Contracts and Grants

The Hazardousness of Place: Modeling Risk Vulnerability, National Science Foundation, $50,000, 12 months. Principal Investigator: Burrell E. Montz, Department of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies, P.O. Box 6000, SUNY Binghamton, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000; (607) 747-2615 or 2264; fax: (607) 747-2288; e-mail:
With rare exceptions, hazards research has focused on individual hazards at particular locations, an approach that does not fully explain the risks that exist in an area. This project will employ a multiple hazard perspective to determine the hazardousness of a place. Using Tampa Bay, Florida, as the research area, researchers will use data on the spatial extent of events, the physical and built environments, and social characteristics to create a geographic information system-based model to examine the relationships among and between hazards.

Dissertation Research: Differential Access to Irrigation Water and Vulnerability to Flood Hazard in the Punjab: An Analysis of Structural Factors, National Science Foundation, $7,185, 18 months. Principal Investigator: Daanish Mustafa, Department of Geography, Campus Box 260, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0260. For information, contact James L. Wescoat, Department of Geography, Campus Box 260, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0260; (303) 492-4877; fax: (303) 492-7501; e-mail:
This study will examine social structural factors underlying the inequities and inefficiencies of the Pakistani irrigation and flood management regime. The primary hypothesis is that influences of government, property ownership, and power and water resources management lead to increased vulnerability to flood hazard and irrigation water scarcity for underprivileged social groups. The research will entail field work in four central Pakistani communities.

Prediction in the Earth Sciences: Use and Misuse in Policy Making, National Science Foundation, $99,781, 24 months. Principal Investigators: Daniel E. Sarewitz, Radford Byerly, Roger Pielke, and Dale Jamieson, Geological Society of America. For information, contact Daniel Sarewitz, Geological Society of America, 3300 Penrose Place, P.O. Box 9140, Boulder, CO 80301; (303) 447-2020; fax: (303) 447-1133; e-mail:
Policy makers increasingly demand predictive information that can help guide political decision making on controversial environmental issues that involve global climate change, radioactive waste disposal, and mitigation of natural hazards. As a result, major financial and intellectual resources are now focused on developing models and techniques for predicting natural and human-induced environmental phenomena. At the same time, research budgets are tightening. This project will begin a systematic analysis for understanding if, how, and when research focusing on prediction can be productively applied to policy making. Two workshops will be convened that will focus on identifying principles and criteria that can help policy makers judge the potential value of scientific prediction.

Reducing Losses from Storms, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State of North Carolina, $111,000, 12 months. Principal Investigator: David Brower, Department of City and Regional Planning, Campus Box 3140, New East Hall, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3410; (919) 962-3983; fax: (919) 962-5206; e-mail:
With funds primarily from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, this study will examine the effects of Hurricanes Fran, Edouard, and Bertha on the state's barrier islands, floodplains, environmental systems, water and wastewater facilities, schools, transportation systems, and other infrastructure. FEMA approved 5% of the total federal hazard mitigation funds available following Hurricane Fran to be used at the state's discretion to reduce future damage. Thus, this project will assist North Carolina's Emergency Management Division in implementing mitigation measures against future storms.

Coastal Change, Climate, and Instability, European Commission, 866,000, 36 months. Principal Investigator: Robin McInnes, Isle of Wight Council, County Hall, Newport, Isle of Wight P030 1UD, U.K.; tel: (01983) 823107; fax: (01983) 823109.
The aim of this project is to examine how predicted climate change may affect unstable coastal areas and landslide areas. The project involves partners in the U.K., France, Italy, and Ireland and will be supported by both geotechnical and archaeological studies. A key element will be to improve understanding of the relationship between rainfall, groundwater levels, coastal erosion, and ground movement in order to develop more reliable methods for landslide forecasting and risk assessment in urban areas. Archeological evidence will be used to predict the nature, scale, and pace of coastal change, as well as to study themes closely linked with long-term response to the Holocene rise and short-term climatic changes and weather patterns.

Development and Analysis of Alternative Housing Mitigation and Recovery Strategies for Earthquakes, National Science Foundation, $223,038, 18 months. Principal Investigator: Jeanne B. Perkins, Association of Bay Area Governments, P.O. Box 2050, Oakland, CA 94604-2050; (510) 464-7934; fax: (510) 464-7970.
The goals of this project are to improve pre-earthquake housing mitigation programs, provide additional data to support emergency planning and disaster response, and accelerate residential rebuilding efforts in future earthquakes. The project will evaluate the effectiveness of existing pre-earthquake housing damage mitigation programs, examine factors that motivate homeowners to retrofit, model the demands for post-earthquake emergency assistance, and examine the time periods for the repair or replacement of habitable units.

