In This Issue
· Salt Lake’s
9th Commission Meeting
Western States Seismic Policy Council – Earthquake Program Information
Advanced National Seismic System – USGS
Earthquake Hazards Program
FEMA HAZUS: Natural Hazard Loss Estimation
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
University of Utah “Utah
Salt Lake’s Depot District
In a recent Salt Lake Tribune article about the area surrounding
the Rio Grande Depot, it was reported that this is fast becoming a focal
point for development.
The proximity of the new Gateway
center and other nearby improved properties has given rise to a neighborhood
with attitude. Much interest centers around the
re-use of the older warehouse type buildings and consequently there is need
to take advantage of this opportunity to address strengthening of these
The city does not presently have regulations to address the
upgrading of existing structures when there is not a change to a higher
seismic use group as defined in the 2003 International Building Code.
In most cases, this would not require owners to retrofit
their buildings for earthquakes.
While costs for strengthening older buildings are not
always welcome news to developers, it is often a factor not sufficiently
evaluated. Consideration of property value after an earthquake is often overlooked.
Additionally, the life-safety component may play a minor role if owners are
not made aware of the potential danger of buildings ill-equipped to withstand
the forces of even moderate ground-shaking.
Making inroads into seismic safety of existing buildings
sometimes means being prepared to find the right opportunities to speak up.
Perhaps this is one such time and place.
July 9th, 2004 USSC Meeting Preview
Our upcoming commission meeting will be a warm-up to our
10th year Anniversary Celebration. While the particulars of the celebration
are still being finalized, it promises to be an affair you won’t want to
The business portion of our meeting will take place from
9:00 AM until 11:00 AM and includes the election of chair and co-chairs, and
reports about our potential involvement with the State Building Board and
selection of the 2004-2005 Strategic Actions.
An agenda with minutes and a copy of our Action Plan
will be sent to all commissioners approximately one week before the meeting.
The beginning of summer is always an exciting time for
I shake off my winter attitude and start to plan those
projects and vacation snippets I’ll sneak in as my work allows. It is a time
of building and relaxing that naturally leads me to seeing things in a new
As the Strategic Planning committee finalized the action
points for discussion at our July meeting, I was struck by how similar our
emphasis was to items in the California Matrix Plan. There are a lot of common
issues Seismic Safety Commissions grapple with and we would be remiss if we
didn’t take advantage of work that has been done by others.
And yet it often boils down to timing. (There is a time
for this and a time for that) It seems that more points are being aligned on
our chart and opportunities and connections seem to be made more frequently.
News media have helped, and being prepared to lend our opinion on current
issues is critical to building an informed public opinion about earthquakes
and what they mean here in Utah.
It strikes me that after 10 years the USSC has evolved
into a living, breathing body of committed individuals who just won’t give up
in the face of obstacles like “it’ll never happen here” or “it costs too much”.
I have great respect for those who birthed this commission and feel obliged
to remember that effort as we plan the work of the future.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you for allowing me to be your
chair for this last little bit. I know this sounds
like my farewell column, but having been re-elected by SEAU for another two
year term as delegate, you’ll need to tolerate my quirkiness for at least
OK, now that’s a rambling “babble” if I ever penned one!
Barry H. Welliver