Memphis ranks last of 4 cities in projection of earthquake recovery time

In a press release announcing the release of the new report "Impact 2011: Examining a Year of Catastrophes Through the Lens of Resiliency," the nonprofit advocacy group Federal Alliance for Safe Homes gave Memphis the poorest marks of four cities based on how quickly each would recover in the event of a severe earthquake. Earthquake-prone Los Angeles ranks first, and the other two are Seattle and Charleston.

In the modeled case study of these four cities, all located on major U.S. fault lines, Los Angeles (not the smaller cities) would fare the best on a relative basis because it's a better-built environment with stronger seismic building codes and practices. Conversely, Memphis, would experience average building damage ratios eight times larger* than that of LA, and would experience nearly eight times the rate of fatal injuries.

Why?  In natural disasters of any kind, it's all about resiliency or the ability of a community to survive and then bounce back from disaster --- and resiliency is directly related to the quality of the built environment, building codes and record of enforcement.

* Blogger's emphasis added.

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