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Hazus Earthquake Model

This page describes the Hazus Earthquake Model which is used to estimate damages and loss of buildings and essential facilities from earthquake events. The page is intended to provide Hazus users with an understanding of the capabilities of the Earthquake model as well as examples of its use.

The Hazus earthquake model estimates damage and loss of buildings, lifelines and essential facilities from scenario and probabilistic earthquakes, including:

  • Ground shaking and ground failure
  • Estimates of casualties
  • Displaced households and shelter requirements
  • Damage and loss of use of essential facilities
  • Estimated cost of repairing damaged buildings
  • Quantity of debris
  • Damage to buildings
  • Direct costs associated with loss of function (e.g., loss of business revenue)

Earthquake Model Performance

  • Hazus is a regional loss estimation tool. Results are most accurate when aggregated on a county or regional scale.
  • Modeled results depend on accurate inventories. The more complete the inventories, the more accurate the results.
  • Because of their complexity, it is more difficult to estimate losses to lifelines (utility and transportation) than buildings.

Use of Earthquake Loss Estimates

Hazus displays the analysis both through GIS maps and tables. This forecasting capability enables users to carry out a wide range of analyses.

  • Emergency managers can use Hazus to develop scenarios to drive exercises and support emergency operations plans.
  • State Hazard Mitigation Officials can use information on costs and benefits of specific mitigation measures and to use analysis for risk assessments for state and local hazard mitigation plans.
  • Shelter managers can use estimates of displaced households and shelter requirements to scale mass care mission requirements.
  • Utility company representatives can use information on the locations and duration of potential utility outages in setting restoration priorities and committing necessary personnel and other resources.

 Features of the Hazus Earthquake Model

  • Menu options in the user interface of the four models in Hazus (Earthquake, Flood, Tsunami and Hurricane) have been adjusted to provide greater consistency.
  • Occupancy Mapping Schemes have been updated for the Earthquake Model.
  • The Earthquake Ground Motion Model has been updated to use the latest USGS Next Generation Attenuation (NGA) functions.
  • The Earthquake Model now includes a feature to analyze study regions greater than the 10 GB limit of SQL Server Express.
  • USGS Shakemaps may now be downloaded and incorporated using the Hazus menus.

Hazus Earthquake Model Applications

Since the Hazus earthquake model was first used in 1995, there has been a wide range of applications by federal, state, local and private sector users.

Last Updated: 
07/31/2019 - 12:31