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Re: National Research Council vs Local Fire Departments

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Yank,

It seems to me like you are looking for everyone to blame but yourself!  Remember
you chose to live where you do.  You must evaluate the risks you have presented.
If the risk is unacceptable to you, it is not the responsibility of the goverment
to make it acceptable.  It is solely up to you.  You know what you can do and
where to go to get it done.

To blame your plight on others is both unrealistic and unfair to the rest of the
community.  If you feel you are threatened by the possiblity of large earthquakes
in California then you need to do something about it.  You are responsible for
your own well being, not the government.  When you moved into the area you knew
there was the possibility of earthquakes.  You made a conscious choice to live
here.  It is assumed that you did the basic research that all people should do
before they buy.  If you did not, you have no one to blame but yourself.

You have the tools available to you to address the problems you mention.  Yes, it
will cost you money.  If you are not willing to pay to protect yourself, am I lead
to believe that I am require to pay for your protection through my taxes.  Where
is the government's responsibility here?  I do not see it.  Where is your
responsibility?  You are knowledgeable and resourceful.  Why is not your
responsibility?  These are the questions I would like you to answer.  Stop looking
to blame others for your decisions!

Rick Ranous


Yank2002(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote:

> The report on the "Loma Prieta Earthquake" symposium sponsored in 1994 by the
> National Research Council in cooperation with Geotechnical Board, the Board on
> Natural Disasters, and the National Academy of Sciences, makes the following
> statements on page 4, under "General Observations", under "Lesson 1":
>
> "....It was apparent from the papers presented at the symposium that the Loma
> Prieta earthquake demonstrated that the San Francisco Bay Area has made
> progress toward improving the ability to minimize damage and cope with
> destructive earthquakes. However, Loma Prieta was a moderately large
> earthquake that occurred a significant distance from major population centers;
> therefore it was not a rigorous test."
>
> "Recommendations: Rather than creating over-confidence and complacency, the
> Loma Prieta earthquake must *serve as a stern warning to residents* of the Bay
> Area and other earthquake-prone areas throughout the United States about
> future earthquakes, some of which will be larger, shake longer, and be closer
> to major population centers". (*...*: emphasis - not existing in the original
> report).
>
> An interesting phrase was used in the "Recommendations"-part of the statement:
> "... to serve as a stern warning to residents...."
>
> I am a resident of an earthquake-prone area. I was given a "stern warning that
> a larger, longer lasting earthquake" might shake my area. My first question
> is: what am I supposed to do with this "stern warning"? The ground pad for my
> house was prepared 35 years ago, the house was built 33 years ago... so it
> seems that there is not very much I can do now to prepare the house for an
> earthquake. Even if I upgrade the house structurally to comply with very
> questionable current seismic code requirements there is no guarantee that the
> structure will withstand the earthquake. The only thing I can do is to store
> food, water and other emergency supplies to last me for 2 weeks or so - if I
> am temporarily cut off from the rest of the world. Consequently, the National
> Research Council should rephrase the "stern warning" notice to read: "There is
> a possibility of future earthquake occurring in your area. Every resident
> should be prepared for the earthquake by storing food, water and other
> emergency supplies if ground communication between communities is disrupted.
> Also, every resident should be emotionally prepared for the event". This
> preparedness activity information, however, has been assigned for over 50
> years to local fire departments. In effect, the National Research Council, a
> scientific organization, is duplicating the work of fire departments.
>
> The second observation is: If "a destructive earthquake" is expected to hit my
> area (or any area) and the insurance policy only partially (up to a certain
> maximum) covers structural-only portions of earthquake damages, it seems that
> I have a problem that cannot be solved even to the minimum of my satisfaction.
> (I do not want to mention here the possibility of loss of life ...). It looks
> like sooner or later I will lose a bundle of money for repairing the structure
> or I have to abandon the structure if the damage is beyond reasonable repair
> costs.
>
> If the official position of the National Research Council is to give
> meaningless and hypocritical "stern warnings to residents of earthquake-prone
> areas about future earthquakes" without any concrete suggestions for
> engineering solutions that would, at least, attempt to minimize the damages to
> structures, then we live in times when the irresponsibility (with an upper
> case "i") on part of the scientific, professional, local, state and federal
> governmental organizations is the name of the game the-bureaucracy-directed-
> and-top-brass-blessed seismic code writers are horror-dream-playing.
>
> An interesting (and hopefully, an educational) part of the story is that the
> structural engineer as second in command (but still a commanding pilot for one
> structure) has parachuted a long time ago (right after the design of the
> structure was completed) to safer grounds and will not blink his eye even once
> thinking that, to some degree, he is or he will be also responsible for deaths
> and the destruction of the structure he has designed. It is not difficult to
> figure out why he is also responsible for things that he is not very proud of.
>