A message from EERI Executive Director Heidi Tremayne

Heidi Tremayne (M.EERI,2004)The new year is here and it will start off strong for EERI with the joint National Earthquake Conference and 72nd EERI Annual Meeting! For many months now, more than 30 member volunteers on various committees have been planning the conference.

This will be a special conference that blends many community ideas submitted through abstracts, as well as unique ideas generated from the collaborative program committees. The program will feature national developments, like functional recovery, Disaster Recovery Reform Act, new FEMA products developed by ATC, and NEHRP Seismic Provisions, alongside findings from recent earthquakes and relevant regional and local topics. We’re also including practical case studies and new research developments, such as simulated ground motions, to appeal to members in all fields and sectors.

One of the most exciting developments for me is the San Diego earthquake scenario project developed by EERI’s Regional Chapter, which will be released for the first time at the opening plenary. The group has been diligently working over the last several months to refine their final report and create a vision for a seismically resilient San Diego by 2050. I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside the regional chapter colleagues as we prepare the final products, and I’m inspired by their passion and enthusiasm for local action. In this work, it is also very interesting to see how unique San Diego is, yet also observe how many of the pathways towards seismic resilience can also be so universal. San Diego sits atop the recently identified Rose Canyon Fault Zone, which uniquely shapes the region’s built environment and risk profile. Like many communities, there are some mitigation success stories to highlight in San Diego, yet there are also many opportunities to address older vulnerable building stock and infrastructure systems to limit their impacts on community recovery after a future earthquake.

The findings from this multi-year project will be showcased across five different sessions that will provide plenty of opportunities for engagement by participants to help shape the next steps for San Diego. I sincerely hope those local to the region adopt our chapter’s vision for a seismically resilient San Diego and choose to actively participate in its implementation in the years to come. And I also hope that those who live outside the region can share their perspectives in these discussions, then apply some of these ideas to their own local region.

As you can tell, there will be incredible dialogue and opportunities for learning at the NEC, and I hope that you will register to attend. It’ll be a great way to kick off a new year and inspire the actions needed for us to collectively reduce earthquake risk. As always, I believe that by working together we can accomplish so much. See you in San Diego!

(published in the latest Pulse Digest)