I am excited to share some highlights of GeoHazards International’s work in 2014. We help the world’s most vulnerable communities avert catastrophes before disaster strikes, in order to save lives, reduce suffering, and build prosperous societies.
Though the words “disaster preparedness” and “risk” may seem remote from your day-to-day thinking, I assure you that we work closely with real people who face very real problems. I hope that their stories, and ours, will inspire you. Click to GHI's 2014 Newsletter for the full text and photos.
Is an Earthquake-Damaged Building Safe to Use?
A major earthquake will damage hundreds, maybe thousands, of buildings all at once. As people recover from the shock, they will need to know quickly which buildings are safe to use and which are not. Can they live in their homes? Can the hospital stay open if it needs repair? Can the schools function? Because Bhutan faces high earthquake risk, its government asked GHI to develop a manual that will guide engineers who make such decisions. Read how this tool, adapted for local building types by GHI and partners, will improve safety and speed recovery after a disaster.
Pakistan Earthquake Engineering Program Graduates its First Masters Students
Pakistan’s premier technical university will graduate a unique class in December: its first masters students in structural engineering. This milestone will bring pride and joy well beyond campus, because Pakistan—one of the world’s most earthquake vulnerable countries—emphatically needs seismic design experts. Read how GHI helped develop curriculum and provided professional mentoring for this program.
When the Hospital Becomes the Patient
After a major disaster, the injured will flock to a hospital for trauma care. Others will need a hospital too: women delivering babies, children with alarming fevers, people requiring medication, and the chronically ill. But what if the hospital itself falls victim in the event? Read how GHI helps vulnerable hospitals prepare, so they are ready to deliver care during a crisis.
What Should You Do in a Shaking Building?
In the unnerving seconds when earthquake shaking begins, a person’s actions may spell the difference between safety and suffering. But what to do? There is no simple answer. In low and middle income countries, where many types of buildings will suffer damage from shaking, an action may work in one situation but not in another. Read about GHI’s evidence based approach to develop accurate advice and effective messages for the public.
All four stories appear in our 2014 Newsletter.