Integrated Earthquake Mitigation Strategies for Metropolitan Cities, National Science Foundation, $55,477, 24 months. Principal Investigator: Wei Min Dong, Risk Management Solutions, Inc., 149 Commonwealth Drive, Menlo Park, CA 94025-1133.
The U.S. and the People's Republic of China have both recently developed computer loss estimation software systems: HAZUS97 in the U.S. and P95-06 in China. Although similar in purpose, the two programs differ considerably in content. Under this project, the two countries will undertake a joint effort to understand the similarities and differences of the two systems, with a view toward improving both. In addition, HAZUS97 will be evaluated concerning its applicability to other countries with different seismic, geologic, and building stock characteristics than the U.S.

Adoption of Earthquake Hazard Adjustments by Households and Complex Organizations, National Science Foundation, $392,498, 48 months. Principal Investigator: Michael K. Lindell, Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3137; (409) 845-7813; fax: (409) 845-5121.
This research will assess the extent to which social units located in areas with different levels of seismic vulnerability vary in their adoption of earthquake hazard adjustments, including preparedness and mitigation. The study will involve two kinds of social units--households and complex organizations--with the latter divided into private businesses and government agencies. The research will also address characteristics of the physical and social environment affecting each of these social units by comparing units at high seismic risk in southern California to units at medium risk in western Washington.

NSF Creates Three New Earthquake Centers

In a major new earthquake research initiative, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has named three centers to conduct and coordinate earthquake engineering research for the U.S. NSF will provide approximately $2 million a year for five years to each center, for a total of $30 million. The centers are expected to match the federal funds, dollar for dollar, with nonfederal funds and must form consortia of research organizations linked through electronic networks.

Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER Center)

The PEER Center, a consortium of nine institutions, will conduct research in five basic areas: 1) policy, planning, and economics; 2) seismic hazards; 3) performance assessment; 4) systems reliability; and 5) innovative technologies. The center will develop a business and industrial partnership program, conduct urban demonstration projects to test research, and provide education programs for both K-12 students and undergraduates. For more information, contact the principal investigator, Jack P. Moehle, Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California-Berkeley, 1301 South 46th Street, Richmond, CA 94804-4698; (510) 231-9554; fax: (510) 231-9471; e-mail:

Mid-America Earthquake Center (MAE)

The MAE will work to reduce potential earthquake losses in the central and eastern U.S., concentrating on problems associated with less frequent seismic events and their consequences for individuals, economic systems, and infrastructure. Projects will focus on identification and evaluation of seismic hazards and development of loss-reduction strategies for the built environment. This center will also work to educate the next generation of earthquake engineers and provide outreach to industry, government, pre-college schools, and potential user groups. For more information, contact the principal investigator, Daniel P. Abrams, Department of Civil Engineering, 3148 Newmark Celab, MC 250, 205 North Matthews, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801; (217) 333-0565; fax: (217) 333-0565; e-mail:

Center for Advanced Technologies in Earthquake Loss Reduction (ATEL)

ATEL, a nine-institution consortium, will develop and apply advanced and emerging technologies for design, construction, and retrofitting of buildings and infrastructure to reduce earthquake losses. It will focus on three major elements: performance assessment of the built environment, rehabilitation of critical facilities, and response and recovery using new loss-estimation methods and technologies. Like the other centers, it will also provide outreach to students of all ages, as well as to the public and private sectors. For more information, contact George C. Lee, National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, SUNY Buffalo, 109 Red Jacket Quadrangle, Buffalo, NY 14261-0025; (716) 645-3391; fax: (716) 645-3399.

New Group Forms to Manage Risk

In September, the first meeting of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) was held to identify ways that PERI could work with other organizations to reduce insurance losses. PERI was created in 1996 as part of the settlement of an antitrust lawsuit brought by attorneys general in 20 states and several private parties against 32 insurance providers; the institute was created to improve the management of risk, including natural hazards. The PERI Board of Directors believe that effective risk management requires interaction among local governments, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, risk managers, educators, and environmental and natural hazards experts.

