Perceptions Of Acceptable Levels Of Performance Of Different Elements In The Built Environment In The Event Of A Major Earthquake

Argothy, Victor
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Disaster Research Center
Using data from a mail survey and focus group discussions, this paper examines how residents of Alameda County, CA perceive the operational importance of different elements in the built environment in the event of a major earthquake. Survey rankings of individual elements in the built environment indicate that major hospitals, natural gas pipelines, electrical and water pipelines, and public safety buildings are respondents’ most valued elements in terms of continued functionality and operational capacity. Six regression models were run to test whether social demographic variables and earthquake experience had an influence on respondents’ assigned levels to the operational importance of six groupings of systems (utility and transportation) and structures (schools, public safety, residential, and commercial buildings). Women were more likely than men to assign greater levels of operational importance to all six grouping of systems and structures. Also, racial and ethnic minorities were more likely than Whites to assign higher levels of operational importance to transportation systems, schools, and commercial buildings. Finally, increase in age was significantly associated with a decrease in the levels assigned to the operational importance of utility systems and commercial buildings. Focus group data corroborated quantitative results and allowed to explore some issues in more detail.
Earthquake-Case Studies , Public Works , Architecture