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Inside This Issue
Building Inspection Resource Deployment Program
New NEHRP Provisions Publication
National Emergency Management Agency
CUSEC Spotlight: Dr. Greg Hempen
Upcoming Events
Mitigation Webinar:  "Get Your Home Ready for Earthquakes"

Would you like to learn a few easy, inexpensive ways to protect your home and yourself from earthquakes? 


CUSEC,FEMA, and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety are teaming this May 30 to present a 1-hour, earthquake safety webinar for individuals and homeowners.  Topics will include:


- How to stay safe during an earthquake
- How to protect items in your home from damage

- How to prepare your business
- Educational resources
- and more...


Anyone interested is welcome to participate in this informational presentation. Please email to find out how you can watch the webinar.
Did You Feel It?

View a list of recent earthquakes here...
Geocache Update

Spring is here, and it's a great time to get outside.  What better way to spend time with your family than to go Geocaching

Since 2007, more than 2,000 people have visited CUSEC geocaches, which provide earthquake safety and mitigation info to site visitors.  As some visitors recently noted: 

"Great information in the container. I'll take it back to my students." 

"Nicely hidden cache with a lot of useful but unexpected information."

"Thanks CUSEC, for placing this cache."  

To find a CUSEC geocache near you, see our cache listing page at the geocaching website.

CUSEC States Enhancing Pre & Post-Earthquake Building Inspector Capabilities

For years, CUSEC Member States have trained individuals in pre and post-earthquake safety evaluations of buildings. There are also thousands of individuals trained in building inventory and safety evaluations across the United States.   Currently, building inspection programs are fragmented and there is little visibility of their capabilities on a national level. There is also little standardization of how inspectors are deployed and used following a major disaster. After the August 23, 2011, M5.8 Mineral, VA earthquake, for instance, the Commonwealth of Virginia requested post-earthquake safety inspectors from California. However, neighboring States (including CUSEC Member States) had qualified inspectors available who could have helped, saving valuable time and money.

Image Courtesy Ben Ross, Missouri SAVE Coalition

Under the direction of the Board of Directors and support of FEMA Mitigation, CUSEC is addressing this issue by standardizing a building inspection resource deployment (BIRD) framework under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). EMAC, administered under the National Emergency Management Association, allows states to call upon one another in times of emergencies, and was ratified by Congress and signed into federal law in 1996. CUSEC is working with Member and Associate States, as well as various professional, engineering, and architectural organizations, to integrate and test this framework as a part of the CAPSTONE-14 multi-state earthquake exercise scheduled for June 2014. The goal is to make significant progress towards standardized post-disaster building inspection programs and resources, which can be applied on a national level. 


CUSEC and a variety of partners, including Member States, Missouri SAVE Coalition, Indiana I-BEAM, and EMAC leadership, have developed templates for EMAC-based Mission Ready Packages (MRPs) for three types of Post-Disaster Building Safety Evaluation Strike Teams. Following an earthquake or other disaster, the two-person Strike Teams will inspect and evaluate buildings for safe occupancy and determine which buildings need to have detailed engineering evaluations performed. The goal is to ensure building and homeowners have a quick assessment of the condition and safety of their building or residence.


MRPs are designed to provide states impacted by disaster with pre-determined resources where state-to-state assistance is required and have standardized missions, capabilities, training qualifications, equipment, costs, and procedures listed that can be easily identified by states who request assistance within the EMAC system.    


We also plan to use this opportunity to perform pre-disaster building assessments with the FEMA154 methodology. By identifying vulnerable structures beforehand, communities can adopt mitigation plans and strategies to proactively reduce earthquake damages and losses.  CUSEC is committed to making progress in earthquake mitigation and identifying post-earthquake resources that will speed community recovery efforts. These tasks are not simple, but they will be ever so more difficult following an earthquake if we haven't properly prioritized mitigation and planning strategies to address current shortfalls.

New NEHRP Design Publication Available 

NEHRP Provisions Design Examples The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced that the 2009 NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions: Design Examples (FEMA P-751CD) CD is now available for order from the FEMA Publications Warehouse and will soon be available for download from the FEMA Library.


FEMA P-751CD covers the fundamentals of earthquake engineering, ground motion and structural analysis and provides a series of design examples based on the 2009 NEHRP Provisions. Examples include shallow and pile foundations; a steel building with buckling restrained braced frame; steel framed buildings; reinforced concrete; precast concrete; composite steel and concrete; masonry; wood design; seismically isolated structures; non-building structure design; and design for nonstructural components.


FEMA P-751CD is a supporting document to the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures; 2009 Edition (FEMA P-750), a key resource that translates new knowledge, research results, and design methods for national building standards and codes. Most of the recommended modifications, additions, and changes in the Provisions have been incorporated in the International Code Council's 2012 International Building (IBC) and Residential Codes (IRC).  To order your copy of FEMA P-751CD from the FEMA Publications Warehouse, call (800) 480-2520.  

CUSEC continues innovative work with NEMA 

One of the long-standing partners of CUSEC is the National Emergency Management Associaiton (NEMA).  NEMA works to improve the nation's ability to prepare for, respond to, and to recover from all emergencies, disasters and threats to national security. According to their website, "NEMA is the professional association of and for emergency management directors from all 50 states, eight territories and the District of Columbia".


