The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), has developed a standardized, nationally applicable earthquake loss estimation methodology called HAZUS. Loss estimates calculated with HAZUS are intended to be used by local, state, and regional officials for planning and stimulating mitigation efforts to reduce losses before earthquakes occur, and preparing for emergency response and recovery following earthquakes. The loss estimates will be the basis for a nationwide earthquake risk assessment and will provide a basis for allocating national resources for future disasters.
HAZUS stands for HAZard US. The software utilizes geographic information system (GIS) technology to produce detailed maps and analytical reports that describe a community's potential losses. Emergency managers from the 50 states and all US Territories have been trained to use HAZUS. The software has been sent to more than 700 users, divided almost evenly between public and private organizations. Additionally, several foreign countries are using HAZUS as a model for their own earthquake loss estimation product.
In addition to NYCEM project, several other major initiatives using HAZUS are underway in
- the San Francisco Bay Area
- the California Office of Emergency Services,
- Portland, OR,
- States included in the Central United States Earthquake Consortium.
The official HAZUS web site is http://www.fema.gov/hazus. Here you will find basic background information as well information about
In addition, a listserv has been established to offer a forum for discussion of issues related to the use and application of the NIBS/ FEMA loss estimation software, HAZUS, being utilized for the NYCEM project . To join the list, send email to
Leave the subject line blank, and at the first line in the body of the mail message, type:
sub HAZUSNET-USA-LIST [your name]