The United States Resiliency Council through its support behind California’s AB 2681, a bill now in the appropriations committee that would assist cities in identifying the most seismically vulnerable structures.
The bill would provide funding and tools for cities to identify dangers to their communities and infrastructure. According to the council, the benefits of the bill include:
— Protection for affordable housing: Many vulnerable buildings are older structures that make up much of the state’s more affordable housing stock.
— Shielding communities from chaos: Projected loss of housing would leave hundreds of thousands of people homeless and in desperate need of refuge.
— Informing the public about personal risks: People have a right to make decisions about the buildings in which they live and work based on the best available information. Identifying and evaluating potentially vulnerable buildings is the first step toward engaging stakeholders about the importance of creating more resilient cities.
— Promoting social justice: Most of those impacted by a major quake will be lower-income residents whose lives and livelihoods will be disproportionately impacted due to their economic and social status.
— Protecting public health: Many older buildings contain asbestos and lead, which, when released into the air and groundwater from crumbled rubble will pose a public health problem of potentially overwhelming impacts.