Progress in Implementing Strategies
In its 1997 report A Strategic Plan for Earthquake Safety in Missouri, and its 1998 supplement, Earthquakes and Missouri, Annual Report to the Governor, the Commission outlined 37 strategies under five broad objectives for addressing the Missouri earthquake threat. One strategy under each objective was identified for emphasis during 1997-1999. These are repeated here together with their corresponding objective:
Progress has been made in implementing these strategies. The progress of some of these strategies has been limited by the amount of involvement of the Commission or its constituent members. The following provides examples of the progress made in the state since the issuance of our 1998 Annual Report.
1. Progress in Education
Objective 1 of the Strategic Plan for Earthquake Safety in Missouri is to increase earthquake awareness and education. Three strategies have been developed to do this. The first strategy targets the general public. The second strategy targets key professionals in critical fields, who have the potential to raise earthquake awareness among the general public and K-12 students. The third strategy targets K-12 students.
Earthquake Awareness Week (EQAW) is the centerpiece of this awareness effort, which is recognized each year in Missouri during the week of February 7. Preliminary plans for 1999 Earthquake Awareness Week included specific days of that week dedicated to targeted audiences. For example, Wednesday, February 3 was selected as Engineering and Design Day. A special technical program for engineers, architects, and construction managers was planned. Thursday, February 4, Business and Industry Day, included a special program for decision-makers in business and industry. Saturday, February 6, was Educators and General Public Day, which included special exhibits, demonstrations, and handouts at the St. Louis Science Center. A poster contest for K-6 students was also developed and planned. Many of the events scheduled for the 1999 Earthquake Awareness Week were successful. Several in-place organizations which offered to promote elements of 1999 EQAW, either canceled, compromised, or failed their mission. As a result, 1999 EQAW was less successful than previous years. The audience of key professionals in business and industry was delegated to a group in the St. Louis area. The program was successful, but attendance at the Thursday, February 4th program was lacking. The statewide audience of K-6 (kindergarten through sixth graders) was to have been offered participation in an Earthquake Awareness Week Poster Contest. However, after several months of discussion, the sought-after sponsoring organization declined to provide leadership for the contest. Development of the Poster Contest was completed by MSSC and assumed by the Center for Earthquake Studies (CES) in Cape Girardeau in September 1998.
The audience of educators and the general public was well served by the event held Saturday, February 6 at the St. Louis Science Center. Booths were staffed by volunteers from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), the American Society for Civil Engineering (ASCE), the Mid-America Earthquake (MAE) Center, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), St. Louis University, Washington University, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and others. Hundreds of people visited the booths and staffers that day. This event was the most successful of all efforts in the St. Louis metro region for Earthquake Awareness Week 1999.
Several other efforts in 1999 supported Objective 1. Some include:
Plans for Earthquake Awareness Week 2000 are underway. A key resource was tapped successfully in late 1998. Dr. Michael Kramer's Communications 377 course at the University of Missouri, Columbia, created a public relations program for Missouri Earthquake Awareness Week. Early in the fall semester, the students and their professor met with a representative of the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission to learn about the earthquake issue in Missouri. For a major part of their semester-long class assignment, the students created radio and television public service announcements (PSA's), ideas to implement earthquake awareness in Missouri, and other materials. This resulted in practical ideas, possible vehicles for implementation for the MSSC as well as resume-ready work experience for the students.
Because some of the momentum gained during 1997 and 1998 Earthquake Awareness Weeks was lost in 1999, during 2000, the MSSC will try to encourage some of the organizations to redouble their efforts to promote Earthquake Awareness Week. Initiatives for support to several private businesses have already been sent by the Public Information Officer of SEMA. Earthquake Awareness Week 2000 will benefit from the lessons learned in 1999.
The Mid-America Earthquake Center is developing new material for earthquake public education of children. They are looking for schools to fine tune the materials and the MSSC will be assisting them in testing the materials during 2000.
The Center for Earthquake Studies is still in operation at South East Missouri State University and is going through another transition period with a new Education Specialist. The MSSC continues to support the joint effort between SEMA and SEMSU to provide information to the residents in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
2. Progress in Mitigation
Ten strategies for mitigating earthquake hazards in Missouri were developed in the 1997 Strategic Plan. The top priority strategies involve adopting codes and procedures for designing and constructing buildings that are earthquake resistant. The most cost-effective way to do that is to design and construct new buildings in accordance with the seismic provisions of standard building codes.
While it appears that this is being accomplished in the larger metropolitan areas, such as the City and County of St. Louis and Kansas City, it is not clear that this is the case with smaller municipalities where the earthquake risk is the greatest.
The Missouri Seismic Safety Commission is represented on the Governor's Commission for the Review and Formulation of Building Code Implementation. The Chairman and Vice Chairman of MSSC appeared before the Building Code Commission to support the common goals of the two commissions.
