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MCEER Technical Reports

MCEER technical reports are published to communicate specific research data and project results. Reports are written by MCEER-funded researchers, and provide information on a variety of fields of interest in earthquake engineering. The proceedings from conferences and workshops sponsored by MCEER are also published in this series.

MCEER's web site offers a complete list of technical reports, abstracts, and prices. The publications catalog allows users to search the report list by subject, title and author, and to place orders for these reports. Visit the site at

Overcoming Obstacles to Implementing Earthquake Hazard Mitigation Policies: Stage 1 Report
by D.J. Alesch and W.J. Petak, 12/17/01, MCEER-01-0004, 108 pages, $25.00

This is the first of three reports to be published resulting from a project on overcoming obstacles to implementing earthquake hazard mitigation policies. The project aims to bridge the three planes, from basic research, through enabling processes, to engineered systems. This report presents the results of an extensive literature review about implementation and decision-making from across the spectrum of social and behavioral sciences, drawing primarily on empirical scholarly research findings. The review resulted in four products: definitional issues and concerns, organizational requirements for implementation, the implementation network, and propositions concerning impediments to implementation. Each of these products is discussed in the report.

Updating Real-Time Earthquake Loss Estimates: Methods, Problems and Insights
by Craig E. Taylor, Stephanie E. Chang and Ronald T. Eguchi, 12/17/01, MCEER-01-0005, 66 pages, $25.00

This project re-examined earthquake loss estimation methods by using data collected after the 1994 Northridge earthquake from the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the California Department of Insurance (CDI). In this report, the results of an effort to develop a method for applying Gallup-like statistical procedures to rapidly update earthquake loss estimates are summarized.

First, some of the insights gained from an examination of election polling techniques are outlined. Next, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) and California Department of Insurance (CDI) loss data are shown to provide an opportunity and motive to develop a rapid loss updating method. At the same time, the diversity of criteria for determining losses underscores the complexity of any updating and, more generally, any loss estimation method. Third, a Bayesian method for rapidly updating losses is outlined. This method is next tested based on a 1995 CDI loss database developed midway before a more finalized 1996 CDI loss summary became available. Further, by examining the Northridge earthquake loss data, the possibility of employing stratification techniques to improve the efficiency of updating methods is explored. Finally, lessons learned and research needs developed from this project are summarized.

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