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Earthquake Information for Program Managers: Toolkit for Earthquake Program Managers

This information serves as a toolkit for earthquake program managers.

Responsibilities of Earthquake Program Managers

  • FEMA Regional Earthquake Program Managers
    These professionals interface between FEMA’s regional offices, where they are based, and the agency’s national earthquake program, which is part of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). They serve also as FEMA’s liaison to state and local earthquake programs and initiatives. The managers’ primary responsibilities are outlined below.
    • Outreach and education
      Raise awareness of earthquake hazards among emergency management and earthquake risk reduction partners in the region. Build working relationships and partnerships with other federal agencies; multi-state earthquake consortia; state, local, and tribal governments; academic and research communities; design professionals; and private-sector organizations.
    • State assistance
      Work with states to develop and monitor earthquake risk reduction efforts supported through cooperative agreements awarded under the NEHRP Earthquake State Assistance Program. Help state and local governments utilize FEMA grant opportunities for earthquake mitigation projects.
    • Training
      Promote and coordinate earthquake mitigation and risk-assessment training for state and local officials offered by the FEMA National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP) and HAZUS.
    • Disaster response
      Serve in FEMA Regional Response Coordination Centers or Joint Field Offices in the event of damaging earthquakes or other disasters.
    • Technical support
      Maintain and share expert knowledge of earthquake risk reduction in support of federal, state, and local earthquake awareness, education, planning, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities.
  • State Earthquake Program Managers
    The governments of many states and U.S. territories include programs or positions responsible for coordinating efforts to reduce seismic risks. Earthquake programs are typically found in state emergency management agencies, and state earthquake risk reduction activities are typically led by earthquake program managers or coordinators or by state hazard mitigation officers.

    Although the responsibilities of these professionals may vary from state to state, their duties are generally analogous to those of FEMA’s regional earthquake program managers. State Earthquake Contacts interface between FEMA’s earthquake risk reduction efforts and those carried out in local jurisdictions, and represent these efforts across all components of state government. They frequently have outreach and education responsibilities that involve raising awareness of seismic hazards and promoting related risk reduction activities in at-risk communities. They coordinate the use of FEMA funding and training resources in these communities, and provide earthquake risk reduction expertise in support of state and local planning, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities.

Learn More about Earthquakes

  • Why Earthquakes Occur—read about what earthquakes are, why they occur, and how they can affect people.
  • Your Earthquake Risk—learn how seismic risks differ from seismic hazards, how hazards and risks are measured, and what determines the level of risk in a particular geographic area (hazard + exposure + vulnerability).
  • Earthquake Hazard Maps—view maps showing levels of seismic hazards across the United States (county boundaries are visible).
  • NEHRP Earthquake Coordinators Web Site—access lessons designed for self-paced, independent study that provide key information about earthquakes, seismic hazards, earthquake risk-assessment and risk-reduction tools and strategies, promotion of seismic safety through public advocacy and programs, and more.

Grants and Cooperative Agreements

  • How to Administer the NEHRP Earthquake State Assistance Program
    To support local earthquake safety and resilience activities, FEMA awards cooperative agreements to States and territories with significant seismic risk. For more information on how to apply and how to administer the program, visit NEHRP Earthquake State Assistance Program.
  • How to Apply for Other FEMA Grants
    FEMA administers several grant programs intended to reduce the risks to people and property posed by natural hazards. Although these programs are not dedicated exclusively to earthquakes, they can be valuable sources of funding for risk reduction efforts targeting earthquakes or earthquakes and other hazards at state or local levels. Visit Grant Programs to learn more about these programs and link to current eligibility and application guidance.


  • How to Develop a Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan
    Visit Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning to access detailed information for state, local, and tribal governments on how to develop mitigation plans and on related laws and regulations.
  • How to Develop Other Emergency Management Plans
    Visit Plan to learn about and link to key FEMA resources related to emergency preparedness and response planning.

Building Codes and Seismic Retrofitting

  • Learn about Building Codes and Seismic Retrofitting
    Building Codes defines building codes, explains how they relate to model codes and seismic codes, highlights the importance of code adoption and enforcement, and describes how code requirements relate to existing buildings. The importance of retrofitting existing buildings is also discussed, and links to related resources are provided.

Awareness and Outreach Materials

  • How to Order FEMA Earthquake Publications
    Use the FEMA Library to download and order publications. About the FEMA Library explains how to use this online resource and the associated FEMA Publication Warehouse (also known as the FEMA Distribution Center). Go to Earthquake Publications to review FEMA publications related to earthquakes (clicking on a title will take you to the FEMA Library record for that publication).
  • How to Organize a ShakeOut Event
    ShakeOut Resources describes how many types of organizations can participate in one of the annual state or regional ShakeOuts by organizing their own “Drop, cover, and hold on” drills and associated earthquake safety activities. Select “Other ShakeOuts” at the top of the page to view the current list of ShakeOuts.


  • How to Use NETAP for Earthquake Training
    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. To learn how to partner with FEMA NEHRP and deliver local earthquake training, visit Earthquake Training.
  • How to Partner with other FEMA Organizations on Earthquake Training
    There other FEMA organizations and programs that offer all-hazard training for first responders, homeland security officials, emergency management officials, private and non-governmental partners, and other personnel with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform key tasks required by specific capabilities. To learn how to partner with other FEMA organizations on earthquake training and other related hazards, visit FEMA Training Organizations.


  • How to Promote Seismic Safety through Partnerships
    The booklet Promoting Seismic Safety: Guidance for Advocates (FEMA 474) provides concise advice for seismic safety advocates on partnering, working with experts, using the media, and related topics.
  • How to Make Colleges and Universities More Resistant to Disasters
    Visit Building a Disaster-Resistant University to learn how higher-education institutions can bring stakeholders together to make their campuses less vulnerable to earthquakes and other disasters.


Last Updated: 
12/07/2015 - 15:08