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News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Creative Associates International is supporting a major summit on preventing and countering violent extremism that will draw approximately 500 elected officials, policymakers and program implementers, the global development organization announced today. Held in Aarhus, Denmark, the May 17 to 19 event is a combination of the Strong Cities Network Global Summit 2017 and the Building Resilience to Radicalisation and Violent Extremism II conference. It is hosted by the Municipality of Aarhus / East Jutland Police in partnership with the Strong Cities Network and other organizations. Creative’s President & CEO, Leland Kruvant, recognized the event’s importance for all actors, from elected officials to at-risk youth, who are involved in this global challenge. “The conference in Aarhus is an excellent opportunity for us to continue a dialogue with our counterparts from around the world about the best practices in preventing and countering violent extremism,” Kruvant says. Based on four decades of work from Central America to Central Asia, Creative uses a holistic approach that builds on proven development tools that support communities in transitioning from conflict to peace. Creative is partnering with the global counter-extremism organization,Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), to support the global summit. During the three-day summit in Aarhus, Creative will lead one panel session and participate in two others that highlight best practices related to preventing and countering violent extremism. Panel on “Does Your City Really Need CVE?” This panel session will present a comprehensive framework that relies on proven assessment methodologies to assist cities to better understand the integral aspects of governance, culture and ideology, as well as to identify where preventing and countering violent extremism approaches are most beneficial. Creative, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the City of Los Angeles will discuss the strengths and challenges of preventing and countering violent extremism by drawing on pertinent international experience. Speakers will outline a framework in which all aspects of public life can play an active role in challenging hate, division and violence in a positive and proactive way. Panelists will emphasize the importance of understanding and mitigating local risk, assessing municipal assets, and developing targeted local action plans appropriate to specific local and regional contexts. Kim Field, who is the Director of Creative’s Countering Violent Extremism work, and Deborah Kimble, who is the Director of Creative’s Governance and Community Resilience work, will present on this panel. It is scheduled for Thursday, May 18. Creative is leading a panel session called “Public Health Approach for Addressing CVE in Tunisia: What Are We Learning from the Gang Prevention Field?” that will examine efforts to reduce risk among youth who are likely to join groups that are prone to violent behavior. Called “secondary violence prevention” and adapted from the gang prevention field in Los Angeles and implemented in Central America, this approach has been effective in diagnosing youth who are at the highest risk for gang membership and then reducing those factors through intensive, sustained family counseling. The panel session will explore how a current program in Tunisia is using the approach of secondary violence prevention to reduce those negative behaviors that lead to joining groups prone to violence. Enrique Roig, who leads Creative’s Citizen Security work, and Halima Mrad, Director of the Tunisia program, will speak on the panel. It is scheduled for Friday, May 19. A panel session called “Developing Local Youth Engagement” will explore how cities can work more effectively with youth as key partners in preventing and countering violent extremism, as well as empowering their local youth as independent actors. Held on Friday, May 19, the panel is a platform for young people to address the conference participants, including key practitioners working on youth engagement around the world. Clare Ignatowski, Creative’s Senior Technical Youth Advisor, will present on this panel. It is scheduled for Friday, May 19. Creative Associates International works with underserved communities by sharing expertise and experience in education, elections, economic growth, governance and transitions from conflict to peace. (http://www.CreativeAssociatesInternational.com) Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has active projects in more than 27 countries. Since 1977, it has worked in nearly 90 countries and on almost every continent. Recognized for its ability to work rapidly, flexibly and effectively in conflict-affected environments, Creative is committed to generating long-term sustainable solutions to complex development problems. Creative has grown to become one of the leaders among the U.S. private sector implementers of global development projects. Creative is minority owned and operated.