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Seismic risk

Seismic risk takes the results of seismic hazard analysis, and calculates the 'follies of man'. Your safety depends on what you build. You can locate in a region of high seismic hazard, but still sleep soundly at night if you have built to sound engineering principles. On the other hand, you can be located in a low seismic hazard district, such as New York City, in an ancient, poorly maintained brick building, suffering settlement problems on a filled swamp. This is the epitome of high seismic risk!

Seismic risk calculations are mainly used for insurance purposes. The computer programs take all the seismic hazard inputs, and combine them with the known susceptibilities of structures and facilities, such as electrical power switching stations. The result gives probabilities for economic damage or casualties.

Seismic risk can be reduced by active social programs that improve emergency response, and improve basic infrastructure. You can improve your own situation through earthquake preparedness. Building codes are a classic way to improve seismic risk, but it takes a long time for any significant effect.

A special subset is urban seismic risk which looks at the specific issues of cities.


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