FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: California Uses Hazus Multi-Hazard (Hazus-MH) to Reassess Safety of Hospitals   [open pdf - 32KB]

"Hazus-MH [multi-hazard] is playing a central role in the vulnerability analysis of over 1,300 hospitals that were built in California before 1973. The findings of this analysis have significant cost implications for the state. Following the 1994 Northridge California earthquake that damaged several hospitals, the state passed Senate Bill 1953 that requires all existing hospitals be seismically evaluated and retrofitted, if needed. Hospitals most likely to collapse in an earthquake, which fall under Structural Performance Category (SPC) 1, are required to be seismically retrofitted, replaced or removed from acute care service by January 1, 2008 or 2013, if granted an extension. Other hospitals that are less likely to collapse (SPC 3-5) have until 2030 to be seismically upgraded. A significant percentage of hospitals surveyed in California are SPC-1 facilities, constructed between 1950 and 1975. The methodology used for the seismic evaluations is NEHRP [National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program] Handbook for the Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings (FEMA 178). Since the publication of FEMA 178 in 1992, significant progress has been made in understanding the seismic performance of buildings, especially in performance based design. Hazus-MH has contributed in a major way to our ability to assess performance of buildings in earthquakes. In November, 2007, the California Building Standards Commission approved the use of the Hazus-MH Advanced Engineering Building Module (AEBM) to re-evaluate hospitals in California. The Commission's action amends the rule for implementing SB 1953."

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