Press Releases

Boxer, Feinstein Introduce Bill to Improve Monitoring and Preparedness for Earthquakes

Bill Would Reauthorize Programs to Reduce Risks and Damage to Infrastructure from Earthquakes

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) today introduced the National Hazards Risk Reduction Act of 2011, which will help improve our preparedness for earthquakes and violent windstorms, including supporting research into advance warning systems, improved building codes and other efforts to reduce risks and damage from natural disasters.

Senator Boxer said, “This critical legislation will help safeguard our communities by developing new ways to monitor and prepare for devastating natural disasters, including earthquakes.”

Senator Feinstein said, “With the tragic earthquake in Japan, we should do everything we can to be better prepared in the case of natural disasters.  This bill will better equip states like California to withstand catastrophic natural disasters and implement modern building codes to protect lives and property.”

The legislation reauthorizes the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), which assesses new and existing earthquake hazards, improves building codes and works to decrease the damage of seismic activity by assessing our overall vulnerability.  The program was first authorized in 1977 and has led to significant improvements in earthquake research and prediction and infrastructure preparedness.  The most recent reauthorization expired in 2009.