According to its Executive Director, Gerard Hoetmer, PERI's mission is to provide a useful resource for enhancing risk management in public, private, and nonprofit organizations, particularly smaller organizations. To meet this goal, PERI will serve as a clearinghouse of information on risk management and develop a network of experts and information centers to share information on risk management.

For further details on this new organization, contact PERI, 11350 Random Hills Road, Fairfax, VA 22030; (703) 934-6046; fax: (703) 352-7085.

Recent Publications

All Hazards

Emergency Management: A Legislator's Guide. Laura Hagg Nelson. 1997. 55 pp. $20.00, plus $4.00 shipping. Copies can be purchased from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 1560 Broadway, Suite 700, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 830-2054; fax: (303) 863-8003; e-mail:; WWW:
This guide, part of a larger effort by NCSL to assist states in developing emergency management policy, presents information about natural disasters; preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation; state financial responsibility for natural disasters; and options for state legislative action. It contains an overview of emergency management, including the roles of federal and state governments; describes tools for mitigating disasters, such as land-use planning, acquisition programs, building codes and enforcement, and insurance premium credits; lists state resources for funding emergency management and mitigation programs; describes mutual assistance compacts and partnerships; offers suggestions for state legislative action; and details other federal assistance programs.

State Emergency Management Funding and Structures: NEMA/CSG 1997 Report. 1997. 45 pp. $25.00, plus $4.00 shipping. Purchase from the Council of State Governments, 2760 Research Park Drive, P.O. Box 11910, Lexington, KY 40511-8410; (606) 244-8000; fax: (606) 244-8001; e-mail:; WWW:
This report provides a comprehensive overview of state spending on emergency management, detailing information for 44 states, FEMA regional spending, population characteristics, and spending per emergency management function. The report notes that between 1992 and 1996, state expenses for postdisaster programs increased by 63%, while predisaster expenses grew by 97%. It also discusses state structures and funding; performance partnership agreements; emergency management assistance; trends in comprehensive emergency management, including changes in preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery costs; interstate mutual aid agreements; cost-sharing for postdisaster assistance; and state versus federal declarations and spending.

World Health Statistics Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 3/4. Subscription: 121 Swiss francs; individual copies: 39 Swiss francs. Available from the World Health Organization (WHO), Distribution and Sales, CH-1211, Geneva 27, Switzerland; tel: (+41 22) 791 24 76; fax: (+41 22) 791 4857; e-mail:
This issue of World Health Statistics is devoted to the health consequences of emergencies and disasters, as well as their management. Articles include: "A New Role for the WHO in Emergencies," "Health Sector Approach to Vulnerability Reduction and Emergency Preparedness," "Disasters in Africa: Old and New Hazards and Growing Vulnerability," "SUMA, A Management Tool for Post-Disaster Relief Supplies," " Disaster Preparedness: Institutional Capacity Building in the Americas," "The Impact of Hurricane Luis on the Health Services of Antigua and Barbuda," "The Effects of Volcanoes on Health: Preparedness in Mexico," "Standardization of Health Relief Items Needed in the Early Phase of Emergencies," and "UNICEF's Rich History in Emergency Preparedness."

Mitigating the Millennium: Proceedings of a Seminar on Community Participation and Impact Measurement in Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Programmes. Jane Scobie, Editor. 1997. 74 pp. Free. Copies can be requested from Intermediate Technology, Myson House, Railway Terrace, Rugby CV21 3HT, U.K.; tel: +44-(0)1788-560631; fax: +44-(0)1788-540270; e-mail: Although the publication is free, donations to this registered charity are welcome (checks payable to Intermediate Technology).
Mitigating the Millennium contains the proceedings of a seminar held in London on World Disaster Reduction Day, October 9, 1996. Practitioners working on disaster management issues in both relief and long-term development programs examined ways to promote local participation in mitigation. Topics include: encouraging community participation in practice, defining a participative approach, evaluating and measuring the impact of mitigation projects, prioritizing mitigation, undertaking emergency preparedness in cyclone areas in Madagascar, improving practice, getting donors involved in disaster mitigation, and recommending initiatives to reduce hazards through the promotion of community-based disaster mitigation programs at all levels of government.

