Cross-State Analysis of Seismic Mitigation Policies


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Speaker:  Scott Miles, Assistant Professor, Western Washington University
The purpose of this study is to understand how Washington State compares with the rest of the United
States with respect to state-level seismic mitigation policies. This study was accomplished by compiling,
synthesizing, and analyzing state-level policies listed in the mitigation plan of 47 states. According to
FEMA, Washington State has the third highest annualized earthquake loss ratio (AERL) in the United
States, behind California and Alaska. However, based on the analysis of policies listed in state
mitigation plans, Washington State has an average number of policies that facilitate seismic mitigation.
Washington State has the poorest policy coverage of any state with significant seismic risk, except for
Alaska, based on computation of two indicators derived from AERL and respective policy counts
compiled from this study. Washington State lacks formal policies to school safety, hospital safety,
funding for seismic mitigation, seismic advisory commissions, seismic monitoring, and earthquake
insurance. The audience will take away a broad understanding of the state-level policy landscape on the
topic of seismic mitigation. They will gain insight into how each state compares based on respective
seismic risk and leading seismic mitigation policy states. We will discuss the reasons for some states
lagging in seismic mitigation policy coverage and the solutions for reversing this.

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Cross-State Analysis of Seismic Mitigation Policies

  1. 1. Washington State Seismic Mitigation Policy Gap AnalysisPolicy Gap Analysis A Cross-State Comparison Scott B. Miles, Ph.D. Brian D Gouran L GBrian D. Gouran, L.G. WWU Resilience Institute
  2. 2. Products • Catalog of policies related to seismic mitigationmitigation – Gathered from current state mitigation plansplans • Spreadsheet database of policies With tt ib t f ID t t l i l ti– With attributes of ID, state, legislation type, earthquake specific R ki d i f t t ith• Ranking and mapping of states with respect to policy indicators related to i i i k & li tseismic risk & policy count Prepared by
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  4. 4. l dPolicy Indicators Policy Risk Ratio  PolicyCount of State Maximum Policy Count of all States AELR f St t y AELR of State Maximum AELR of all States Proportional Risk Count  Policy Count of State  (Policy Count of State Maximum AELR)(AELR of State) Policy Count of State Maximum AELR of all States
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