NEHRP Clearinghouse

Building Losses from Natural Hazards: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
Chrostowski, J. D.; Eguchi, R. T.; Hart, G. C.
National Science Foundation, Washington, DC. Applied Science and Research Applications., January 1978, 22 p.
The report addresses development of a forecast of building losses resulting from natural hazards, to be used as a basis for establishing research priorities and public policy directions. The hazards selected for study were earthquake, landslide, expansive soil, hurricane wind/storm surge, tornado, riverine flood, local wind, local flood, and tsunami. Each of the hazards was first modeled and programmed on computers to provide estimates of annual and, in some cases, sudden catastrophic losses which might impart upon the nation's building wealth between 1970 and 2000. Computer modeling was also applied to various mitigations which could be developed and implemented to reduce loss. Potential loss reductions were then projected and evaluations made on both state and national bases. Estimates of building losses from past events were used as a basis for forecasting future losses; however, it is likely that the estimates are low because of inaccurate or incomplete information. Using the completed models, the natural hazards were ranked to show both average annual loss expectancy and the potential for sudden catastrophic loss in a state or region. Scenarios of extreme events, such as the potential cost if the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake reoccurred in 2000, were also modeled. The purpose of this study is to reveal the percentage by which damage might be reduced if some of the more promising mitigations were to be applied. (Color illustrations reproduced in black and white)
Expansive soils; Forecasting; Landslides; Hurricanes; Computer applications; Buildings; Tornadoes; Floods; Hazards; Tsunamis; Natural hazards; Earthquakes