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (NYSE:JEC) has been awarded a seven-year professional services prime contract for project and construction management by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to support its Landside Access Modernization Program, Airline/Tenant Improvement Program and Capital Improvement Program at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The City of Los Angeles anticipates an increase in travel into the Southern California region resulting from the addition of new entertainment facilities, a sports stadium and a potential bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. In anticipation of this growth, and with the intent of improving the overall guest experience, LAWA has initiated the planning and development of more than $14 billion in capital improvements at LAX. Jacobs’ role includes a broad range of project and construction support services to deliver programs from definition to construction and final closeout. Services include planning; project, construction and design management; construction logistics and impact analysis; staff training and development; change management; and environmental reporting. Jacobs is supporting LAWA as the operator guides and approves major improvement plans by its airline tenants at LAX including Delta, United and Southwest Airlines. "Jacobs has partnered with Los Angeles World Airports for the past 15 years, delivering both airside and landside projects," said Bob Pragada, Jacobs President Buildings and Infrastructure and Industrial. "Around the world, we’ve worked in collaborative roles for several major terminal and runway expansion projects and we look forward to contributing our proven expertise to help implement this program and solidify LAX as one of the great airports of the world." Jacobs provides professional services to aviation markets globally, including supporting programs for international airports such as LAX, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, LaGuardia, Heathrow, Brisbane, Melbourne, Manchester and Dubai. Jacobs’ services range from strategic planning and financial consulting to planning, design, program, construction and asset management. Jacobs is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of full-spectrum technical, professional and construction services for industrial, commercial and government organizations globally. The company employs over 54,000 people and operates in more than 25 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.jacobs.com. Statements made in this release that are not based on historical fact are forward-looking statements. We base these forward-looking statements on management’s current estimates and expectations as well as currently available competitive, financial and economic data. Forward-looking statements, however, are inherently uncertain. There are a variety of factors that could cause business results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements. For a description of some of the factors which may occur that could cause actual results to differ from our forward-looking statements please refer to our Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2016, and in particular the discussions contained under Items 1 - Business, 1A - Risk Factors, 3 - Legal Proceedings, and 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements made herein.


Alex Tapscott, pioneer and author of the bestseller Blockchain Revolution, will appear for the first time in Europe at DES2017 with his talk on Blockchain, in which he will look at why blockchain technologies (a global, open and distributed information platform) will change what we can achieve online, how we do it and who can take part. Tapscott will present his theory of how blockchain will give rise to a new development scenario in subjects as diverse as healthcare, education, government and public administration, finance or business. Alex Tapscott will be joined on the panel of speakers by Lilian P. Coral, City of Los Angeles CDO, who will present the GeoHUB portal, based on GIS technology developed by Esri, which connects information that directly affects around 4 million members of the public, businesspeople and civil servants in the city of Los Angeles. With this platform, users, public services and citizens can access more than 500 layers of maps to check information or develop their own apps. GeoHUB also uses smart maps to bring together information from all over the city, allowing police officers, firefighters and the emergency services to make critical decisions in real time, based on a single point of access and on any device. "DES is the only event of its kind worldwide that deals with the digital transformation or a comprehensive process that affects companies in all areas of business, from technologies as transformation facilitators to business culture as a foundation for success in the digital evolution," says Lluis Altés, Strategy Director of DES|Digital Business World Congress. For the full list of speakers, please visit https://www.des-madrid.com/congress/2017-speakers/ The latest edition of this major meeting on digital transformation is supported by the leaders of the international technology industry. In just two editions, DES will have become the place to go for new technologies, where companies such as Amazon, IBM, Intel, Google, Accenture and Deloitte bring new solutions for banking, industry, retail, logistics, the automotive sector, telecommunications and the energy sector, among others. More than 18,000 delegates from 40 different countries will encounter a congress with more than 450 speakers and 180 talks on technological strategy and trends, such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things, Big Data and Analytics and Cybersecurity. For a summary of the previous edition, you can visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXWWs1znk1I For further information about the event or if you are interested in interviewing any of the speakers, please don't hesitate to contact us.


