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Earthquake Vulnerabilities and Failures

Standard stuff, growth over safety. Poor design. Inadequate standards and inspections.

With the national elections ongoing in Turkey, there was a great article in the NY Times covering just one building that had structural failures that lead to hundreds of deaths.

I'm copying a few quotes from the article.

"The staggering death toll was the consequence of a system that prioritized growth over safety."

Note: we have this happening all over the United States. Governments allowing construction in areas that will be prone to natural disaster impacts. Not just earthquakes, but sea rise, storms, flooding and wildfires. Not to mention building in areas that are going to run out of water.

"Ths system of safety checks was deficient, characterized by a lack of regulatory enforcement and professional rigor. all along, local officials, private inspectors and building engineers missed the problems."

I can't tell you how many times I've heard from friends and neighbors complaining about the cost, timeline and process involved in getting building permits and then having the work be inspected by the city or county. Note all the of the above provides for your safety in ensuring that the building codes in place are enforced.

How many home improvement shows have you watched where the new construction team finds shoddy work that is unsafe? This comes from not getting a permit and having the work be inspected.

The perfect storm will come to America—it has not happen, not yet anyway.
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.