an Earthquake.

The Congressional Hazards Caucus Coalition urges everyone to be aware of earthquake hazards and take the appropriate steps to protect themselves and their communities, reducing their vulnerability to earthquakes. The briefing is sponsored by the following members of the Coalition: the American Geological Institute, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the Seismological Society of America.
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For more information, contact Linda Rowan at rowan@agiweb.org.

The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of 43 scientific and professional associations that represent more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources and interaction with the environment. More information about AGI can be found at http://www.agiweb.org.

American Geosciences Institute

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