"We need a partner that can learn our business and provide opportunities for efficiency or innovation. CGI has proven to be a trusted partner for us as we continue to use technology to improve the lives of residents, businesses and visitors across the City of Los Angeles," said City of Los Angeles CIO Ted Ross.  The City's award follows other CGI Advantage ERP on-premises clients that have elected to transition to CGI's cloud and managed services to improve the stability of mission-critical business operations. The approach provides additional recovery and business continuity capabilities and provides the opportunity to shift the focus of the City's professionals from IT back-end operations to more strategic initiatives. CGI's cloud platform expedites the provisioning and scaling of infrastructure and applications. This approach reduces total cost of ownership by eliminating the need to purchase and maintain costly hardware and software. Through Managed Advantage, the City ensures its access to future upgrades and secures the availability of highly specialized IT talent while realizing operational savings. Government departments that use the system will see improved service and a more stable business IT platform. The cloud-based system will also strengthen and simplify the digital experience of members of the business community that conduct business with the City. "Managed Advantage offers unmatched flexibility for reducing costs and mitigating risk for clients," said Daniel Keene, Senior Vice-President of CGI's Advantage ERP program. "We look forward to continuing our trusted partnership with the City of Los Angeles and are committed to putting our transformative cloud solution to work protecting these critical government functions." CGI helps clients reach their digital transformation needs by creating a clear roadmap for organizations to clearly focus on value and enable them to increase efficiency throughout the enterprise. "We are proud to provide a service that is a critical part of the City's digital transformation initiative which is providing more effective engagement with its citizens and other stakeholders," said Dave Delgado, Senior Vice-President, U.S. West operations for CGI. About CGI Founded in 1976, CGI Group Inc. is the fifth largest independent information technology and business process services firm in the world. Approximately 70,000 professionals serve thousands of global clients from offices and delivery centers across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, leveraging a comprehensive portfolio of services, including high-end business and IT consulting, systems integration, application development and maintenance and infrastructure management, as well as 150 IP-based services and solutions. With annual revenue in excess of C$10 billion and an order backlog exceeding C$20 billion, CGI shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB). Website: www.cgi.com. Forward-Looking Statements All statements in this press release that do not directly and exclusively relate to historical facts constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of that term in Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. These statements and this information represent CGI's intentions, plans, expectations and beliefs, and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, of which many are beyond the control of the Company. These factors could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. These factors include but are not restricted to: the timing and size of new contracts; acquisitions and other corporate developments; the ability to attract and retain qualified members; market competition in the rapidly evolving IT industry; general economic and business conditions; foreign exchange and other risks identified in the press release, in CGI's annual and quarterly Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A"), in CGI's Annual Report, in CGI's Annual Report on Form 40-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (filed on EDGAR at www.sec.gov), and in the Company's Annual Information Form filed with the Canadian securities authorities (filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com), as well as assumptions regarding the foregoing. The words "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "anticipate," "foresee," "plan," and similar expressions and variations thereof, identify certain of such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. In particular, statements relating to future performance are forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. CGI disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements or on this forward-looking information.


Alex Tapscott, pioneer and author of the bestseller Blockchain Revolution, will appear for the first time in Europe at DES2017 with his talk on Blockchain, in which he will look at why blockchain technologies (a global, open and distributed information platform) will change what we can achieve online, how we do it and who can take part. Tapscott will present his theory of how blockchain will give rise to a new development scenario in subjects as diverse as healthcare, education, government and public administration, finance or business. Alex Tapscott will be joined on the panel of speakers by Lilian P. Coral, City of Los Angeles CDO, who will present the GeoHUB portal, based on GIS technology developed by Esri, which connects information that directly affects around 4 million members of the public, businesspeople and civil servants in the city of Los Angeles. With this platform, users, public services and citizens can access more than 500 layers of maps to check information or develop their own apps. GeoHUB also uses smart maps to bring together information from all over the city, allowing police officers, firefighters and the emergency services to make critical decisions in real time, based on a single point of access and on any device. "DES is the only event of its kind worldwide that deals with the digital transformation or a comprehensive process that affects companies in all areas of business, from technologies as transformation facilitators to business culture as a foundation for success in the digital evolution," says Lluis Altés, Strategy Director of DES|Digital Business World Congress. For the full list of speakers, please visit https://www.des-madrid.com/congress/2017-speakers/ The latest edition of this major meeting on digital transformation is supported by the leaders of the international technology industry. In just two editions, DES will have become the place to go for new technologies, where companies such as Amazon, IBM, Intel, Google, Accenture and Deloitte bring new solutions for banking, industry, retail, logistics, the automotive sector, telecommunications and the energy sector, among others. More than 18,000 delegates from 40 different countries will encounter a congress with more than 450 speakers and 180 talks on technological strategy and trends, such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things, Big Data and Analytics and Cybersecurity. For a summary of the previous edition, you can visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXWWs1znk1I For further information about the event or if you are interested in interviewing any of the speakers, please don't hesitate to contact us.


