Resolution in Support of the Advanced National Seismic Research and Monitoring System
On 21 April 1999, the House of Representatives passed legislation, H.R. 1184, reauthorizing federal earthquake-preparedness programs. The Earthquake Hazards Reduction Authorization Act of 1999 authorizes a total of $469.6 million over five years. Section 13 of the bill authorizes an investment of $175 million over the next five years for the expansion and modernization of the existing network and an additional $14.8 million over the next two years to operate what will become the Advanced National Seismic Research and Monitoring System.
We are aware of the need to curb Federal spending. However, damage from earthquakes costs the country billions of dollars. Upgrading the seismic network will pay for itself many times over in savings to structural damage, not to mention the saving of human lives.
Our aging networks were designed simply to locate earthquakes. For building and zoning, we not only need to know where earthquakes occur but the intensity of shaking in various locations affected by the earthquake. Unfortunately, old instruments go off-scale at a very low intensity of shaking. Newer instruments will be used both to locate the earthquake and to record accurately the level of shaking. These digital instruments can communicate automatically with computers that, within minutes after an earthquake, generate a map of how the shaking is spatially distributed. This rapid alert would allow managers of emergency services, utilities, insurers, and others to deploy, in the most effective manner, their limited resources to the places where damage is expected to be greatest.
Therefore, Be it Resolved:
The Seismological Society of America strongly supports H.R. 1184 and endorses the expansion and modernization of the Seismic networks.