Program Highlights Earthquake Threats, Safety and Awareness
Representatives of Optimum Seismic, Inc., a leading California earthquake retrofit company, participated in the National Earthquake Conference 2020 in San Diego from March 3 to 6.
The dynamic conference featured the first public release of results from a new earthquake scenario and risk study for the San Diego-Tijuana region. Developed by experts over the last five years, the scenario showcased the impacts and consequences of a potential magnitude 6.9 earthquake on the Rose Canyon fault that runs through the heart of the San Diego metropolitan area and harbor.
The Rose Canyon fault is considered a major seismic hazard to the San Diego region, the third largest and one of the fastest growing population centers in California. The region’s large population coupled with the poor seismic resistance of its older buildings and infrastructure systems, make San Diego vulnerable to earthquakes.
By raising awareness of the earthquake threat, experts are hopeful that the newly released report will prompt actions towards reducing risks from earthquakes. The report presents a vision for a more seismically resilient San Diego and outlines the next steps towards improving the San Diego region’s resilience to earthquakes.
Optimum Seismic, Inc., the newest Gold Subscribing Member of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), is one of California’s leading advocates for earthquake resiliency and sustainability. Since 1984 the Optimum team has been designing and constructing earthquake retrofits and has completed more than 3,500 construction projects throughout California including multi-family, concrete frame non-ductile, steel frame, unreinforced masonry, bridges, and historically significant retrofits.
“We are very pleased to have Optimum Seismic, Inc. bring its wealth of earthquake retrofit experience to the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute,” says EERI President Laurie A. Johnson. “Optimum Seismic has a tradition of safeguarding our communities and advancing professional development opportunities for seismic safety engineers.”
“The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute truly appreciates the generosity shown by Optimum Seismic, Inc. in becoming a Gold Subscribing Member of our organization and also sponsoring our annual awards ceremony luncheon,” says EERI Executive Director Heidi Tremayne.”
“Optimum Seismic is strongly committed to supporting educational opportunities for seismic and structural engineering professionals and students that create a greater understanding and awareness of earthquake risks in California and throughout our nation,” says Optimum Seismic Chief Operating Officer Ali Sahabi. “The professional development opportunities Optimum Seismic supports through EERI will help to make our cities safer in the years ahead.”
A recently published white paper on the economics of earthquake retrofits entitled “Economic Benefits of Earthquake Resistant Buildings – Why Business and Government Should Invest Now to Protect California from Devastating Earthquakes” authored by Sahabi and the US Resilience Council’s Evan Reis was distributed to conference participants. Free copies of the white paper may be downloaded at https://www.optimumseismic.com/economic-benefits-of-earthquake-resistant-buildings-whitepaper/
Members of EERI also learned that Optimum Seismic is in the third year of an unprecedented cooperative partnership supporting a public education program for businesses regarding earthquake safety. In 2020 this Seismic Resilience Initiative involves the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles County Business Federation, County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and numerous other business and professional organizations. This public education effort involves coordinated outreach to more than 250,000 businesses with over three million employees.
The National Earthquake Conference happens every four years and provides a unique opportunity for engagement and information sharing by a diverse group of experts. These experts include: academia, building code officials, engineers, businesses, design/build professionals, FEMA staff, first responders, geologists, local emergency managers, insurance and reinsurance professionals, local and tribal governments, private sector practitioners, state and territorial earthquake managers, national earthquake hazards reduction program agencies, Western States Seismic Policy Council, and volunteers.
The conference featured discussions of lessons learned from the Ridgecrest earthquake on July 5, 2019, and the aftershock sequences. The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Annual Meeting was also held in conjunction with the NEC, which way cosponsored by the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters.
The conference also showcased nearly 50 student teams from eight countries around the world. They designed complex, tall buildings out of balsa wood that was tested on several metrics, including their performance during simulated earthquakes on a shake table. EERI Student Leadership Council planned and executed the Seismic Design Competition. Local California schools participating in this competition included: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; California State University, Chico; California State University, Fullerton; California State University, Los Angeles; California State University, Sacramento; Stanford University; University of California Davis; University of California Los Angeles; University of California Berkeley; University of California, Irvine; and the University of California, San Diego.
About Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute is the leading non-profit membership organization that connects those dedicated to reducing earthquake risk by (1) advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering, (2) improving understanding of the impact of earthquakes on the physical, social, economic, political, and cultural environment, and (3) advocating comprehensive and realistic measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes. EERI has been bringing people and disciplines together since 1948.
About Optimum Seismic
The Optimum Seismic team has been making California cities safer since 1984 by providing full-service seismic retrofit engineering and construction services on multifamily residential, commercial and industrial buildings throughout the state. Optimum experts have completed more than 3,500 projects. Optimum Seismic’s earthquake retrofit services include work on soft-story multifamily apartment buildings, unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings and tilt-up, non-ductile concrete and steel moment frame commercial buildings. For information, contact Optimum Seismic at (323) 678-4686 or visit OptimumSeismic.com.