UCLA’s Earthquake Safety Planning and Preparedness
Chancellor Block and Vice Chancellor Gregg Goldman sent the following message to the UCLA campus community.
As we begin another academic year, particularly following a significant earthquake felt in many parts of Southern California in July, we wanted to update you on UCLA’s continued efforts to ensure our campus is seismically safe and fully prepared for this very real threat that we unfortunately face.
Since 1990, UCLA has invested more than $2.8 billion to retrofit 69 buildings covering more than 10 million square feet on our campus, utilizing funds from FEMA and the state. Two years ago, UCLA was on track to complete all of our seismic safety upgrades by this year, but in 2017 the University of California updated the system’s seismic policy to fully incorporate the latest technology, scientific advances and emerging best practices.
This new policy, which UCLA fully supports, established new criteria for assessing campus structures across UC and identified some buildings at UCLA that require additional evaluation and upgrades. Three UCLA buildings in particular pose a “severe” risk under the new standards, but each of those are unoccupied and located off campus.
UCLA has detailed seismic remediation plans in place that will bring all on-campus buildings up to the new standards. The three off-campus buildings that pose “severe” risk will remain unoccupied until they can be retrofit. We remain hopeful that California voters will approve a general obligation bond measure on the ballot in March 2020 to begin financing these upgrades.
The new policy also provides an opportunity for UCLA to fully reassess and further update our already extensive earthquake preparedness policies and practices. These include, but are not limited to: Training nearly 400 CERT members and approximately 1,000 building and area wardens across campus since 2017 to facilitate safe building evacuations, initial response and rescue and vital communication with first responders; routine trainings involving top leadership and emergency responders that simulate how the campus would respond in the event of a major earthquake and other disasters; and notification systems like the improved BruinAlert and Bruins Safe Online app, which is available to everyone and provides information about what to do during an earthquake and other emergencies, along with real-time updates during a campus crisis.
We remain absolutely committed to the safety of everyone who lives, works, studies at and visits UCLA. We encourage all of you to visit this website for additional information on how to prepare for an earthquake as well as the Bruins Safe Online page.