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.prlog.org

The City of Los Angeles uses the HigherGround recording/QA and iQventures Speech Analytics joint solution to provide better service and transparency.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The esteemed boutique real estate team of Tracy King, affiliated with Teles Properties, has announced the hiring of April Vargas as Office Coordinator. The Eagle Rock-based team, an established leader in representing buyers and sellers of Northeast Los Angeles real estate, specializes in sales of real estate in Highland Park as well as homes in Mt. Washington, Glassell Park, and Pasadena. A lifelong resident of Eagle Rock, April brings a wealth of service and organization and people skills to the Tracy King real estate team. “There’s something very special about being able to work in the neighborhood I live in and the neighborhood I so love,” said April. “Beyond the beautiful neighborhoods and character homes in this area lies a strong sense of community. Helping to build that community offers a tremendous sense of purpose and pride.” A graduate of Glendale Community College and California State University, Northridge, April brings a solid background of experience in small business management, including a position with City of Los Angeles Parks & Recreation department. She honed her service and people skills in a rewarding career working with the elderly at several area residential care facilities. According to Senior Partner Keely Myres, April’s intimate knowledge of the Northeast LA region and neighborhoods are invaluable assets that make her uniquely qualified to assist homebuyers and sellers in the boutique approach that the firm is widely recognized for. “April’s knowledge, passion and experience will greatly enhance our operations and help us continue to expand our footprint as leaders and experts in the Northeast LA real estate market,” stated Myres. “She’s calm, personable, and detail-oriented. She’s a perfect fit.” For 27 years, Team Tracy has been successfully representing homebuyers and sellers with a strong commitment to excellence. Their particular area of expertise includes the sale of character and midcentury homes in the red-hot, active real estate markets of Northeast Los Angeles. Team Tracy is lead by perennial top sales producer Tracy King, a recognized market strategist and visionary in the development of cutting-edge online marketing technologies to better meet the challenges of today’s complex and ever-changing market. For April, joining a successful team with a well-earned reputation for excellence - located in her own community - is a dream come true. “I’ve been walking, biking, running and driving down every inch of these charming streets all my life. I know the people, the homes, the history and the landmarks. I feel very well suited to help Tracy’s clients find, not just the right house, but also their perfect home. I’m thrilled to be part of the team.”


