by Tony Gibbs BSc DCT(Leeds) CEng FICE FIStructE FBAPE FAPE FASCE FRSA FRICS
GEM will establish an independent, uniform standard to calculate and communicate earthquake risk worldwide. By developing much needed tools for seismic risk assessment for basic and expert users in all regions of the world, GEM will provide input for increased earthquake risk awareness and the undertaking of loss mitigating actions. These tools will be valuable for the reconstruction process in Haiti.
GEM is a partnership between a number of global institutions, such as the World Bank, UN’s International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, country governments, private corporations and professional associations. Haiti is not yet a country member of GEM but discussions are in progress with the Italian of Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a view to funding its membership.
By functioning as a community effort, the GEM initiative will produce a state of the art, dynamic and open-source model for the assessment of seismic risk worldwide; based on probabilistic assessment of earthquake occurrence, ground motions and the impact these have on structures and populations in terms of damage, social and economic loss. Caribbean (including Haitian) experts and practitioners have the opportunity to participate in the design of GEM which will thus reflect the needs, knowledge and data of this region. This will ensure that the information reaches the people that do need it.
The GEM risk software and tools will allow, not only for hazard and risk assessment, but will include tools for analysis of socioeconomic impact and will be available through an open web based community platform. GEM will improve earthquake risk assessment for Haiti and will allow for comparisons between Haiti and other countries. Technology transfer on the use of the software will be provided, especially in areas where risk assessment tools and data are currently less available, such as Haiti and other Caribbean countries.