National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program

(Download this policy statement as a one-page PDF)

Adoption date by EERI Board of Directors: April 5, 2016

EERI Policy Position
Congress should direct the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) to accomplish the tasks called for in the 2011 National Research Council report on earthquake resilience, the President should request the needed funding, and Congress should provide the subsequent appropriation.

Background
NEHRP improves the nation’s earthquake resilience by coordinating and supporting the work of key federal agencies that address earthquake-related issues (FEMA, NIST, NSF and USGS). It focuses the efforts of these agencies on the activities our nation needs most to improve its earthquake resilience. NEHRP activities emphasize pre-event planning and mitigation, to reduce the amount of damage that inevitable future earthquakes will cause.

Over 85 million Americans live with significant earthquake risk. In the decades since it was created, NEHRP has effectively reduced the nation’s earthquake risk, but much work remains to be done. As US cities grow larger, denser, and more complex, the impacts of potential earthquakes also grow.

The National Research Council (NRC) was commissioned by NIST to develop a roadmap for earthquake hazard and risk reduction in the United States based on the goals and objectives for achieving national earthquake resilience described in the 2008 NEHRP Strategic Plan. Their report, National Earthquake Resilience: Research, Implementation, and Outreach, was published in 2011 and called for work in 18 tasks focused on research, preparedness and mitigation and annual funding of approximately 300 million dollars per year for 20 years.

Needed Action

  1. Congress should authorize NEHRP funding for the 18 tasks called for in the 2011 NRC report;
  2. Presidential budgets should request the needed 300 million dollars per year to support
    this critical work; and
  3. Congress should appropriate the funds needed to carryout the tasks in the NRC report, based on budget requests.
    1. More information on this policy statement can be found on the full policy white paper: https://www.eeri.org/wp-content/uploads/eeri-policy-nehrp.pdf