The Emergency Management Assistance Compact Guidebook and Standard Operating Procedures, 1997. D.P. Munro, Compiler. 1997. 106 pp. Free. Request from Doug Munro, Southern Governors' Association, 444 North Capitol Street, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 624-5897; fax: (202) 624-7797.
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), agreed to by southern states following Hurricane Andrew in 1992 (see the Observer, Vol. XXI, No. 3, p. 13), established potential needs and capabilities of member states and laid the legal groundwork for mutual aid among states following a disaster. The agreement specifically calls for states to perform risk assessments to determine what types of assistance and equipment they will need following a disaster. The Emergency Management Assistance Guidebook provides an introduction to interstate assistance, outlines the history of the EMAC, discusses legal issues, profiles training and exercises, describes the EMAC committee, delineates standard operating procedures under EMAC, provides summaries of state agency structures and responsibilities, contains a directory of EMAC state personnel, and includes forms to be used by states requesting assistance, as well forms to be used by responding states.

The Economic Impact of Natural Disasters in Fiji. Charlotte Benson. Working Paper 97. 1997. 108 pp. 6.00, plus 4.00 shipping.
The Economic Impact of Natural Disasters in Viet Nam. Charlotte Benson. Working Paper 98. 1997. 121 pp. 6.00, plus 4.00 shipping.
The Economic Impact of Natural Disasters in the Philippines. Charlotte Benson. Working Paper 99. 1997. 135 pp. 6.00, plus 4.00 shipping.
Copies can be purchased from the Overseas Development Institute, Portland House, Stag Place, London SW1E 5DP, U.K.; tel: +44 (0) 171 393 1600; fax: +44 (0) 171 393 1699; e-mail:; WWW:

There has been relatively little research on the economic impacts of natural disasters in developing nations, and these three books attempt to quantify some of the losses that occur in such countries, as well as their impacts on national economies. The first book reports findings from a study of Fiji and concludes that severe natural disasters create major shocks to the Fijian economy, resulting in substantial declines in its Gross Domestic Product. In particular, the manufacturing and agricultural sectors have become increasingly vulnerable since the early 1980s. Benson concludes that considerable attention has been paid to disaster preparedness and recovery, although little has been paid to economic strategic planning or efforts to mitigate the economic impacts of disasters.

In Viet Nam, natural disasters exacerbate regional and occupational income inequalities and reinforce poverty. The second study suggests that vulnerability could increase in the future, both at macroeconomic and household levels. Because Viet Nam retains an essentially agrarian economy, natural disasters have clear adverse implications for agriculture. Benson concludes that, overall, government and aid donor policies have typically failed to acknowledge natural disasters as a major threat to sustainable economic growth and as an obstacle to development.

The Philippines experiences all major types of natural hazards and is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world. Moreover, environmental degradation is increasing the incidence of disasters. As in the other two countries, the agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable, and there have been few mitigation measures adopted. In the Philippines, natural hazards have discouraged new investment and placed a continual burden on government to meet the costs of public prevention, mitigation, and preparedness, as well as relief and rehabilitation following disasters. In particular, poverty programs in this country have ignored the role disasters play in sustaining poverty, and failure to address this issue is reinforced by donor agencies that focus on preparedness and response, rather than prevention and mitigation.

Area G Veterinary Disaster Team Resource Guide. Patty Boge. 1997. 85 pp. $10, print; $5.00, diskette. $10.00, video. Resource guide and video together, $17.00. Available from the Torrance Police Department, 3300 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, CA 90503, attn: Chief; (310) 325-5850. Prepayment is required.
Many disaster responders overlook the importance of addressing animal-related issues before a disaster. Often, good planning can make the difference between having concerned pet owners evacuate a dangerous area quickly because they have their pets, or refusing to evacuate at all. This guide contains information on the "12 Steps to Forming a Veterinary Disaster Team," the California Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS), applying SEMS to veterinary response, the role of the primary veterinary coordinator, the incident command system, useful forms for tracking pets and farm animals, volunteers, transportation, medi-cation, planning, finance, and conducting exercises.

Tasmanian Lifelines Project: Launceston Lifelines Project Report. 1996. 36 pp. $50.00 (U.S.).
Tasmanian Lifelines Project: Tasmania North West Region Project Report. 1996. Free, plus cost of shipping and handling.
Tasmanian Lifelines Project: City of Hobart Lifelines Project Report. 1996. Free, plus cost of shipping and handling.
All three reports can be purchased for $100.00 from the Tasmania State Emergency Service, 1st Floor, 47 Liverpool Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 7000; tel: 61 3 62302711; fax: 61 3 62349767; e-mail:

Lifelines, those services and structures that handle transportation, electricity, communications, water, and wastewater, are often seriously disrupted or destroyed in a natural disaster. These reports document the efforts by Tasmania to mitigate the impacts of disasters on the region's lifelines. The reports identify appropriate essential service lifelines, then describe individual project workgroups that conducted a risk assessment of lifelines, identified interdependency issues related to lifelines, developed measures to reduce the impacts of emergencies, and established methods to improve the capability of essential service lifelines to cope with the impact of a disaster.

