School Earthquake Safety Resources

School Earthquake Safety Resources


4dC 9377 Rules to Remember in an Earthquake, School Safety in Mangan, India


4dC 9385
School in Mangan, India.
Courtesy of Chandra Bhakuni

If you live or work in a region at risk for earthquakes, school safety is likely a high priority for your community. School buildings are, unfortunately, often damaged or collapse in earthquakes. (See the GHI paper for statistics on how many and where ). However, there are actions that you can take to reduce the chances that those who attend or work in the schools will be injured, that school property will be damaged, or that school functioning will be disrupted by an earthquake.

Prepare School Facilities

Make your school buildings safer in earthquakes and more resistant to earthquake damage and disruption. Depending on when and how they were designed, built, and furnished, existing school buildings may have weaknesses that make them more vulnerable to earthquakes.


EERI is compiling resources on school vulnerability, seismic construction guidelines, and international seismic-safety policies. The following table lists some useful publications.

SourceFileSizeDate (yyyy-mm-dd)
EERI's Tsunami Mitigation for Schools Subcommittee (active 2015 - 2018)

The Tsunami Mitigation for Schools Subcommittee was generously funded by Coastal Zone Foundation. A summary of their work is found here: Advocacy for Tsunami Mitigation and Preparedness of U.S. schools along the "Pacific Rim" 16 World Conference on Earthquake Engineering paper #4924 [PDF]

Charge: Support schools with tsunami hazard by provide them access to experts and sharing best practices for tsunami risk mitigation.

Committee members included: Yumei Wang, Heidi Tremayne, Veronica Cedillos, Greg Deierlein, Lori Dengler, Doug Dougherty, Lesley Ewing, Hermann Fritz, Sue Graves, Karen Izumoto, Manuel Lugo, Kevin Miller, Cindy Pridmore, Jay Raskin, Kevin Richards, Althea Rizzo, Ian Robertson, Zahraa Saiyed, John Schelling, Jeri Siegel, Tom Tobin, Heidi Tremayne, Yumei Wang, Jay Wilson, Rick Wilson, Harry Yeh

Additional products they produced are below.
List of U.S. K-12 Schools in Tsunami Evacuation Zones, Version 1.0, March 2017 [XLS]
Tsunami Preparedness Checklist for K-12 School Administrators and Principals, Version 1.0, October 2016 [PDF]
Activity Update Letter to Coastal Zone Foundation, dated July 26, 2016 [PDF]
SESI Tsunami Resources List V1 [PDF]

Washington Schools Earthquake Performance Assessment Tool (EPAT) Washington Schools EPAT User Guide [PDF]
By Kenneth A. Goettel, Cale Ash, and Erica Fischer
Checklist for Data Entry:
EPAT Quick Start Checklist for Data Entry, August 10, 2017 [PDF]
Earthquake Performance Assessment Tool (EPAT):
Washington Schools EPAT for prioritizing building retrofit, August 10, 2017 [XLS]

A general description of each of the 16 structural system of model building types:
Appendix 1: FEMA HAZUS MH 2.1 Earthquake Technical Manual: Building Types [PDF]
Damage State Descriptions for Seismic Fragility Curves
Appendix 2: FEMA HAZUS MH 2.1 Earthquake Technical Manual: Damage States [PDF]
Washington State Building Code History, February 9, 2017 [PDF]
By Cale Ash, Erica Fischer, and Kenneth Goettel
EPAT Results, Okanogan Chelan Schools [XLS]
308 KB

