The National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP) is designed to help state, local and tribal governments obtain the knowledge, tools and support that they need to plan and implement effective earthquake mitigation strategies. Resources available through the program include instructor-led training courses, technical assistance, tool-development aid and special-project support.
FEMA developed the National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP) as a mechanism for delivering direct assistance to the public to increase their knowledge and ability to analyze their risk, make a plan and take actions aimed at reducing their earthquake risk and supporting overall community resilience. NETAP is not a grant or cooperative agreement program but a contract managed by FEMA to rapidly deploy training and technical assistance to organizations and communities. The NETAP Toolkit for Earthquake Program Managers provides information on how states and territories can request NETAP assistance.
Background and Authorities
In accordance with the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (Public Law 95–124) and the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108–360), it is FEMA’s responsibility to support “the implementation of a comprehensive earthquake education and public awareness program, including development of materials and their wide dissemination to all appropriate audiences and support public access to locality-specific information that may assist the public in preparing for, mitigating against, responding to and recovering from earthquakes and related disasters.” FEMA developed the National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP) as a mechanism for delivering direct assistance to the public to increase their ability to analyze risks, make plans and take actions aimed at reducing seismic risks and supporting overall community resilience. The program is one element of FEMA’s ongoing participation in NEHRP. View the NETAP Fact Sheet.
Assistance Available through NETAP
NETAP is designed to help state, local and tribal governments obtain the knowledge, tools and support that they need to plan and implement effective earthquake mitigation strategies. FEMA provides the following types of assistance through the program:
- Training—Courses and associated materials, available for classroom presentation or independent study, related to a variety of seismic risk-reduction activities and stakeholders.
- Technical assistance—Technical advice and shared expertise that help recipients design, develop and implement earthquake mitigation projects.
- Tools development—Assistance in developing job aids and other tools that facilitate efficient and effective implementation of earthquake mitigation efforts.
- Special-project support—Depending on the availability of program funding, support for demonstration projects or other original, unique or replicable mitigation initiatives.
Obtaining Assistance through NETAP
Training materials sought for independent study can be obtained free of charge through the online FEMA Library, unless otherwise indicated in the course listings. Obtaining other NETAP assistance involves the following steps:
- Develop a request for assistance
A state, local or tribal government and any applicable mitigation partners prepare a written request for NETAP assistance. Requests must describe the type of assistance needed, its purpose or objectives, its scope (e.g., timing, location, amount) and how it will be coordinated and provide contact information. Requests should be prepared in consultation with, and when complete be submitted to, the state earthquake program manager or other state official with responsibility for earthquake mitigation.
- Submit the request to FEMA for review and approval
The state earthquake program manager forwards the request to the appropriate FEMA regional earthquake program manager, who coordinates with the FEMA NETAP manager to evaluate the request. The NETAP manager approves or disapproves the request based on current program funding and priorities, the content of the request and other relevant factors such as levels of seismic risk and mitigation capacity in the affected area and how well the assistance aligns with local hazard mitigation plans.
- Implement approved NETAP assistance
The NETAP manager deploys approved resources in cooperation with the regional program manager, who coordinates with the state program manager to arrange for resource delivery.
When the assistance provided consists of training courses presented to local groups, FEMA typically pays for the salary and travel expenses of an approved instructor as well as for any educational materials used by the students and instructor. The state or local government requesting the training, in cooperation with any partnering organizations, is normally responsible for local logistical requirements (e.g., classroom space, audiovisual equipment, refreshments, recruitment and registration of students).
When providing tools-development, special-project or technical assistance, FEMA normally delivers or funds the delivery of some portion of the expertise or support required. The respective contributions of FEMA, state or local governments and other involved organizations are established through ad hoc negotiations.
- Report on the outcome
During or following the provision of NETAP assistance, the state and FEMA regional program managers communicate with the NETAP manager about what has been accomplished with the assistance (e.g., number of students trained, technical tasks accomplished).
NETAP Training Courses and Associated Materials
FEMA 154 Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards
Trainees learn how to identify potentially hazardous buildings before earthquakes occur. The course covers methods and processes that enable personnel to “rapidly” identify, inventory and rank local buildings according to their expected safety and usability during and after earthquakes. Local officials can use these data to plan and prioritize further engineering and vulnerability analysis, emergency-response needs and mitigation projects. (Course length: 1 day)
- Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards: A Handbook. Second Edition (FEMA 154): Available as a print publication or downloadable file.