CUSEC and NEMA have worked together for many years on various projects including the original SREMAC, or the Southern Regional Emergency Management Assistance Compact.  SREMAC was the precursor to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).  EMAC allows states to call upon one another in times of emergencies, and was ratified by Congress and signed into federal law in 1996. More recently we have worked to strengthen EMAC with the Resource Allocation Workshop during NLE-11, which will be expanded during CAPSTONE-14 along with the Building Inspection Resource Deployment (BIRD) program (as discussed above).


NEMA began in 1974 when state directors met to exchange information on common emergency management issues. Since then, NEMA has grown to include a wide variety of state stakeholders, homeland security advisors, federal agencies, non-profit organizations, private sector companies and concerned individuals. Currently, three members of the CUSEC Board of Directors also serve in leadership positions within NEMA:

  • John Heltzel, Kentucky Director, serves as NEMA's Treasurer and the Chair of the EMAC Committee
  • David Maxwell, Arkansas Director, serves as the Chair of the Response & Recovery Committee, and previously as president and vice-president of NEMA
  • Jonathan Monken, Illinois Director, serves as NEMA's Regional Vice-President of FEMA Region V

To learn more about the work being done by NEMA, please visit their website today.


CUSEC Spotlight: Five Questions with Greg Hempen 

Dr. Greg Hempen
Dr. Greg Hempen has spent 40 years working in a field not often pursued by many individuals - Geophysical Engineering, applying geophysics, geologic engineering, and earthquake resistant design for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). During his 40 year career, Dr. Hempen has applied this experience to many research projects, organizations, community awareness and preparedness efforts, publications, and in the classroom as an instructor. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Hempen has served on the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission. He is also the past president of the New Madrid Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, an active member of the US Geological Survey's (USGS) St. Louis Area Earthquake Hazard Mapping Project; and advocate and trainer in Missouri for the Map Your Neighborhood program. Read below why Dr. Hempen continues to dedicate his time to earthquake risk reduction.


When did you begin your career working as a Geophysicist/Geological Engineer and what made you pursue this as a career? I began working for the St. Louis District, USACE, in February 1973 as a Geophysicist.  The District needed someone to evaluate dam sites before much drilling was accomplished.   I became interested in science and engineering in high school.  At St. Louis University I was in an engineering curriculum until I had to declare a major, which was Geophysical Engineering.  I graduated with a BS in Geophysical Engineering in 4 years (at the top of my class & also at the bottom - I was the only BS graduate in Geophysical Engineering in 1971).  I had always done well in math and science, but became interested in applied geophysics for the benefit of engineered structures.  I developed the skills of earthquake resistant design for the District's and region's need.   


What interesting/memorable projects have you worked on during your career?  There are many different projects in foundation studies, earthquake resistant design and mitigation of blasting vibrations.  The study of Wappapello Dam's earthquake resistance for the District is an accomplishment that I was happy to lead.  The study of the dam near New Madrid, MO was particularly interesting and relevant during the issues that Iben Browning raised.  Through that project I was able to develop skills and understanding of the earthquake hazard in this region.  This allowed me to pursue graduate degrees, professional development, and teaching.


What lessons have you learned from the many people and organizations that you've worked with, over the years? There are many lessons that I have learned from others; many more than I have taught.  The most important is that everyone really hopes to do a good job, but cannot provide all the skills and resources to accomplish complex jobs by themselves.  It takes a team to complete most jobs worth doing.  Everyone on the team is important and should have input and make their contribution to the product.  People have different talents that should be accepted with respect and dignity for their use.  A good leader listens and encourages discussion and action.  


What do you say to people who don't take emergency preparedness seriously, especially earthquake preparedness?  Everyone has different pressures and challenges.  My passion for avoiding disaster impacts, particularly earthquakes, will not be the greatest concern to a person's issues that has pressing needs now.  My job is to explain that there are resources that may benefit them, when they have the interest to use those resources.  I would suggest to those disinterested in disasters that sooner or later they or a loved one will be impacted by some disaster.  Do they consider risks to their loved ones?  Are they aware that most times there are things to do to lessen or avoid those risks,  like having a 3-month's income emergency fund, or going to your neighbors to establish how to work together immediately after a disaster.


You work diligently in earthquake hazard reduction. What motivates you to devote your time and energy to this work?  I still do consulting work and have had several time-consuming projects such as a grant to provide Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) Program's materials and training to seven central Missouri counties.  I have trouble balancing my own physical, emotional, spiritual and mental development and family obligations. But, I am challenged to be the best Christian that I should be in helping my family, performing my consulting work, and conducting those professional responsibilities that I have accepted.  I am motivated to apply my God-given talents (my education, training and experience) to benefit not only my family but others that I could be assisting. 


April 2013
April 16 -  Pemiscot County Health & Safety Fair; Caruthersville, MO
April 20 - EarthDay Expo; Jackson, TN
April 23-26 - 25th Annual Missouri EMA Conference; St. Charles, MO

April 30 - National Earthquake Program Managers Meeting; Seattle, WA


May 2013
May 1-2 - National Earthquake Program Managers Meeting; Seattle, WA
May 13-14 - Association of CUSEC State Geologists Meeting;St. Louis, MO

May 14 - Memphis Shelby County Health Dept. Emergency Preparedness Symposium; Memphis, TN

May 30 - "Get Your Home Ready for Earthquakes" Webinar 


June 2013
June 03-04 - CUSEC Board of Directors Meting; Indianapolis, Indiana
June 05 - CAPSTONE-14 Initial Planning Conference; Indianapolis, IN  


July 2013
July 13-16 - 38th Natural Hazards Workshop, Broomfield, CO


To view more upcoming events, please visit our website calendar.