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Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:40 am Post subject: Seismic issues awareness for lay persons
It is great that a platform is being created to address the risk of the huge population of seismically inadequate buildings.
The draft code shall serve to guide Structural Engineers to best undertake evaluation and remedy.
However for that procedure to begin it will need lay persons to first seek their help. It will be awkward if Structural Engineers have to go about on their own and point out flaws and offer solutions.
Just as in Medicine where the lay persons are made aware of common symptoms such as fever, cough, chest pain and advised to seek professional help, I believe there is a need to prepare a document that will enable them to make the most rudimentary judgments. For example the soft storey structures are at greater risk and that can relatively easily be conveyed to them.
Therefore a short document detailing in lay man terms the most obvious flaws could be circulated to the population at large so that they may notice the "symptoms" and seek professional help.
A glossary explaining seismic/structural engineering jargon in layman terms would also be helpful.
A lot of these lay persons whilst not being structural engineers would be educated and capable of understanding such a document.
Though other agencies are probably working on publications to increase public awareness a document married to such a code would enable the structural engineers bridge the communication gap confidently.
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