Humanitarian Report 1997. 1997. 110 pp. $45.00. Obtain from the United Nations Bookshop, Room GA-32, Department I003, New York, NY 10017; (212) 963-7680 or (800) 553-3210; fax: (212) 963-4910; email:; WWW:
Humanitarian tragedies occur every day in every corner of the world. The United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs notes that these events point to the inextricable connection between the problem--a disaster and the humanitarian imperative to save lives--and the underlying causes, which are political, military, economic, social, and environmental. The U.N. believes that political will and requisite resources must be directed toward finding a lasting cure. This report examines the evolution of humanitarian coordination, including responding to complex emergencies and natural disasters, mobilizing resources, and providing information on humanitarian response. It also discusses recent major events in emergency relief coordination for 1996 and 1997. Finally, it examines continuing challenges for humanitarian coordination, including reducing natural, technological, and environmental disasters; eliminating anti-personnel landmines; assisting displaced populations; and linking relief with development practices.

Weather and Climate

The Weather Almanac. 1997. 700 pp. $135.00. Available from Gale Research, 835 Penobscot Building, 645 Griswold Street, Detroit, MI 48226-4094; (800) 877-4253; WWW:
The Weather Almanac provides detailed weather records for 108 major U.S. cities as well as a climatic overview of the U.S. It explains weather phenomena; describes safety measures for threatening weather situations; and presents statistics for hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, lightning, and volcanoes. Other sections cover climate, record-setting weather, weather fundamentals, retirement and health, and weather and air pollution. The almanac also includes a glossary, an index, maps, and charts. Weather statistics are provided for nearly 550 cities worldwide, with data on extreme temperatures, snowfall, early and late frosts, sunshine, and prevailing winds. The Almanac also includes sections on weather and health, wind chill, the summer comfort index, livestock safety, the NOAA weather radio warning network, marine advisories, and how to forecast weather.

"El Niño and Climate Prediction." Reports to the Nation: Our Changing Planet, Spring 1994, No. 3. 24 pp. Free. Request from the University Center for Atmospheric Research, Office for Interdisciplinary Earth Studies, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000; (303) 497-8665; fax: (303) 497-2699; e-mail:
At times, the tropical Pacific Ocean and large expanses of the global atmosphere undergo changes that disrupt the normal patterns of life for countless species of plants and animals, along with millions of human beings. Scientists are seeking to understand these changes, particularly those in the Pacific region called "El Niño." This report describes the phenomenon; its impacts on the food web; its impacts on ocean winds; its global consequences; its prediction; the use of these predictions; and mitigation of its impacts on agriculture, forests, and other elements.


Automated Local Flood Warning Systems Handbook. Weather Service Hydrology Handbook No. 2. 1997. 148 pp. Free. Copies can be requested from Larry Wenzel, W/OH2 Office of Hydrology, NOAA/NWS, SSMC2, #8115, 1325 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; (301) 713-0666, ext. 147; e-mail:
This document explains local flood warning systems and the kinds of assistance available to implement such systems. It contains information on flood mitigation, determining the need for a local flood warning system, types of warning systems, implementing a flood warning system, standards for automated local flood warning systems, response planning, the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System, software, roles and activities of participants, as well as selected references and addresses. Appendix A contains sample memoranda of understanding, and Appendix B contains a manual of local flood forecast procedures.


Flooding and Insurance. 1997. 79 pp. $15.00, plus shipping
Topics: Annual Review of Natural Catastrophes 1996. 1997. 16 pp. Free, plus shipping.
To obtain shipping charges and to order, contact Münchener Rück-versicherungs-Gesellschaft (Munich Re), Central Division: Re-insurance/Research and Development, Königinstraße 107, D-80791 Munich, Germany; tel: (0 89) 38 91-52 91; fax: (0 89) 38 91-56 96; WWW:

One of the world's largest reinsurance companies, Munich Re, recently released Flooding and Insurance, a report that examines the impacts of flooding on world insurance markets. After first noting that the damage caused by flooding in recent decades has been "extremely severe," Munich Re examines the causes of various flood types, the observed upward trends in frequency and severity, and the related challenges for the insurance industry. Section 1 reviews the science and technology related to flood hazards, including classifications, causes, trends, climate change, loss potential, and storm surge. Section 2 discusses loss prevention and minimization, exposed and affected groups, public authorities, and the insurance industry. Section 3 examines the insurability of flood risk, including underwriting aspects of flood coverage in property insurance, rating, accumulation control, and reinsurance. The last section notes that floods represent a particular challenge to the individual insurer and discusses aspects of this problem.

