In the past, although the code specified some requirements for minor seismic restraint where my projects are located, the code officials frequently waived the requirement. Why have they suddenly become stubborn about waiving it on current and future projects?
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), is the agency responsible for relief when an “act of god” event such as an earthquake or hurricane occurs. Over the last 10+ years, the relief dollars that were spent far exceeded expectations and one of the key findings was that the damage costs would have been reduced significantly had the rules in place at the time of building construction not been waived. Insurance companies have also been pressuring localities for better enforcement as they have lost literally billions of dollars during recent earthquakes.