The Importance of Building Codes in Earthquake-Prone Communities Fact Sheet

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There is an often-repeated saying, “Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.” Although you can’t control the seismic hazard in the community where you live or work, you can influence the most important factor in saving lives and reducing losses from an earthquake: the adoption and enforcement of up-to-date building codes. Evaluating older buildings and retrofitting structural and non-structural components also are critical steps. To survive and remain resilient, communities should also strengthen their core infrastructure and critical facilities so that these can withstand an earthquake or other disaster and continue to provide essential services.