Because of the risks to the transportation system in Eastern Missouri, another priority mitigation strategy is to accelerate the program to assess, retrofit and/or replace bridges that do not meet current earthquake design standards. Although this is the responsibility of the Missouri Department of Transportation and steps are being taken to achieve this objective, much more work needs to be done. The MSSC co-sponsored with MoDOT a very successful conference for the DOT's in the seven states that comprise the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC). Follow on conferences are being planned with the first in the autumn of 2000.
The MSSC is beginning to assess the status of earthquake design and construction practices in the bootheel area of the state. This will be a focus of the Mitigation Committee's activities in the coming year.
3. Progress in Improving Emergency Response
The Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) continue to be a prime focus for the Response and Recovery Committee recommendations. The CERT training in the form of train-the-trainers continue to be taught by the SEMA Training Section. Many other state and local agencies have started to integrate the training into their curricula. The CERT training effectively organizes volunteers within a community, neighborhood, or business; provides them with rudimentary basic training in fire safety, light rescue, disaster medical operations, hazard inspection and other necessary services that may or may not be available in the post-disaster environment. The popularity of this program is based on the assumption that in a major multi-state disaster, help will be delayed or diverted to the areas needing the greatest amount of help, therefore, a trained cadre of self-sufficient volunteers helping their neighbors is a needed asset.
Of the many agencies adopting this program three outstanding groups should be commended:
Missouri Department of Transportation has undertaken a program for CERT training at the district level in all areas of the state with a prime focus in the districts directly affected by the New Madrid Fault.
The City of Cape Girardeau, in conjunction with FEMA's Project Impact, has started to teach the CERT training to citizens. They plan a minimum of three courses in the next funding cycle.
Missouri SEMA has taught four CERT train-the-trainers courses to 143 persons during FY-99 and this led to the course being given to over seven different groups with 107 people trained at the local level.
During the past year, the following activities also occurred:
4. Progress in Recovery
During the past year, Missouri SEMA, in coordination with the Central United States Earthquake Consortium, arranged for and taught a train-the-trainer for the Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards (ATC-21). The training was held in Cape Girardeau and Memphis, Tennessee. Over 40 persons were taught by specialists in the field of engineering. In addition, a train-the-trainer session was held in St. Louis where over 25 persons from Illinois and Missouri were taught the Post Earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings (ATC-20 - SAVE Coalition). SEMA continues to sponsor and teach this course at the local level, training 173 volunteer architects and engineers.
With assistance from FEMA's Project Impact grant, the City of Cape Girardeau is installing seismic protection valves at the Gordonville Road Water Tank #1. The seismic system is intended to prevent the rupture of the connections to the distribution system where the outflow pipe meets the tank. The valves will automatically isolate these storage tanks from the distribution system. This would minimize the loss of treated water and reduce the risk of cross contamination due to distribution system failures in a seismic event. When completed, Cape Girardeau will be the first community in the Midwest with seismic protection valves on a water storage tank. The city has plans to install seismic protection valves at other vital water storage tanks as funds become available.
Missouri Department of Transportation has concluded that real-time seismographic research equipment should be installed in the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge at Cape Girardeau. The equipment will measure the stress, strain, vertical and horizontal forces (movement) of the bridge during an earthquake. The information gathered from this equipment will be fed directly to the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado. Results of this monitoring will be used to improve the seismic design of bridges in the mid-west. The Emerson Bridge is due to be completed in 2003 and is designed to withstand an earthquake of Richter magnitude of 8.2.
5. Progress in Hazards Assessment
The Geoscience Committee has been involved with Strategic Plan issues in the past year. The Objective 5 Strategies follow:
Strategy 1 - Mapping Geologic Hazards.
Strategy 2 - Real-time Earthquake Notification.
Strategy 3 - Geoscience Response Teams.
Strategy 4 - Generalized soil parameters.
The Geoscience Committee recommends to the MSSC that additional funding be sought for Mapping Geologic Hazards. DGLS will continue the mapping process, if funding is available from SEMA, CUSEC and federal sources. The mapping effort is a first step at providing estimates of earthquake hazard to communities at risk. The committee recommends that MSSC press for continued and increased funding for this effort. Insurance, agricultural, real-estate and financial communities could greatly reduce risk or apportion earthquake reduction programs by this mapping.
A system for Real-time Earthquake Notification is being deployed in California. This elaborate, high-maintenance system being phased into operation is the prototype for the Advanced National Seismic System concept being proposed for funding under the federal National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. This system would entail a quantum leap improvement is the nation's ability to rapidly assess the scope of an earthquake disaster. Saint Louis University will be a local component of the national system.
DGLS has a useful plan to initiate Geoscience Response to Missouri earthquakes. This committee has worked to:
The committee requests that DGLS consider the following goals for the Geoscience Response Teams:
Generalized soil parameters are being researched on
several scientific fronts. Databases of actual soil types and
algorithms applying ground-motion for specified earthquakes will need
more development. Development of a soils database could be conducted
if an appropriate state lead were found. The database could be
assembled from federal, state and local government information and
from private firms. Proper use of such parameters is partly
dependent on Strategy 1 - Mapping Geologic Hazards.
