Regional Chapter Best Practices

EERI Regional Chapters offer the opportunity for members to interact with other professionals in their area to promote the study of earthquake hazards and lead mitigation activities that benefit the region. EERI relies on its chapters to implement its mission at the local level.

This page outlines some organizational and programming suggestions that have proved successful for EERI regional chapters in the past. There is great variation in both the resources available as well as the scope and nature of hazard from region to region. As a result, some of the suggestions contained in this document will be more relevant to some chapters than others. The goal of this document is to help chapters be successful in engaging their members and establishing an organizational structure that will work for them and may be of particular interest to new or growing EERI Regional Chapters.

Ongoing Programming

  1. Plan and host at least 2 chapter meetings or activities annually. These could be lectures, panel discussions, or other events utilizing local experts (or visiting experts) as decided by the chapter’s Board. If you are unable to convene for a regular meeting, consider hosting a webinar with speakers.
  2. Considering partnering on events with other local organizations or with EERI student chapters at universities in your region. Many chapters find that partnering on events helps make it easier to put on a diverse and regular set of events for their members.
  3. Administer a survey to accrue feedback on the quality of speakers at your meetings and the satisfaction of your members with the chapter, or to gather more ideas for chapter activities.
  4. Attend the EERI Annual Meeting
  5. Ask for help if you need it! EERI staff or other regional chapters are just an email away. Staff contact information can be found here and other regional chapter information can be found on the EERI Regional Chapters Webpage.

Activity Ideas

  1. Organize field trips to sites of interest led by local experts.
  2. Give annual awards to particularly dedicated or engaged members of your chapter. (Example:Northern California Chapter)
  3. Develop a regional earthquake scenario (Examples: Utah, Northern California)
  4. Host a one-day or half-day training workshop on a technical topic or reconnaissance practices. (Examples: San Diego).
  5. Consider an advocacy program for policy makers or a one-time activity for an urgent issue (eg letter of support for seismic mitigation legislation). (Examples: Utah)
  6. Help nearby student chapters raise money to compete in the Seismic Design Competition at the EERI Annual Meeting.
  7. Help host an EERI Annual Meeting in your region and participate on the Local Organizing Committee (Example: Boston)
  8. Organize School outreach through the School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI).

Organizational

  1. Hold monthly board meetings (either in person or by conference call). These meetings provide valuable planning and coordination time, while also allowing you to network with each other and develop strong professional relationships with fellow Board members.
  2. Establish or fill the officer positions in your bylaws to help share responsibility for various tasks equitably amongst the board members.
  3. Create a chapter logo. For examples visit the Regional Chapters Webpage.
  4. Create and maintain a chapter website to share news, events, regionally relevant hazard mitigation materials, or a calendar of events. If this is too much work, consider other mechanisms for outreach like Linked In, Facebook, etc. For examples visit the Regional Chapters Webpage.
  5. Don’t forget to do regular chapter business:
    • Develop chapter bylaws
    • Create and maintain a membership list
    • Develop an annual budget
    • Hold elections regularly
    • Update officer contact information after elections
    • Submit your Annual Report to the board
    • Join regional chapter coordination calls
  6. Consider establishing subcommittees like an events subcommittee or a subcommittee dedicated to outreach.
  7. Ask EERI staff to send email blasts to your members. If you draft the text, it is easy for us to send an announcement out to members in your region. Also, we can help with establishing a chapter website or logo if you are interested.

      Questions, comments, or ideas? E-mail us at eeri@eeri.org.