Proposed legislation making the rounds on Capitol Hill recently directs the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a grant program to assist projects that improve the ability of airports and trauma-center hospitals to withstand earthquakes.
The legislation is clearly a reaction to the recent 7-plus-magnitude earthquakes in Haiti (January) and Chile (February) and far from certain ever to become law – or even to make it out of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, where it was referred in mid-March.
Nevertheless, the so-called Critical Infrastructure Earthquake Preparedness Act of 2010 is of interest from a risk-analytics perspective. For example, in making grants to state and local government agencies the FEMA Administrator would have to consider:
- The vulnerability to an earthquake of the facility to be improved.
- The size of the population served by the facility to be improved.
- The availability of similar facilities in the area surrounding the facility to be improved.
- The ability to withstand an earthquake of the facility to be improved, if the proposed project is not carried out.
A copy of the bill can be found here.
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