Pre-Shake Out Summit Tackles Building Safety for the 'Big One'

Top Quote SEAOSC to Host Inaugural Conference at USC Oct. 13 to Explore Issues of Earthquake Risk Mitigation. End Quote
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA (1888PressRelease) October 04, 2011 - Ahead of the Great California Shake Out earthquake preparedness drill, the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) will host the Buildings at Risk - Earthquake Loss Reduction Summit Oct. 13 to address the critically important issues of seismic retrofitting and risk mitigation for the thousands of earthquake-vulnerable buildings across the Southland.

    "Drills like the Great California Shake Out are vital exercises to keep citizens safe, but the most effective preparedness starts with ensuring that the damage to our buildings is minimal while keeping people safe," said Janah Risha, S.E., president of SEAOSC and Risha Engineering. "Despite local governments adopting and enforcing stricter building codes, a majority of structures across Southern California are still vulnerable to seismic activity. Educating building owners about both the risks and the proper solutions to keep their tenants safe in the event of an earthquake must be a priority."

    SEAOSC's BAR Summit will take place on the University of Southern California campus and aims to educate policymakers and building owners about the public safety implications of preparing commercial and multi-unit residential structures to withstand California's next major earthquake. The event is presented in association with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA), California Technical Institute (Cal Tech), the Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA), the California Earthquake Authority and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

    The BAR Summit will bring together building officials, architects, building owners, government officials, engineers and public safety representatives to both spread awareness and develop a plan of action for earthquake loss mitigation. Speakers and panels will focus on limiting structural seismic risk and managing associated costs, benefits, community impact and public policy requirements.

    Conference keynote addresses will examine lessons learned from the devastating February 22 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Jim Barnes with calEMA and Anne Wein of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), lending their expertise on the economic consequences and community recovery implications of seismic disasters, will apply their findings from Christchurch and offer recommendations for California's earthquake preparedness.

    Expert summit panelists and speakers include professional engineers; representatives from the USGS, SCEC, California Seismic Safety Commission (CSSC), and the Los Angeles Department of Building Safety; and professors from distinguished academic institutions, including USC, Cal Tech, UCLA and UC Berkeley, among others.

    For the full conference agenda, roster of speakers and more information about SEAOSC's BAR Summit, please visit

    About SEAOSC
    The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) is a professional organization of civil and structural engineers, and affiliated construction industry members and students. SEAOSC's mission is to establish high professional standards to advance the science of structural engineering and to provide the public with safe and economical buildings. Association members join to assist in fulfilling those goals, maintain their skills and keep current with the state of the art of structural engineering. SEAOSC provides its members with the forum, educational opportunities and challenge to meet high standards of engineering excellence, and ethical and professional conduct in the design of structures and facilities within the broader field of civil engineering.

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