If you are driving, pull over to the shoulder or curb, away from utility poles, overhead wires, and under or over passes. The ShakeOut is a great chance to test emergency plans and procedures, update disaster supply kits, and secure any items that may fall or cause injury during an earthquake. Visit the Central US Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) for an extensive library of earthquake safety publications online.
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In general, engineers erect buildings to withstand the static forces of gravity and those inherent in the structures' designs. Mapping geographic areas that are apt suffer grievous damage during an earthquake is critical. Researchers in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Michigan (U-M) simulated the effects of a large earthquake in the Structural Engineering Laboratory to test their new technique for constructing high-rise reinforced concrete buildings.
Engineering earthquake-resistant skyscrapers is much more problematic than building small- to medium sized buildings, and engineers approach them with a couple of techniques. Using yet another approach, engineers erect a building to be as stiff and strong as possible in the hope that it'll retain its integrity and stay intact through a quake.
A special report released in the January issue of the San Francisco Public Press contains a list of nearly 3,000 potentially earthquake-unsafe buildings in the city estimated to be housing more than 58,000 people. The list, which was initially compiled by the Department of Building Inspection but not released to the public, shows all of the city's "soft-story" buildings, which are at a high risk of collapse during intense seismic activity due to their weak ground floors. The buildings on this list have not necessarily been verified in-person by building inspectors as needing additional work in order to become earthquake safe. In 2011, San Francisco voters rejected a $46 million bond measure that would have gone towards funding soft-story retrofits on the city's affordable housing and single-room occupancy units. Public Press reports that the list was released against the advice of many city officials, who worried that putting this information out in the open would needlessly alarm the public.
A recent study conducted by researchers at CalTech and the Japan Agency for the Marine-Earth Science and Technology, found that zones in the San Andreas fault previously thought to be relatively stable actually have the potential to trigger a "mega-quake" that could shake California from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Welcome back to Freaky Friday, IT Oddities, a new series that will feature one tech terror, each week.
Two gentlemen from Stanford University and Northeastern University have designed the world’s first “Earthquake-Resilient Building”! While this is undoubtedly a firm step for engineering in the right direction; I’d hate to be in one of these massive see-saws when the Richter scale is reading anything above 2.0!

The earthquake in Haiti was a reminder: Billions of people live in houses that can't stand shaking. The ShakeOut is a great opportunity to practice earthquake safety, and for everyone to become prepared. ShakeOut is coordinated by the Central US Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) and its Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) also maintains a wide selection of earthquake-related publications online. On February 18 a magnitude 6.5 earthquake rocked the border region between China and Russia. We didn’t hear about those because there was little -- and in several cases zero -- loss of life.
Haiti, a poor country, could afford to build only inelastic, frail structures, whereas structures in Chile, a more developed nation, were strong and somewhat flexible and, for the most part, withstood the 8.8 quake.
But earthquakes generate an entirely different set of forces -- a quake's motion, particularly the side-to-side and rolling movement, subjects buildings to tremendous dynamic forces along vectors that bypass load-absorbing areas and, in the process, eliminate structural integrity and shred the structures like paper. These maps show fault zones, flood plains, areas prone to landslides and soil liquefaction, and the scarred locations of past earthquakes. For small- to medium-sized buildings, they use simple reinforcement techniques such as bolting buildings to their foundations and providing shear walls, which strengthen the structure and help resist rocking forces.
Their proposed design procedure for coupling beams in a core-wall structural system passed the test, withstanding more lateral deformation than an earthquake would typically demand.
One practice is to tie the foundation to the superstructure -- the upper part of the building -- as solidly as possible to the foundation so that, when the ground shakes, the building and the foundation move as a unit, which helps prevent the collapse of upper floors.
These are buildings that, at least superficially, resemble many of the ones that sustained the most damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. There is reportedly a plan circulating around City Hall to get the most dangerous buildings retrofitted by 2017 and have the rest completed by 2020.
However, the non-profit investigative reporting media outlet came down on the side of the public's need to know. This week’s IT oddity is pretty much the perfect storm of Freak Friday-ness: It’s got both certain brilliance, while still bordering on the slightly insane. Yet safer ones can be built cheaply—using straw, adobe, old tires—by applying a few general principles. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake before strong shaking knocks you down or something falls on you.

On February 27, an even more powerful earthquake -- with a magnitude of 8.8 -- hit Chile near its second largest city, Concepcion, taking 700 lives. Unless buildings are flexible enough to bend with those dynamic forces or sturdy enough to withstand them, a strong earthquake will take them down.
Using these maps, planners restrict development and construction to zones where earthquakes are less likely to strike.
Shear walls in the center of a building, often around an elevator shaft or stairwell, form a shear core. The engineers used steel fiber-reinforced concrete to develop a better kind of coupling beam that requires less reinforcement and is easier to construct.
Another method, seemingly at complete odds with the first line of thought,  is to design the superstructure to move on the foundation. In this second approach, engineers design segments of the frame to move so that, during a quake, the entire frame deforms slightly and absorbs the quakes energy, dissipating it throughout the entire structure and in that way maintaining the structure's integrity. Join communities throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee who will participate in this event. In an earthquake, a car may jiggle violently on its springs, but it is a good place to stay until the shaking stops. Coupling beams connect the shear walls of high rises around openings such as those for doorways, windows, and elevator shafts.
People and organizations in other states are also encouraged to participate, especially if you are in an earthquake prone area. Sewage lines break, releasing effluents that contaminate water supplies and, in turn, laying the groundwork for cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other serious diseases.
Power outages, communications breakdowns and transportation interruptions after an earthquake impede rescue and recovery efforts. Records and supplies go missing, crippling businesses and government, slowing recovery even more. But amid all of that chaos, perhaps the most lethal immediate threat to human life is the collapse of buildings, bridges and other structures.

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Rubric: Blacked Out Trailer


    Much more swiftly than the other intact.
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