Topics looks at the previous year's natural catastrophes and longer-term trends in natural disaster losses. The Geoscientific Research Group of Munich Re concluded that 1996 was a "normal" year for catastrophic losses, with over $60 billion in losses globally (along with 12,000 fatalities), of which only $9 billion were insured. This document provides data on recent losses and trends in catastrophic losses worldwide, includes a "World Map of Natural Catastrophes 1996," discusses the increasing threat to the world's cities due to natural hazards, and examines the potential effects of global climate change on natural catastrophes.

"Energy Efficiency: No-Regrets Climate Change Insurance for the Insurance Industry." Research Review: Journal of the Society of Insurance Research, Fall 1996.
"Going Green Reduces Losses." Reinsurance, March 1997.
Free reprints can be requested from Joanne Lambert, Center for Building Science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, MS 90-3058, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720; (510) 486-4835; fax: (510) 486-5394; e-mail:; WWW:

These two articles, by Evan Mills of the Center for Building Science, examine the risks of increasing financial losses due to global climate change. "Energy Efficiency" suggests that insured losses from extreme weather events with potential links to climate change, such as windstorms, drought, and floods, have been steadily rising. A 20-fold increase in inflation-adjusted annual insured losses due to windstorm damage since the 1960s is a dramatic indicator of the growing threat to insurers. Thus, the insurance industry can either take a reactive approach to climate change by limiting or withdrawing coverage, or a proactive approach, by encouraging actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"Going Green" notes that energy consumption is the largest contributor to global climate change; therefore, promoting energy efficiency is a promising strategy for the insurance industry. Mills notes that many energy efficient technologies also have the potential to reduce ordinary losses, including demand-controlled ventilation, efficient windows, and energy-efficient building techniques.


A Critical Review of Current Approaches to Earthquake Resistant Design. ATC-34. 1997. 94 pp. $30.00. Order from the Applied Technology Council, 555 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 550, Redwood City, CA 94065; (650) 595-1542; fax: (650) 593-2320; e-mail:; WWW:
This report documents the history of U.S. codes and standards of practice for earthquake resistant design, focusing primarily on the strengths and deficiencies of current codes. It then identifies goals that a new seismic code should achieve.

"Liquefaction Maps." ATC Techbrief 1. 1997. 12 pp. Free. To obtain, contact the Applied Technology Council, 555 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 550, Redwood City, CA 94065; (650) 595-1542; fax: (650) 593-2320; e-mail: The complete text is available on-line:
This is the first in a new series of short documents on subjects of interest to earthquake engineering professionals, summarizing research relevant to design practice. It inventories and describes the available regional liquefaction hazard maps in the U.S., as well as their applicability. The second Techbrief, which will be available later this year, will address "Earthquake Aftershocks and Building Safety." Upcoming topics will cover both geotechnical and structural engineering issues.

National Seismic Safety Advisory Boards' Directory. 1996. 190 pp. $10.00. Purchase from the California Seismic Safety Commission, 1900 K Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95814; (916) 322-4917; fax: (916) 322-9476; e-mail:
Many states with seismic activity have developed seismic advisory boards and commissions, made up of representatives from state and local governments, private industry, banking, utilities, the health professions, and education, to provide advice to states about how to cope with earthquake hazards. This directory contains the proceedings of the first National Workshop for Seismic Advisory Boards and Commissions, held December 3-5, 1996, in Los Angeles. Breakout sessions addressed making advisory boards more effective, developing state and local seismic hazard maps, adopting and enforcing seismic building codes, establishing effective communication of earthquake risk, developing mitigation programs, assessing hazard and risk, understanding earthquake and all-hazards insurance, and developing legislation and policy. The directory also includes in-depth descriptions of and contact information for each board in the U.S.