In October, 1998, the Seismic Safety Commission participated via phone conference call with the Missouri Insurance Information Service and the Missouri Insurance Coalition. Seventy-five agencies or agents were represented and the thrust of the presentations was to encourage this group to make earthquake supplemental insurance available to all residents of Missouri that wanted or felt they needed it.
In September, 1999, Immediate Past Chairman Robert B. Herrmann made a live presentation to the same group in their general session.
In March, 1999, the Seismic Safety Commission co-sponsored with Federal Highway Administration and Missouri Department of Transportation a three-day Seismic Highway Conference that was attended by 334 people from all over the United States. The main thrust of this conference was to determine if there was a separate need to develop a Central United States specific design standard for highway bridges to the American Association of Highway and State Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards. The results of the conference yielded a commitment by MoDOT to do further research into the field. They further committed to make sure that the new Emerson Memorial Bridge in Cape Girardeau will be fitted with real-time seismic monitoring to determine the need for a unique bridge standard for the Central U.S.
At the request of FEMA, Former Commission Chairman Greg Hempen attended a NEHRP Seismic Workshop in Washington, D.C. in September, 1999, for developing and implementing the new National Earthquake Program (NEP) for earthquake hazard research implementation and funding priorities.
The Seismic Safety Commission co-sponsored a briefing on the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Taiwan. The briefing was organized by the firm of EQE International and was presented at the St. Louis Art Museum on October 1, 1999. The attendance was 225 architects, engineers, public officials, emergency managers, collegiate students, and industrial representatives. The main presenter was Mr. Peter Yanev, founder of EQE, and world renown seismic engineer.
Through its meetings and commissioner attendance at special conferences, the Commission has been assisting the Missouri Department of Insurance in clarifying issues that affect earthquake insurance rates within the State. This fostering of communication and sharing of expertise is seen as a major purpose of the Commission.
Highlights of Commission Meetings 1998-1999
February 5-6, 1998 at St. Louis
May 27, 1998 at Jefferson City
October 8, 1998 at St. Louis
November 19, 1998 at Columbia
March 19, 1999 at Jefferson City
June 7-8, 1999 at St. Louis
October 21-22, 1999 at Cape Girardeau
The original group of Seismic Safety Commissioners was appointed by Governor Carnahan in 1995, the new group was appointed this year. One person, who has assisted the Commission as a liaison from the Federal government (FEMA) since its inception has been Joseph A. Rachel of FEMA Region VII (Kansas City). Mr. Rachel has been extremely helpful in providing timely information for the Commission and assisting with the Missouri Emergency Management Earthquake Program.
the Commission also would like to thank SEMA Director Jerry B.
Uhlmann and his staff for their support of the Commission and its
objectives this past year. We look forward to working with Director
Uhlmann to make Missouri a seismically safer state.
Missouri Seismic Safety Commission toured the English Hills "Fault" System as a part of the Commission meeting of October 21-22, 1999. Pictured are officials of Cape Girardeau and MSSC on October 22, 1999 near Benton, Missouri.
Left to Right:
|Ms. Charlotte Craig, Cape Girardeau County, Department of Health|
|Mr. Ken Eftink, Development Services Coordinator, City of Cape Girardeau|
|Mr. Mark A. Winkler, SEMA Area Coordinator - Southeast Missouri|
|Mr. Jack Lakenan, Director, Perry County Emergency Management Agency|
|Ms. Phyllis J. Steckel, Missouri Seismic Safety Commission - Washington, Missouri|
|Mr. Terry L. Fulk, Jr., Director, City of Cape Girardeau Emergency Manager & Project Impact Coordinator.|
|Mr. Leonard G. Weber, Landowner of the Holly Ridge Portion of the English Hills digs.|
|Mr. Joseph A. Rachel, FEMA Liaison, FEMA Region VII, Kansas City, Missouri|
|Mr. Mark Hasheider, Missouri Seismic Safety Commission, City of Cape Girardeau Fire Department.|
|Mr. David Hoffman, DNR-DGLS (With Hoe), Rolla, Missouri|
|Mr. David Hitt, Director, Cape Girardeau County Emergency Management Agency|
|Mr. Lloyd Heberlie, Graduate Student Intern, City of Cape Girardeau.|
|Mr. William L. Durbin, Chairman, Missouri Seismic Safety Commission, St. Louis|
|Mr. Gregory L. Hempen, Missouri Seismic Safety Commission, St. Louis|
|Mr. Thomas Roeseler, Missouri Seismic Safety Commission, St. Louis|
|Mr. Theodore Pruess, Missouri Seismic Safety Commission, St. Louis|
Picture by Edward S. Gray, Missouri Seismic Safety Commission Staff, Jefferson City