- FEMA 154CD: CD-ROM contains an annotated PowerPoint presentation for instructors, the RVS Student Manual, data collection forms and FEMA 154.
FEMA 154 Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards and ATC-20-1 Field Manual: Postearthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings (Second Edition)
The FEMA 154 course, described above, may be combined with ATC-20 training, in which students learn how to evaluate the safety of buildings following earthquakes. ATC-20 trainees learn to perform seismic inspections and safety evaluations of buildings and post appropriate safety-status placards. These evaluations and placards can be used in planning and executing evacuation, re-entry and rebuilding strategies. (Course length: 2 days)
- Flyer Template: FEMA 154 and ATC-20 Flyer Template
- See FEMA 154 course materials above.
- Procedures for Postearthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings and Addendum (ATC-20 Set): The ATC-20 Set, available for purchase from the Applied Technology Council, contains print versions of the 1989 ATC-20 report and the addendum to the report published in 1995.
FEMA 154 Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards and Rapid Observation of Vulnerability and Estimation of Risk (ROVER)
The FEMA 154 course, described above, may be combined with ROVER training and demonstration assistance. ROVER is open-source software that automates the paper-based screening procedures taught in the FEMA 154 course. Building-specific data are entered into ROVER in the field via smartphones and GPS devices and are aggregated in a PC-based data server. ROVER includes many productivity-enhancing features, such as automated geolocation, integrated digital photography and sketching capabilities and automated retrieval of site-specific soil and hazard data from U.S. Geological Survey maps. (Course length: 1–1½ days)
- Flyer Template: FEMA 154 and ROVER Flyer Template
- See FEMA 154 course materials above.
- ROVER: The software is furnished in conjunction with the ROVER training course.
ATC-20 Postearthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings and Rapid Observation of Vulnerability and Estimation of Risk (ROVER)
Requesters may be approved to receive ATC-20 training, without an accompanying FEMA 154 course, if the ATC-20 training is combined with ROVER training and use. ATC-20 and ROVER training and materials are described under courses listed above. (Course length: 1 day)
ASCE 31 (FEMA 310) Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings
Trainees learn how to determine whether existing buildings are adequately designed and constructed to resist seismic forces. The training covers a three-tiered process that design professionals can use to further evaluate potentially hazardous buildings identified through rapid visual screening procedures (see FEMA 154 course above). All aspects of building performance are considered in relation to structural, nonstructural and foundation/geologic hazard issues. This training is based on the American Society of Civil Engineers national standard, Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings (ASCE/SEI 31–03), which superseded FEMA’s Handbook for Seismic Evaluation of Buildings—A Prestandard (FEMA 310). (Course length: 1 day)
- Flyer Template: ASCE 31 Flyer Template
- Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings (ASCE/SEI 31–03): The standard is available for purchase from ASCE as a print publication.
FEMA E-74 Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage
This training describes the sources of nonstructural earthquake damage and effective methods of reducing such damage. Nonstructural failures have accounted for the majority of damage in several recent U.S. earthquakes. It is critical to raise awareness of potential nonstructural hazards, the costly consequences of nonstructural failures and the opportunities that exist to limit future losses. Nonstructural components of buildings include all elements that are not part of the structural system; that is, the architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as furniture, fixtures, equipment and other contents. (Course length: 1 day)
- Flyer Template: FEMA E-74 Flyer Template
- Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage: A Practical Guide. Fourth Edition (FEMA E-74): Available as an online publication.
FEMA P-593 Seismic Rehabilitation Training for One- and Two-Family Wood-Frame Dwellings
This training promotes seismic rehabilitation of one- and two-family homes to reduce earthquake damage and increase post-earthquake habitability. Trainees are introduced to the effects of earthquakes on wood-frame dwellings, common seismic vulnerabilities in these structures, rehabilitation approaches and available rehabilitation guidelines. (Course length: ½–1 day)
- Flyer Template: FEMA P-593 Flyer Template
- Seismic Rehabilitation Training for One- and Two-Family Dwellings (FEMA P-593 CD): Available on CD-ROM and as a downloadable file. Includes PowerPoint presentations, an instructor’s guide and course handouts.