67 KB

5,661 KB

27 KB

39 KB

501 KB

41 KB
2017-02-09 -
16th WCEE, Santiago, Chile 16th WCEE Special Session 74SS: Advocating for Improved School Earthquake Safety
The following are papers presented in this session
Session Overview Slides
H. Tremayne, L. Van Den Einde, B. Weliver
Creating an Advocacy Network for improved School Earthquake Safety
Download presentation slides
L. Van Den Einde, S. Fatima, T. Anagnos, H. Tremayne, B. Welliver, Y. Wang, L. Tobin
Advocacy for Tsunami Mitigation and Preparedness of U.S. Schools Along the Pacific Rim
Download presentation slides
Z. Saiyed, S. Fatima, K. Izumoto, I. Robertson, B. Welliver, H. Tremayne
School Safety Guide for Natural Hazards
M. Mahoney, V. Cedillos, A. Herseth, A. Hortacsu, L. Peek, B. Welliver
Improving the Earthquake Safety of Ghana's Schools
C.D. Bou-Chedid, L. Maclise, S. Ali, C. Ash, D. Hutchings Mieler, H. Mdala, V. Rawal, K. Stillwell
National School Seismic Retrofit Project in Israel
Y. Offir, Y. Daniel, I. Shoshani
Development and its Dissemination of School Disaster and Emergency Management Plan in the Republic of Turkey
Y. Yamzaki, B. Özmen, O. Ergünay, F. Kaneko, Miyazaki
Seismic Risk Assessment of Public Schools and Prioritization Strategy for Risk Mitigation
R. Rincón, L. Yamin, A. Becerra
Prioritization Methodology for Seismic Risk Reduction in Public Schools. Study Case: Lima, Peru
S. Santa-Cruz, J. Palomino, E. Arana
Performance-based Seismic Retrofit of School Buildings in British Columbia, Canada - An Overview
C. E. Ventura, A. Bebamzadeh, M. Fairhurst, M. Turek, G. Taylor , W. D. L. Finn

1 MB

750 KB

320 KB

4 MB

292 KB

502 KB

307 KB

672 KB

736 KB

216 KB

742 KB
SEAOC Convention, October 2016 Resilient Schools Through Leadership and Community Engagement By K. Yu, J. Newell, D. Beyer, C. Poland, J. Raskin, R. Steinbrugge 724 KB 2016-10-12
EERI School Earthquake Safety Initiative Webinar
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
EERI School Earthquake Safety Initiative Webinar Video Recording
PDF Version of Presentation Slides
Topics discussed include:
Intro to SESI and its Subcommittees
By SESI Chari Barry Welliver, Classroom Subcommittee Chair Lelli Van Den Einde, & Code Updates Subcommittee Chair Rob Jackson.
Thurston County School Seismic Safety Evaluations
by Cale Ash (M. EERI, 2002), Principal, Degenkolb Engineers.
Partnering to Perform Rapid Visual Screenings of Alaska’s Schools
by Laura Kelly, Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission.
12MB 2016-07-12
2nd Meeting of Safe School Leaders, Tehran, Iran, October 4-5, 2015 Report on Iran's Activities on Disaster Risk Reduction of Schools
Worldwide Initiative for Safe Schools Short Report
By United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Second Safe School Leaders Meeting Report
By Barry H Welliver, Chair SESI.
16MB 2015-10-04
Prepared for The Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission
Vulnerability of Kenai Peninsula Borough Schools to Earthquake Damage Based on Rapid Visual Screening
Appendix A-Score Sheets for ROVER
by BBFM Engineers Inc.
6MB 5MB 2015-12-01
2015 EERI Annual Meeting "EERI School Earthquake Safety Initiative" Plenary Session - Abstract and Bios
"EERI School Earthquake Safety Initiative" Plenary Session - Slide Presentation
119 KB
3 MB
SESI Best Practice Webinar 1 Webinar Agenda and Intro Slides
Seismic Design of School Buildings in Colorado and other Low to Moderate Hazard areas: Is the Internal Building code adequate?
Rob Jackson, URS Corp
Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation of School Buildings (K-12)Barry Welliver, BHW Engineers
To see a full recording of this webinar, click here.
110 KB
11 MB

3 MB
SESI Best Practice Webinar 2
Thursday, June 12
Webinar Agenda
City of Berkeley school retrofit program: advocacy & implementation, with thoughts on national policy making
Arrietta Chakos, Urban Resilience Strategies 
Slides: Utah Schools RVS Advocacy
Barry Welliver, BHW Engineers
To see a full recording of this webinar, click here.
110 KB
69 KB

