Pre-12NCEE Webinar: Seismic Risk and Resilience in Utah

Thursday, March 17

12:00-1:00 PM (Pacific) / 1:00-2:00 PM (Mountain)


Utah Magna earthquake damageThe March 18, 2020 M5.7 Magna, Utah earthquake was a vivid reminder of the hazard posed by the Wasatch Fault to the fast-growing population of the Salt Lake Valley. As the EERI Utah Chapter’s 2015 Scenario study shows, a M7.0 earthquake in the region could result in thousands of deaths, tens of thousands of residents left without shelter, and economic losses measured in the tens of billions. But Utah’s residents are rising to the challenge of building a more resilient state. From the Fix the Bricks program to aid homeowners in adapting unreinforced masonry buildings to the ongoing seismic retrofits of major landmarks like the Salt Lake City Temple, the urban fabric of Salt Lake City is rapidly transforming to become more earthquake-resistant, while planners, policymakers, and the public are more deeply aware of the need to build resilience than ever before. On the eve of the second anniversary of the Magna earthquake, this webinar will provide an interdisciplinary overview of earthquake risk and resilience in Utah today: from the underlying seismology of the region, to current retrofit projects and engineering challenges, to the policymaking context and community planning for recovery.

Hear from these local experts about the progress Utah is making on earthquake risk mitigation—and the work that remains to be done to ensure the state is ready for high-hazard, low-probability seismic threats:

  • Emily Kleber, Project Geologist, Utah Geological Survey
  • Ari Bruening, President and CEO, Envision Utah
  • Brent Maxfield, Structural Engineer, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Divya Chandrasekhar, Associate Professor of City & Metropolitan Planning, University of Utah

The webinar will be moderated by 12NCEE Organizing Committee co-chair Sean McGowan, Earthquake Program Manager for FEMA Region VIII.

Photo: Earthquake damage in Magna, Utah; Emily Kleber and Jessica Castleton, Utah Geological Survey