FEMA and ASDHS complete Earthquake Damage training course
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa, — The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Samoa Department of Homeland Security completed an intensive disaster mitigation and building evaluation training course this week with participation from local government agencies and the private sector.
The National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program Training course was held at the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Tafuna, and was developed as a pre-disaster procedure that can be implemented relatively quickly within a community to develop a list of potentially hazardous buildings without the high cost of a detailed seismic analysis of individual buildings.
The training also provided information on procedures to conduct safety evaluations of buildings following incidents such as earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorism, and other non-disaster situations. The course also covered the sources of non-structural earthquake damage and effective methods of reducing such damage.
The targeted audience for the training was emergency managers, government employees, engineers, architects, building officials, building inspectors, building owners, contractors, hospital professionals, interested citizens, and volunteers.
Funding for the course was provided by FEMA, with support from the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and the National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP).
“The course should help our government agencies and contractors have a better understanding of how to evaluate the safety of buildings after a major disaster,” said ASDHS Director Mike Sala.
The course also provided comprehensive awareness for structural engineers and designers in setting or updating local standards for building structures that will essentially minimize damages from disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.
Director Sala thanked the FEMA facilitators and the participants for a successful training program.