August 20, 2017


What is an “Earthquake Program”?
In 1977, Congress enacted the “National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program” (Public Law (PL) 95–124) and charged it with the responsibility of reducing the loss of life and property in the United States.  In establishing this program, called NEHRP (pronounced {knee-herp}), Congress recognized that earthquake-related losses could be reduced through improved design and construction methods and practices, land use controls and redevelopment, prediction techniques and early-warning systems, coordinated emergency preparedness plans, and public education and involvement programs.1

Since NEHRP’s 1977 beginnings, Congress has periodically reviewed and reauthorized NEHRP (1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1997, 2000, and 2004.) While changes have occurred in program details in some of the reauthorizations, the four basic NEHRP goals remain unchanged:

  • Develop effective practices and policies for earthquake loss reduction and accelerate their implementation.
  • Improve techniques for reducing earthquake vulnerabilities of facilities and systems.
  • Improve earthquake hazards identification and risk assessment methods, and their use.
  • Improve the understanding of earthquakes and their effects.

In its initial NEHRP authorization in 1977, and in subsequent reauthorizations, Congress has recognized that several key Federal agencies can contribute to earthquake mitigation efforts. Today, there are four primary NEHRP agencies:

Primarily, these agencies administer a series of programs that reduce the risks to loss of life and property associated with earthquakes.  To facilitate this, the NEHRP agencies work to provide funding and guidance to states, local governments, academia, private sector, and non-profit organizations.  Collectively, these groups (NEHRP Agencies and their hundreds of partners) make up the “Earthquake Program”.

One major component of the “Program” are State Earthquake Program Managers.  This group is made up of (usually) State Emergency Management Agency representatives who actively plan and prepare to reduce earthquake related losses in their states.  In many states, there is a dedicated Earthquake Program Manager, in others it is a shared responsibility.  Collectively, the group is known as the “National Earthquake Program Managers”, and they hold annual meetings to develop programs, best practices, and foster relationships.  The NEPM group began these annual meetings in the early 1990’s, and after a brief hiatus, resumed meeting in 2004 at the National Earthquake Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.  Since 2004, the NEPM’s have met every year to continue to build resiliency against this no-notice, high consequence hazard.

Why is there an “” website?
In 2011, was created as an online resource for State Earthquake Program Managers to use in their efforts to better prepare their states and the nation against earthquakes.   It is intended to be an online repository for information exchange, document sharing, latest news, and collaboration for the group.  The website is maintained and hosted by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium.  If you would like to provide feedback or suggestions for this site, please email

1As found at