“Children have the right to be safe in school buildings during earthquakes” - John Schelling

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2013 EERI Annual Meeting Session: School Seismic Safety

2013 EERI Annual Meeting Session: School Seismic Safety

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  • 1. “Children have the right to be safe in schoolbuildings during earthquakes” -Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC)
  • 2. Why Assess School Buildings?• Do YOU know how many schools in Washington State are vulnerable to extensive damage or even collapse in an earthquake?• Do YOU know how many kids are at risk in these buildings?• Do YOU know which school districts have retrofitted some or all their buildings?• Well, you might be surprised to know that neither does anyone else.• With a critical shortfall of already scarce financial resources (e.g.. Trust lands funding) available to build or retrofit, how can state & local decision makers best prioritize actions and know where to put these resources?
  • 3. Washington Schools have been Damaged in Earthquakes1949, a large earthquake collapsed thegymnasium roof at Puyallup High School.The earthquake occurred at 11:58 a.m., andthe gym had just been vacated by studentsfor lunch.At Castle Rock High School, however, fallingmasonry killed the student body presidentas he tried to escape from the building .Another student was killed by falling bricksat Lowell Grammar School in TacomaIn all, thirty schools were damaged in this Nisqually-type earthquake
  • 4. School Seismic Needs Assessment • Pilot Project in the Cities of Walla Walla and Aberdeen • Leverage volunteer expertise from Structural Engineering Aberdeen Association of Washington (SEAW) and Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO). • Project used ASCE 31: Evaluation of Existing Buildings for structural assessment, VS-30 data for local geology assessment, and HAZUS for modeling of potential losses • Intent was to develop a method that can be used statewide to assess all school buildings for seismic safety.
  • 5. Selection Process1) Our initial screening was to consider school districts that had high earthquake hazard. We mapped schools on a combination of the seismic design category map and liquefaction susceptibility maps.2) School districts in both eastern and western Washington that scored high in criterion 1 were plotted.3) The number of schools per district were considered, both to equalize each district and to select a number of school buildings that could be evaluated with the available resources.4) A representative of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction then contacted a select number of school districts to determine their willingness to participate.
  • 6. Note: The seismic design category combines anestimate of the strength of ground shaking at anyindividual site with the amplification caused by thelocal geology.
  • 7. Screening Process
  • 8. Aberdeen Results
  • 9. Walla Walla Results
  • 10. The Resilient Washington State: Washington’s Resilience Plan
  • 11. Ten Resilience Recommendations:1. Make schools resilient: structurally, socially, and educationally.2. Require that utility providers identify the vulnerabilities in their systems and mitigate the deficiencies.3. Improve the resilience of buildings in areas of high seismic hazard to improve life safety and increase the number of people who will be able to shelter in place.4. Assess the permitting requirements that relate to environmental protection and mitigation to determine how best to make environmental planning mesh with seismic mitigation and recovery planning.5. Strengthen business continuity planning efforts.
  • 12. OSPI Mitigation Planning Project• Completing an all-hazard mitigation planning project in collaboration with multiple districts across the state.• Using FEMA 154 to assess schools in planning partner districts to complete an initial screen• Using Washington State Seismic Safety Committee Pilot Project methodology as a follow-up for poorly scored buildings
  • 13. Seismic Safety CommitteeJames Mullen, Washington State Emergency Management Division, Co-ChairDave Norman,* Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Co-ChairStacy Bartoletti,* Structural Engineers Association of Washington, RWS ChairTamra Biasco,* Federal Emergency Management AgencySteve Boyer, Hill and Knowlton, Private Industry RepresentativeTom Hill, Washington Association of Building OfficialsSheryl Jardine, Washington State Emergency ManagementScott Miles,* Resilience Institute, Western Washington UniversityPat Morin, Washington State Department of TransportationBill Perkins, American Society of Civil EngineersJohn Schelling,* Washington State Emergency Management DivisionBarbara Thurman, Office of the Superintendant of Public InstructionJohn Vidale, State Seismologist, University of WashingtonTim Walsh,* Washington State Department of Natural ResourcesCraig Weaver, United States Geological SurveyWriting & RWS Project support provided by Dr. Kyra L. Nourse.* DENOTES RWS SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBER
  • 14. Questions?
  • 15. Next Steps• Final report has been briefed to local jurisdictions & school districts and publicly released.• Aberdeen and Walla Walla are using the information in their local strategic planning processes. – Aberdeen submitted a letter of intent for HMGP funds to retrofit deficient buildings• OSPI may resubmit a decision package for long-term funding and will engage in a conversation about how to potentially rebudget existing resources to support this effort.• In any case, it will be important to have some level of engagement at OSPI to track results that are completed outside of a state-led effort.