5 MB
SESI Best Practice Webinar 3
Thursday, June 26
Webinar Agenda
Multi-hazard guideline on improving school sheltering and related operations
Mike Mahoney,
Oregon Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program
Gloria Zacharias
Slides: Washington State K-12 Facilities Risk Assessments and Hazard Mitigation Planning
Ken Goettel, Goettel & Associates, Inc.
To see a full recording of this webinar, click here.
110 KB
53 KB
57 KB
5 MB
SESI Best Practice Webinar 4
Thursday, July 10
Webinar Agenda
San Francisco Private Schools Program
Patrick Otellini
Slides: Integrating earthquake engineering into high schools with Project Lead the Way
Lelli Van Den Einde, University of California San Diego 
Retrofitting the Piedmont, CA Schools
Janiele Maffei, California Earthquake Authority
To see a full recording of this webinar, click here.
110 KB
3 MB
2 MB
3 MB
2014 EERI Annual Meeting and 10NCEE The Kodiak Experience - Funding for Vulnerable School Facilities
Bud Cassidy, Kodiak Island Borough.
EERI Special Session - Seismic Safety of Schools
John Sherstobitoff, Ausenco Sandwell.
School Seismic Safety in Ghana
Cale Ash, Degenkolb Engineers.
School Hazard Identification & Risk Management in Alaska
Laura Kelly, US Coast Guard.
1 MB

4 MB

6 MB

5 MB
2013 EERI Annual Meeting School Seismic Safety Presentations (2/13/2013)   2013-02-12
Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience
in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)
Toward Safer School Construction A community-based approach
This manual lays out a safer school building process that includes a community-based approach, what the process can look like, and how a community-based construction program is run, leading to safer schools and an empowered community.
5.53MB 2015-00-00
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Educational Facilities and Risk Management, Natural Disasters
This collaborative report compiles information on earthquake risk, management, design and regulations for educational facilities across the world.
782 KB 2004-00-00
Edward Wolf & Yumei Wang, Council on Disaster Risk Management URM-Free by 2033:Toward a National Safe Schools Agenda (publication)
The authors review the status of school seismic safety in
five high-seismic-hazard zones identified on the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps.

Building a Seismic School Safety Program in the U.S. (Presentation)
This presentation from Edward Wolf and Yumei Wang identifies seismic hazards in schools in the U.S., addresses seismic codes in various states and outlines the Build safe Schools Program.
3.03 MB 2012-04-06
National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities Seismic Retrofit for Schools: Resource List
Information on design and retrofit of schools to resist earthquakes, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
3.03 MB  
Janise Rodgers, GeoHazards International Why Schools are Vulnerable to Earthquakes
A report on social vulnerability and school safety from GeoHazards International
1335 KB 2012-10-01
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery Guidance Notes on Safer School Construction
The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery presents a framework of guiding principles and general steps to develop a context-specific plan to address disaster resilient construction and retrofitting of school buildings around the world.
5851 KB 2009-00-00
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery Developing a Strategy for Improving Seismic Safety of Schools in Nepal
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery
545 KB 2010-00-00
FEMA Design Guide for Improving School Safety in Earthquakes, Floods and High Winds
Comprehensive guidance on making new and existing schools more resistant to earthquakes
FEMA Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation of School Buildings (K-12) : Providing Protection to People and Buildings
This publication was developed to provide school administrators with the information necessary to assess the seismic vulnerability of their buildings, and to implement a program of incremental seismic rehabilitation for those buildings.
FEMA Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage—A Practical Guide, Fourth Edition
This document explains the sources of earthquake damage that can occur in nonstructural components and provides information on effective methods for reducing risk associated with nonstructural earthquake damage
Rob Jackson, P.E., EERI School Safety Committee, prepared for American Clearinghouse on Educational Facilities Earthquake Safety Guidelines for Educational Facilities 367 KB 2012-12-01
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
499 14th Street, Suite 220
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-451-0905
Fax: 510-451-5411

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