Policy Statements

Policy Statements

EERI has developed a set of Policy Statements that can be used by EERI members to promote and encourage action by policy makers to reduce earthquake risk. Each statement has a succinct 1 page document summarizing EERI's position, and a companion 3 page white paper with more details and background information.

 Statement Title Position Approval Date
Promote Comprehensive Tsunami Risk Management in the United States Action is needed to achieve a more comprehensive approach to tsunami risk management in the United States. Mitigating tsunami deaths and destruction requires risk-informed siting, design, and construction of tsunami- resistant facilities and retrofitting of currently existing facilities, with enforcement of coordinated land-use regulations and design standards. New critical infrastructure within inundation zones should meet design standards for tsunamis; and existing infrastructure should be mitigated as possible. Planning for tsunami mitigation, response, and recovery must include ongoing public engagement to facilitate inclusive, equitable outcomes. Supporting and collaborating with National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program partners and other organizations, particularly those based in local communities, is essential. Research should include potential practical and implementable applications to effect tsunami risk mitigation. All coastal and maritime entities should be considered in tsunami research and mitigation activities. December 6, 2023

Promote Comprehensive, Safe, and Earthquake Resilient Health Care Systems

EERI urges each earthquake prone community throughout the country to increase its earthquake safety and resilience through the planning and design of its health care systems.  Facilities, networks, and systems providing for the health of the community need to care for those who were already sick or had health care needs pre-earthquake, as well as those injured as a result of the event.  A holistic systems approach, linked to community resilience planning, is critical and should encompass buildings, site, equipment, infrastructure, staffing, and supply chains. Community resilience is improved when emergency health care and continuity of essential services are provided during the emergency period, and normal, pre-event health care services recover within a very short time.

December 14, 2021
Schools shall be URM Free by 2033 To keep students, staff, and faculty safe, unreinforced masonry school buildings should be retrofitted, repurposed, or replaced in regions with high and moderate earthquake hazard. December 14, 2021
Mitigation of Nonstructural Hazards in Schools Students, staff, and faculty should be kept safe from injury by nonstructural items in school buildings in regions for which earthquake risk has been identified.  December 14, 2021
Creating Earthquake Resilient Communities  EERI advocates for all earthquake-prone communities to develop community-driven resilience plans and strategies to ensure rapid and robust recovery. Resilience plans should link the community’s social and economic functions and services to the buildings and infrastructure systems that support them. December 14, 2021

Promote Safe and Resilient Housing in the United States

 Actions are needed to increase the safety and habitability of housing after earthquakes, recognizing that housing is architecturally diverse and serves a variety of household sizes and incomes.  Residents should be able to “shelter-in-place,” which is the ability of a resident to shelter in their home after an earthquake. This objective would be achieved if the housing is safe and habitable after the event during the repair phase to restore normal functionality.

December 10, 2019

Promoting the Adoption and Enforcement of Effective Building Codes with Earthquake Provisions in the United States EERI supports federal, state, and local adoption, enforcement, and funding of modern, effective building codes with provisions for earthquake design for new and existing buildings in the United States. While the focus of this paper is on United States conditions and recommendations, EERI supports action worldwide. 

December 10, 2019

Implementing an Effective Earthquake Early Warning System A comprehensive Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system should be developed and deployed in areas of high earthquake risk in the United States. EEW can save lives and reduce property damage but requires an urgent, substantial and long-term commitment and investment in the scientific basis, physical infrastructure, information technology, delivery systems and user training to support its widest possible beneficial and equitable use.

December 7, 2018 

Promoting the Use of Confined Masonry Construction International building code writing bodies, academic institutions, and international aid agencies should promote the use of confined masonry as an affordable, earthquake-resistant construction choice for emerging economies in seismically active regions around the world.  September 21, 2018
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program 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.  June 14, 2016
Improve Reliability of Lifeline Infrastructure Systems  Programs to improve the reliability and resilience of lifeline infrastructure systems in earthquakes should identify the systems’ vulnerabilities and interdependencies in earthquakes, prioritize mitigation actions, implement system improvements over time, and communicate system vulnerabilities to lifeline customers, other lifeline operators, and affected local, state, and federal governments. June 14, 2016 


The policy statements were developed by members of EERI's Public Policy and Advocacy Committee during a comprehensive year long effort, that included a one-day workshop to consider various policy position statement ideas. The workshop website contains numerous resources from the event and describes the process used to review and adopt position statements. The statements do not cover every important topic for EERI, but the topics were selected based jointly on committee member interest and willingness to write them, as well as their success at achieving consensus amongst the committee members.

The Committee plans to develop additional statements in the future to address other important issues related to earthquake risk reduction, and welcomes member suggestions and participation in the process.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your ideas.

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
499 14th Street, Suite 220
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-451-0905
Fax: 510-451-5411
Email: eeri@eeri.org

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