NIST has been designated by Congress as the Lead Agency for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). This project supports the NEHRP Lead Agency coordination of NEHRP research and implementation activities for the four NEHRP agencies – the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), NIST, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the US Geological Survey (USGS). This project also supports management of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) Earthquake Risk Reduction in Buildings and Infrastructure R&D Program and conduct of the EL Disaster and Failure Studies Program.
Objective: This project performs the Congressionally-mandated NIST Engineering Laboratory (EL) National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Lead Agency role of coordinating NEHRP activities, provides leadership for the EL Earthquake Risk Reduction in Buildings and Infrastructure Program, and support the EL Disaster and Failure Studies Program.
What is the new technical idea? This project focuses less on specific technical objectives and more on program coordination, management, and leadership. The US Congress requires four agencies to perform coordinated earthquake-related research and implementation activities under the umbrella of NEHRP. The agencies include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), NIST, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the US Geological Survey.
NIST was directed in the 2004 reauthorization of NEHRP (Public Law, PL, 108-360) to perform as Program Lead Agency. To support this statutory responsibility and provide leadership for its NEHRP-related research, NIST established the NEHRP Office. Specific statutory EL NEHRP responsibilities include supporting the NEHRP Interagency Coordinating Committee (ICC), the NEHRP senior leadership body; supporting the Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction (ACEHR), which provides the ICC with expert assessments on earthquake engineering trends and developments and on NEHRP effectiveness, management, and coordination; developing and updating NEHRP strategic and management plans; developing annual coordinated interagency budgets; maintaining the NEHRP web site, and submitting ICC-approved annual reports on NEHRP activities. A small in-house staff consisting of a Director, a Deputy Director, a Management/Program Analyst, and an Administrative Assistant performs these functions. The Management/Program Analyst and Administrative Assistant also support other NIST EL statutory programs (Disaster and Failure Studies/National Construction Safety Team, and National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program). In addition to the in-house staff, contractor administrative assistance is provided for the NEHRP Office.
What is the research plan? NEHRP is a research and implementation (knowledge transfer) partnership. The NEHRP Strategic Plan outlines the global NEHRP agenda. The Plan has three Strategic Goals – (A) improve understanding of earthquake processes and impacts; (B) develop cost-effective measures to reduce earthquake impacts in individuals, the built environment, and society-at-large; and, (C) improve the earthquake resilience of communities nationwide. Each of these goals has four or six major objectives, many of which require significant interactions among the NEHRP agencies.
The Strategic Plan also outlines nine strategic priorities that will receive increased emphasis if resources are available to support them:
A NIST-funded 2011 National Research Council (NRC) report provided a long-range research and implementation roadmap for NEHRP that endorsed the NEHRP Strategic Plan. Both the Plan and the NRC roadmap emphasize national earthquake resilience.
Major EL NEHRP activities that are planned for 2014 include:
 Development of NIST Measurement Science R&D Roadmap: Earthquake Risk Reduction in Buildings, NIST GCR 13-917-23.
 The Plan to Coordinate NEHRP Post-Earthquake Investigations, Circular 1242, U.S. Geological Survey, 2003.
Start Date:October 1, 2012
Lead Organizational Unit:el
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