FEMA 395 Earthquake Safety and Mitigation for Schools
This is a webinar for school officials, teachers, facility managers and other stakeholders interested in reducing earthquake risks in local schools. Numerous school buildings located in multiple states and U.S. territories are vulnerable to earthquake damage that threatens safety and continued operations. Attendees learn how to assess and analyze seismic risks; how to develop actionable plans for reducing and managing these risks; how to secure nonstructural elements of school facilities and how to use “incremental seismic rehabilitation” as an affordable approach for protecting existing buildings and ensuring occupant safety. (Course length: 1–2 hours)
- Flyer Template: FEMA 395 Flyer Template
- Earthquake Safety and Mitigation for School Buildings: Webinar audiovisual recording made on February 17, 2011 (length: 1 hour).
- Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation of School Buildings (K-12): Providing Protection to People and Buildings (FEMA 395): Available as a print publication and downloadable file.
FEMA P-767 Earthquake Mitigation for Hospitals
Students are introduced to earthquake hazards in health care settings and learn about methods that can be used to analyze and reduce risks of damage in hospitals and other medical buildings. Such facilities have unique nonstructural components, including equipment and infrastructure systems, that can become sources of injury or damage even during smaller earthquakes. By implementing sound, cost-effective mitigation measures, health care facilities can reduce or eliminate seismic risks and ensure that, in the event of an earthquake, they can remain in operation to serve their communities. (Course length: 1 day)
- Flyer Template: FEMA P-767 Flyer Template
- Earthquake Mitigation for Hospitals (FEMA P-767): This PowerPoint presentation can be ordered from the FEMA Publication Warehouse at (800) 480-2520, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST.
FEMA P-909 Train-the-Trainer: Home and Business Earthquake Safety and Mitigation
This new training program on structural and non-structural earthquake mitigation has three components: a Train-the-Trainer course, a Home and Business Earthquake Safety and Mitigation course and a Hands-On Interactive Mitigation Demonstration. The goal of the training is to create a cadre of trainers with the ability to provide basic knowledge on earthquakes; along with simple steps toward safety and mitigation in their homes and businesses. The training consists of PowerPoint slides, hands-on demonstration instructions, supply lists, scripts, quiz (and answers), certificates and posters. Audiences include government at all levels, emergency managers, first responders, businesses, volunteer community groups and all others interested in leading an earthquake safety presentation.
FEMA P-50 Simplified Seismic Assessment of Detached, Single-Family, Wood-Frame Dwellings
Using the FEMA P-50 seismic assessment system and its accompanying retrofit guidelines, FEMA P-50-1, trainees learn how to assign a Seismic Performance Grade to detached, wood-frame residential structures; identify seismic retrofit opportunities and priorities; and identify an improved Seismic Performance Grade, if retrofit occurs.Target audiences include building owners and building officials, home inspectors, design professionals, home builders, emergency planners, insurers and lenders. (Course length: ½ day)
- Simplified Seismic Assessment of Detached, Single-Family, Wood-Frame Dwellings (FEMA P-50): The print publication can be ordered from the FEMA Publication Warehouse at (800) 480-2520, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST.
- Seismic Retrofit Guidelines for Detached, Single-Family Wood-Frame Dwellings (FEMA P-50-1): The print publication can be ordered from the FEMA Publication Warehouse at (800) 480-2520, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST.
FEMA P-807 Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Multi-Unit Wood-Frame Buildings with Weak First Stories
This training provides cost-effective retrofit procedures for structures that have weak ground floors, such as buildings that use ground floors to accommodate parking, storage or other commercial uses. These structures are prevalent in the seismically active regions of the Pacific Northwest and California. The guidelines have been developed for ease of use, while providing a practicable and cost-effective means to reduce damage and the risk of collapse. The CD-ROM included with the paper publication includes a complete indexed PDF file of FEMA P-807 and the Weak Story Tool software. Target audiences include building owners and building officials, home inspectors, design professionals, home builders, emergency planners, insurers and lenders. (Course length: ½ day and webinars)
- Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Multi-Unit Wood-Frame Buildings with Weak First Stories (FEMA P-807): Available for download and the print publication can be ordered from the FEMA Publication Warehouse at (800) 480-2520, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST.
IS-325 Earthquake Basics: Science, Risk, and Mitigation
This new training is an approximately 30 minute independent study module on the FEMA EMI website, IS-325—Earthquake Basics: Science, Risk and Mitigation. It is an introductory course, targeted to the layperson and offers a Certificate of Completion.
After completing this one-module course, participants should be able to:
- Describe what causes earthquakes
- Differentiate between hazard and vulnerability
- Identify potential vulnerabilities in their homes or businesses
- Take further steps to mitigate their overall risk.