Earthquake Tech: Finding Fault Is Only the Beginning
Experts from government, academia and industry gathered last week in Sacramento to discuss technology’s role in reducing residential damage caused by earthquakes.
The forum was hosted by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), a not-for-profit, privately funded, publicly managed organization that provides residential earthquake insurance and works to prevent earthquake damage. This year’s event — “Innovation in Earthquake Risk Assessment: How Technology is Changing the Industry” — was the organization’s second annual gathering, and it focused on:
- Measuring ground motion and building performance.
- Developing resources and tools to help improve structural deficiencies in houses.
- Characterizing damage after an earthquake.
- Creating immersive and interactive tools that can help educate people about earthquakes and drive them to take action.
Panelists discussed the latest tools used to evaluate how buildings might withstand an earthquake, such as CEA’s new app called QuakeGrade.
“When earthquakes strike, the damage they may cause can be expensive to repair,” said CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy. “Research and technology play pivotal roles for us when working to help Californians reduce their risk for earthquake loss through education, mitigation and insurance. We’re always learning more about the effects of strong shaking on our homes, and how the seismic retrofitting of older houses can help to reduce damage.”
One panel at the conference discussed how technology could help streamline post-earthquake damage assessments, which determine insured loss.
Social science was the focus for the forum’s second day, through a panel discussion on experiential communication tools — such as a new virtual-reality experience designed to help people visualize the damaging effects of floods — and through conversations on how to make technology more useful in real-world applications.
To learn more about CEA, go to EarthquakeAuthority.com.