FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: HAZUS, the Standard in Estimating Earthquake Losses   [open pdf - 28KB]

Alternate Title: Estimating Earthquake Losses HAZUS-MH

"The FEMA Best Practices Portfolio consists of mitigation stories submitted by individuals and communities that describe measures they have taken to reduce the loss of life and property from disasters. These Best Practices are meant to provide ideas and concepts about reducing losses and to encourage others to evaluate their own risk and consider mitigation as a long-term solution to reducing that risk." From the document: "One of the most successful risk assessment tools is HAZUS, or Hazards U.S., a cutting edge software program developed by FEMA with the National Institute of Building Sciences. HAZUS uses an engineering-based approach to estimate physical damage, economic losses, casualties, and other societal impacts from earthquakes. Although originally conceived as a standardized methodology, HAZUS quickly evolved into an easily transportable software program that could be used by earthquake engineers, universities, private industry, and the public for numerous applications. For example, HAZUS estimates provide decision-makers with evidence of the nature and extent of the earthquake risk in a format useful for garnering public support for public policies and actions to reduce future earthquake damage and losses. State and local governments, the private sector, and communities use HAZUS to estimate physical damage and economic loss to their building stock, critical facilities, and lifelines and utility systems, and to determine how potential losses can be avoided or reduced by preventive actions. HAZUS also estimates debris generated, long- and short-term shelter and alternative housing requirements, and indirect economic losses such as unemployment, losses in tax revenue and production, and reduction in the demand for products and spending. HAZUS also can determine the impact of other hazards that may be triggered by the main event, such as ground failure, fire, and inundation from dam failure." This and other individual FEMA Best Practices documents are also combined in "Mitigation Best Practices: Public and Private Sector Best Practice Stories for All Activity/Project Types in All States and Territories Relating to All Hazards [August 10, 2011]," which can be accessed at the following link: [https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=683132]

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