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The findings of the 2017 Otis Report on the Creative Economy were released today by Otis College of Art and Design at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Bruce W. Ferguson, president of Otis College of Art and Design, welcomed the live and online audience, introducing Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who provided her thoughts on the creative economy and the entertainment industry. Isaacs’ remarks prefaced a panel discussion on the topic led by report economist Kimberly Ritter-Martinez with Academy members Victoria Alonso and Debra Martin Chase. Since 2007, Otis College of Art and Design has commissioned the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation LAEDC to generate the Otis Report on the Creative Economy, first as a report on the Los Angeles Region and then joined by a statewide report, supported by the California Arts Council. The Otis Reports are invaluable tools to assess the tremendous impact and influence of the area's creative sector on the economy. Significant findings in the 2017 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California include: The 2017 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region and California is available for download online at http://www.otis.edu/otisreport. In addition, key findings of the statewide report will be addressed at an informational legislative hearing in Sacramento, CA on May 24, 2017 organized by the Joint Committee on the Arts. Now in its fourth year, this year’s Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California features an addendum analyzing issues of affordable artist housing and retaining and supporting California artists and creative workers, authored by Artspace Projects and developed with support from the California Arts Council. Additionally, the statewide report highlights local creative industries via eight regional snapshots; including the Bay Area, Capital Region, Central Coast, Central Valley, Inland Empire, San Diego and the Imperial Valley, Southern California, and Upstate California. Funding for the 2017 Otis Report on the Creative Economy was provided by California Arts Council, Mattel, City National Bank, and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. Additional support provided by DPR Construction, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Marsh, Moss Adams, SignCentrix, Sony Pictures, and Alan Zafran. Media partners include Arts for LA, Arts for Orange County, Californians for the Arts, and LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce. ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services. http://www.arts.ca.gov. ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION The LAEDC provides collaborative economic development leadership to promote a globally competitive, prosperous and growing L.A. County economy to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents and communities and enable those residents to meet their basic human need for a job. We achieve this through objective economic research and analysis, strategic assistance to government and business, and targeted public policy. Our efforts are guided and supported by the expertise and counsel of our business, government and education members and partners. ABOUT OTIS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts, media, and design. Core programs in liberal arts, business practices, and community-driven projects support the College’s mission to prepare diverse students to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. http://www.otis.edu.


LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - May 17, 2017) - The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) recently certified Bayen Group as a HUBZone business. The goal of the historically underutilized business zones, or "HUBZones," program is to encourage business growth in historically economically distressed areas. Bayen Group is one of under 13,000 companies in the United States that have achieved HUBZone status. "Congratulations to the Bayen Group for receiving the SBA HUBZone certification," said Jan Perry, general manager of the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development department. "This will be a catalyst for new jobs in the Southern portion of Los Angeles County and city adjacent area, bringing a unique awareness to the need for technology jobs in underutilized areas." For Bayen Group's list of Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code and supported Northern American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, visit www.bayengroup.com/hubzone-certified. "We are thrilled to operate in the City of Los Angeles and to bring technical jobs to this community," said Huy Nguyen, managing partner at Bayen Group. "At Bayen Group, we pride ourselves on building partnerships with our clients and offering a positive, welcoming and inclusive work environment for our staff." About Bayen Group Bayen Group is a minority-owned and HUBZone-certified business providing consulting, technology, marketing and staffing solutions. Our emphasis is on relationships -- whether with our clients or employees -- we firmly believe in partnering. Together the team is greater than the individual. The combination of our seasoned professionals and our unique, collaborative work environment enables us to equip our clients with a team of specialists who can tackle the most challenging business problems. Please visit www.bayengroup.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @BayenGroup.