The California Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act, Government Code Chapter 12, Section 8871, et seq., authored by Senators Alquist and Campbell, was signed into law by Governor Deukmejian on October 2, 1985. The statute requires the Seismic Safety Commission (SSC) to prepare and administer a program setting forth priorities, funding sources, amounts, schedules, and other resources needed to reduce statewide earthquake hazards significantly by the year 2001. Until 1997, the SSC had presented the program required by the California Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act in a series of five-year Plans, titled California at Risk. In July of 2007, the SSC released the latest version of the Plan with new format and updated information. Titled The California Earthquake Loss Reduction Plan, it incorporates lessons learned from the Loma Prieta, CA (1989), Northridge, CA (1994), and Kobe, Japan (1995) earthquakes. This version of the Plan fulfills several needs: 1) it continues to be the SSC’s policy statement about what needs to be done to reduce earthquake risk over the long term; 2) it serves as the state’s strategic Plan, guiding the executive and legislative branches in overall implementation strategies and priorities for seismic safety; and 3) it complies with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Hazards Mitigation Strategy and is the state’s hazard mitigation Plan required for federal mitigation funding after earthquakes. The Plan emphasizes the importance of upgrading existing vulnerable structures, better design of new construction, and increased preparedness in all areas as the most cost-effective methods of reducing loss and improving recovery from earthquakes.
Each element has four strategies with related initiatives identifying actions to be accomplished by the private sector, state, and local governments. This Plan presents a strategic program that will help all Californians become better prepared for earthquakes. Download a copy of the California Earthquake Loss Reduction Plan.