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RE: earthquake protection?

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Great topic, and very apropos to today's economy.  Here is my two cents
1. The code covers life safety issues. These are the minimum standards
acceptable to protect life.
2. Therefore the rest of the issue has to do with the economics of
protecting a persons investment. When dollars went farther, the cost to
repair a building damage by nature was no as devastating to the owner as it
is today. Most people buy the most they can for their income and leave very
little for savings once the big purchase is made. The idea is that as you
move up the ladder of success you will not only have an investment that is
appreciating in value, but you will be making more money and putting out
less in time. The problem arises when the market bottoms out and the
investment won't rise.
When disaster hits it can be devastating to the owner. If the average cost
of a new home in Los Angeles is $250,000.00 (just for round figures) and the
deductible for earthquake coverage is 15%, the owner becomes responsible for
$37,500.00 for repairs. If ten percent of this were invested into the
structure when it was constructed, the home might be protected so that the
owner pays much less out of pocket to repair the home. Now consider a number
of seismic events and how much is paid out each time over twenty years. In
Los Angeles alone there was Whittier, Sierra Madre and Northridge - all in
about five years. All of which cost the insurance industry millions.
My suggestion is that you contact the Insurance Industry, California Seismic
Safety Commission, FEMA and even the City of Los Angeles to obtain
information regarding disaster statistics. The City of L.A. has documents
for emergency measures after each quake. These might give you some idea as
to the possible scope of work required to repair typical damages (lost
chimney's, homes that slid off their foundation etc.)

I'm sure others can share a lot of stories on this subject.

Good luck to you and hope to hear from you again on the SEAint Listservice.

Dennis S. Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From:	Matt Boone [mailto:socr_stud(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Thursday, July 30, 1998 10:10 PM
To:	seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject:	earthquake protection?

My name is Matthew Boone.  I am doing a research paper on Should we
design buildings to protect the building ot to protect the people."  I
would like to hear your views as professionals, and knoweledgable people
on the subject.  Also I would like any information and details that any
of you might have.  Thank you for all your help in advance.  I would
really like to hear what you have to say.


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