Reduce Nonstructural Earthquake Damage Risks

Aug. 29, 2014

New tool from FEMA helps facility managers prepare for and mitigate the effects of nonstructural earthquake damage. 

The recent Napa, CA, earthquake demonstrated that the structural components of buildings are not the only parts that can cause major damage and excessive cost – over 90% of the damage triggered by the recent earthquake was to nonstructural systems. To help mitigate this problem, FEMA has released the fourth edition of FEMA E-73 Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage

The report incorporates examples of three major earthquakes and covers around 79 different examples of nonstructural components, including both common sense and in-depth mitigation strategies. The report specifically mentions dangers such as suspended lighting, large ceilings, and heavy exterior cladding as risks to occupant safety in the event of an earthquake. It offers suggestions on how to improve building integrity with readily-available commercial materials.

Also included are tools to help estimate seismic risk based on location, examples of cost benchmarking, and installation tips to aid with the implementation of the measures suggested. 

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