ANNUAL REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR
The Missouri Seismic Safety Commission presented its report A Strategic Plan for Earthquake Safety in Missouri to the Governor in May, 1997. Commission activities were then directed toward monitoring progress in addressing the five objectives presented in the report. The purpose of this first annual report is to highlight successes, opportunities and concerns.
1998 Earthquake Awareness Week was successful in St. Louis. The symposium Earthquakes Mean Business, a workshop for business and industry leaders, at the St. Louis Science Center on February 6 drew over 300 participants. On February 6 and 7 informational exhibits were seen by professionals, students and parents. The success of the workshop and the exhibits warrants further development of Earthquake Awareness Week as a vehicle for reaching the the public.
The Commission recommends that educational efforts continue to be developed and expanded, with the Commission taking the lead.
The Mid-America Earthquake (MAE) Center was established as one of the three national earthquake engineering research centers established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and its partner institutions. The MAE Center consists of a consortium of seven core institutions, and is funded by NSF, each core university and through joint collaborative projects with industry and other organizations. The Center is headquartered at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and has two private Missouri universities, Saint Louis University and Washington University, among its core institutions.
The impact of this development on the State of Missouri is that significant new federal money and university cost sharing will be directed toward the state's unique earthquake problem. Initial thrusts of the Center in its initial three-year programs addressing transportation networks and essential facilities will benefit the State.
The Commission recommends continued and increased cooperation of State agencies with nationally funded programs.
The longevity of current state funding of the earthquake program is uncertain. Presently the state relies upon funding from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support earthquake mitigation within State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and educational outreach through Southeast Missouri State University. FEMA's directions are changing and specific support for an earthquake program may be phased out in the next two years.
The State must decide how to continue the current program.
The Commission recommends that stable State funding be provided for the Missouri earthquake mitigation and preparedness program.
Interest in the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) program has gathered much interest throughout the whole state. Missouri needs to support the SEMA training program.
The Commission recommends that SEMA review and, if necessary, recommend hiring a person to train and track the CERT program.
The development of the 1996 hazard maps under the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program highlights the earthquake problem in southeast Missouri. These maps are being used by the insurance industry and federal regulatory agencies to make economic decisions affecting the State. The national maps do not account for unique factors that modify expected earthquake ground motions in the Bootheel.
The Commission recommends that the impact of these new maps on the State be assessed and that scientific investigations be conducted to evaluate the assumptions upon which these maps are based.