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A domestic earthquake impact alert protocol based on the combined USGS PAGER and FEMA Hazus loss estimation systems

January 20, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey’s PAGER alert system provides rapid (10-20 min) but general loss estimates of ranges of fatalities and economic impact for significant global earthquakes. FEMA’s Hazus software, in contrast, provides time consuming (2-5 hours) but more detailed loss information quantified in terms of structural, social, and economic consequences estimated at a much higher spatial resolution for large domestic earthquakes. We developed a rapid hybrid post-earthquake product that takes advantage of the best of both loss models. First, though, we conducted a systematic comparison of loss estimates from PAGER with Hazus for all significant, relatively recent, domestic earthquakes for which adequate loss data exist — augmented by a dozen ShakeMap scenarios. The systematic comparison of Hazus and PAGER losses provided the basis for selecting the specific loss metrics to present from each system. The signature product will serve as a supplement to the widely deployed PAGER alerts product for significant domestic earthquakes.

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