Plio-Quaternary Faulting and Seismic Hazard in the Flagstaff Area, Northern Arizona. Philip A. Pearthree, Kirk R. Vincent, Richard Brazier, and David Hendrikcs. Bulletin 200. 1996. 31 pp. Two maps, 18" x 22" and 41" x 47". $20.00, plus $4.50 shipping. Arizona residents, add 7% sales tax. Order from the Arizona Geological Survey, 416 West Congress Street, Suite 100, Tucson, AZ 85701; (520) 770-3500; fax: (520) 770-3505; WWW:
Numerous small to moderate quakes have occurred in northern Arizona during the past century, and in 1993, a magnitude 5.4 quake struck an area between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Geologic mapping around Flagstaff indicates that many faults have been active in the past several million years, strongly suggesting that larger quakes may rupture the ground surface in this region. In this report, the Arizona Geological Survey summarizes the geologic evidence for large prehistoric quakes and considers their implication for northern Arizona. It includes several probabilistic seismic hazard assessments for the region that estimate the potential level of shaking and therefore can be used used to develop design specifications for structures. The two maps plot the geologic area near the Bellemont Fault and Camp Navajo and the neotectonic characteristics of the Flagstaff area.

Electronic Publications

An International Collection of Wildland-Urban Interface Resource Materials. 1996. 3" diskette, ASCII or ANSI format. Free. Request from Publications, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, 5320-122 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6M 3S5; (403) 987-7210; fax: (403) 435-7359; e-mail:
We mentioned the printed version of this extensive bibliographic listing of approximately 2,200 wildfire resources in the July 1996 Observer (Vol. XX, No. 6, p. 23). This diskette contains the same information compiled by the International Association of Wildland Fire and the Canadian Forest Service, Northwest Forestry Centre. Most items were produced prior to 1993 and pertain to the U.S., Australia, and Canada. Listed alphabetically by author, they provide information on a wide spectrum of topics, including building materials to mitigate the fire hazard in the wildland-urban interface, hazard reduction techniques, disaster management, and political and social issues. Citations are also indexed by subject in three categories: general and technical materials, newspaper articles, and public education materials.

Geologic Hazard Photos (1997 Release). CD-ROM. $195.00, commercial; $145.00, nonprofit.
Geologic Hazard Photos (1997 Update to 1994 Release). CD-ROM. $120.00, commercial; $90.00, nonprofit.
Both items can be purchased from the National Geophysical Data Center, 325 Broadway, E/GC4, Department 993, Boulder, CO 80303-3328; (303) 497-6826; fax: (303) 497-6513; e-mail:; WWW:

The first CD-ROM contains photographs from both private and government sources of damage caused by natural hazards, including earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, tsunamis, and other geologic hazards. NGDC converted the photographs to digital images in both TIFF and GIF format. The second item is an update of the 1994 edition and also contains files in TIFF and GIF format.

Who We Are

The Hazards Center

The NATURAL HAZARDS RESEARCH AND APPLICATIONS INFORMATION CENTER was founded to strengthen communication among researchers and the individuals and organizations concerned with mitigating natural disasters. The center is funded by the National Science Foundation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Please send information of potential interest to the center or the readers of this newsletter to the address below. The deadline for the next Observer is November 21, 1997.

Center phone number: (303) 492-6818
Fax: (303) 492-2151
Publications Clerk: (303) 492-6819


Sylvia C. Dane, Editor
David L. Butler, Hyperlunk
Dennis S. Mileti, Director
Mary Fran Myers, Co-Director
Fay Tracy, Staff Assistant
Dave Morton, Librarian
Janet Clark, Publications Clerk
Eve Passerini, Research Assistant
Alice Fothergill, Research Assistant

Cartoons for the Observer are drawn by Rob Pudim.

Published bimonthly. Reproduction with acknowledgment is permitted and encouraged.

The Observer is free to subscribers within the U.S. Subscriptions beyond the U.S. cost $15.00 per year. Back issues of the Observer are available for $2.00 each, plus shipping and handling. Orders must be prepaid. Checks should be payable to the University of Colorado.

Copies of the Observer and the Hazards Center's electronic newsletter, Disaster Research, are also available from the Natural Hazards Center's World Wide Web site:

To contact the Observer editor, send an e-mail message to:

To contact the Disaster Research editor, send an e-mail message to:

For other services or information provided by the Natural Hazards Center, send an e-mail to:

To reach us by snail mail, send correspondence to:

Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
Institute of Behavioral Science #6
University of Colorado at Boulder
Campus Box 482
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0482

October 24, 1997

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