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Optimum Seismic, Inc. Founder and President Ali Vahdani published an article in this month's issue of Apartment Age Magazine, describing the growing trend of cities adopting increasingly sweeping earthquake retrofit ordinances in California. His article, “Santa Monica Earthquake Ordinance Prompting ‘New Frontier’ for Earthquake Safety,” is reprinted below, with permission from the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, publishers of Apartment Age Magazine. To view the article, click on Page 74 in the magazine. The Los Angeles Times recently proclaimed the start of a “New Frontier” for earthquake safety: a phenomenon kicked off by the city of Santa Monica, which this month is expected to adopt the most comprehensive seismic retrofit ordinance in the nation. Santa Monica’s law is much more comprehensive than the ordinance adopted in 2015 by the city of L.A. But perhaps even more notable is the fact that there are untold numbers of cities poised to do the same. It’s only a matter of time. Famed seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones told the Times it is remarkable to see how the political winds have changed for elected officials considering seismic retrofit laws. “There are dozens of cities curious at looking at this,” she said. “People are starting to recognize how necessary this is.” The City of Los Angeles retrofit law, which took effect last year, requires the stabilization of some 15,000 pre-1978 wood-frame, soft-story buildings and non-ductile concrete buildings. Soft-story structures have parking or open space on the ground floor, and apartment or office units built above. Non-ductile buildings are pre-1977 concrete structures with a roof and/or floor supported by a concrete wall or concrete column. Santa Monica’s ordinance, which received an initial and unanimous vote of the City Council on Feb. 14, includes not only soft-story and non-ductile concrete buildings, but unreinforced masonry and steel moment frame structures. The council is scheduled to return for a final vote of adoption sometime this month, and the law will take effect 30 days after it is adopted. A Slow-Growing Trend That Has Taken Off San Francisco, Berkeley and other Bay Area cities were among the first to mandate earthquake retrofits for soft-story buildings. That was in 2013. Los Angeles sparked the trend in Southern California with the nation’s most sweeping seismic retrofit law, adopted in 2015. Since then, the movement to retrofit buildings at risk of collapse in a large earthquake has taken a major step forward as cities in both Northern and Southern California start planning for retrofit laws of their own. A short list of cities that have adopted or are considering earthquake retrofit laws includes: San Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond, Fremont, San Jose, Alameda, Santa Clara County, Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and West Hollywood. The Structural Engineers Association of California estimates there may be as many as 100,000 buildings in Southern California alone facing retrofit mandates as other cities and counties consider adopting retrofit laws like those already enacted in other parts of the state. In 1994, Southern California suffered one of its deadliest and most destructive earthquakes: a 6.7 magnitude jolt in Northridge that killed more than 60, injured more than 9,000 and caused as much as $25 billion in widespread damage, most notably from the collapse of freeway overpasses and buildings, including the Northridge Meadows Apartments which crushed 16 residents and flattened cars in the ground-level parking tucked under the soft-story structure. Five years earlier, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook Loma Prieta and the surrounding Bay Area to the core: freeways crumpled, storefronts toppled, and soft-story buildings fell, taking the lives of 63 people and causing some $10 billion in damage. Here in California, we know: It’s just a matter of time until the next Big One strikes. Preventing lives from being lost is without a doubt the largest motivating factor in implementing these laws, but city officials are also extremely concerned about the potential chaos that could ensue if another major quake hits California and we aren’t ready for it. The massive numbers of dead and injured resulting from the Northridge quake was shocking. Hospitals were overloaded, and as many as 125,000 people were temporarily or permanently displaced because of damage to their houses or apartments, according to the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction headed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Power and water were unavailable in many areas for several days and many streets and freeways were impassable. The quake created a situation of chaos that cities now are wanting to do their utmost to avoid. “When somebody walks into a building in the city of Beverly Hills, no matter when they’re there, I want them to feel totally safe,” Councilwoman Nancy Krasne was quoted in the Times as saying. “I think everyone needs to feel safe when they go to sleep.” You can’t put a price on the cost of death or injury, and the loss of property resulting from earthquake damage can be much more than what a building is worth. That alone should be enough to prompt owners of at-risk buildings to look into making their structures safer. In many cases, these buildings represent a person’s total assets and retirement plan. Studies show it pays to protect that. Researchers at Caltech recently performed a general benefit-cost analysis on several types of residential structures including a soft-story apartment building. They found that for every dollar spent on retrofitting, owners could expect to save up to $7 in repairs, and their calculations did not include the possibility of death or injury or the loss of contents within the structures themselves. Retrofits help to guard against liability, claims of negligence and are beneficial for insurance purposes, too. In fact, many insurance carriers no longer insure soft-story structures built before 1978 against earthquakes. Carriers are becoming more discriminating and will either stop coverage or increase premiums to compensate for the added risk. Fortunately, many of the cities that have adopted or are considering retrofit ordinances have put financing models in place to help owners cover the costs of the retrofits. These programs are designed to help. Contact your city or feel free to give us a call at 323-582-2465 for information on one of our upcoming AAGLA-supported earthquake retrofit seminars if you have any questions. Ali Vahdani, a State of California Licensed Professional Engineer, has more than 35 years of experience in building and structural retrofits. He is president and founder of Optimum Seismic, a leading seismic engineering and construction firm serving all of California.

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