February 21, 2024


Wednesday, February 13th

8:30 am – 10:00 am: Earthquakes in Cascadia

This session sets the Cascadia stage, providing a context for understanding earthquakes and their impacts in the Pacific Northwest.  The session begins with non-technical summaries of the geologic framework that explains much of the why, where, and how often Cascadia earthquakes occur.  These include the great plate-interface events that affect all of Cascadia, and the locally varying deep and crustal earthquakes.  Session attendees will learn how Cascadia’s built environment has and will likely fare in future earthquakes.  The session will conclude with information about some of the tools, activities and policies meant to facilitate mitigation of Cascadia’s earthquake hazards.   

10:30 am – 12:30 pm: Resilience Planning

Community resilience is a popular concept that is increasingly incorporated in practice. This panel will focus in particular on the application of community resilience for disaster planning. Resilience planning will be discussed from national, state, and local perspectives, in addition to scholarly perspectives. Panelists will describe relative successes and failures of recent planning processes, as well as imperatives for future planning processes.

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm: Retrofit and Rehabilitation of Vulnerable Buildings

Rehabilitation of vulnerable buildings in a region is perhaps one of the most effective ways to improve resilience. What are the significant factors that influence owners, architects, engineers and policy makers to engage in retrofit of residential and commercial buildings? The panel will discuss policy challenges of remediation, public perception and willingness (or lack thereof) to engage in retrofits, grassroots attempts and methods used to quantify risk, case studies of specific retrofit projects, application of design techniques and return on investment prospects for retrofits.

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: School Seismic Safety

Invited speakers will provide an overview of the current state of seismic safety of schools in the world and in the Cascadia region, and provide multiple perspectives on how to effectively improve seismic school safety.  Speakers will also participate in a cross-cutting panel discussion on “how to protect students in seismically dangerous schools by 2033” with state, federal and parent engagement together with academics, non-governmental organizations, and EERI members.

Thursday, February 14th

8:30 am – 10:00 am: Unusual Earthquakes and their Implications for Risk

Nature has always had a trick or two up her sleeve but the surprises of the last decade raise fundamental questions of how to address events that that exceed expectations and disrupt assumptions.  This session focuses on several of the surprises in our field, what has been learned from them and how these lessons can improve our future earthquake risk reduction efforts.

10:30 am – 12:30 pm: Concurrent Session I: Tsunami Design

In many Washington State coastal communities, the lack of natural high ground coupled with close proximity to the Cascadia Subduction Zone preclude the use of traditional horizontal or vehicular tsunami evacuation strategies. These limiting factors make outer coastal communities extremely vulnerable to significant loss of life from such an incident. To address this unique challenge, the concept of vertical evacuation was established. This evacuation strategy allows residents and visitors to move upwards to safety in man-made structures (buildings, towers, or berms) and is particularly important on peninsulas where traditional evacuation measures are not viable options for life safety.

This situation is not unique to Washington State, as many low-lying coastal areas within U.S. states, commonwealths, and territories are also constrained by similar geographic factors. This session will focus on advances in engineering design for tsunami vertical evacuation and other design issues related to tsunami defenses used throughout the world.

10:30 am – 12:30 pm: Concurrent Session II: Earthquake-Induced Ground Failures

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Modeling Resilience

Resilience is commonly understood to be about minimizing earthquake-induced loss and facilitating post-event recovery. These goals can be aided through the use of modeling and decision support tools. This session will provide an overview of the state of the art with respect to loss and recovery modeling. Speakers will discuss model methodologies and development with respect to building stock, lifelines, and socio-economic impacts.

Friday, February 14th

8:30 am – 10:00 am: Concurrent Session I: Linking Performance-Based Seismic Design with Sustainability

is session seeks to explore the connects (and disconnects) between performance-based seismic design and sustainability issues in the built environment. The presenters will discuss the challenges and benefits that come from simultaneously quantifying building performance in terms of lateral force resistance and carbon/energy metrics – two increasingly dominant concerns in the west coast and around the world. As true sustainability requires a resilient built environment, this session will discuss disaster-related concerns, and the associated functional, economic and environmental issues.

8:30 am – 10:00 am: Concurrent Session II: Technology for Post-Earthquake Assessment and Monitoring

An effective earthquake response starts with a fast delivery of critical information to responders. Current developments in smart phone and structural monitoring technologies, and effectiveness and fast  delivery of shaking levels and likelihood of impact to critical facilities provide unique opportunities for the earthquake responders and critical users (lifeline utilities, for example).   In this session, invited speakers will present an overview of the current state of producing and faster delivery of post-earthquake information for earthquake response using ShakeCast and smart phones, and of recent developments in earthquake monitoring and what we can learn from monitoring the structures.

10:30 am – 12:30 pm: Update on EERI Activities