Commission Grantee Global Earthquake Model Foundation (GEM)

GEM Team Develops “Back to Normal” Earthquake Recovery Modeling Tool


The prediction of earthquakes remains an unrealized goal of the scientific community, but we now have a tool that will help civic leaders and others better plan for successful recovery efforts. To better understand some of the main factors that influence earthquake recovery, the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission supported work by the Global Earthquake Model Foundation (GEM) and UCLA to develop a software tool to help estimate how long it would take to recover from an earthquake and what socio-economic factors might influence recovery.

The output of this Commission supported work is “Back to Normal” and the full report can be found on the Commission’s website. Building on over $20 million in funding that has been used the develop the Open Quake software package and supporting datasets, Back to Normal used data from the 2014 M6 South Napa Earthquake and the City of Napa to create this real-world case study and report. It estimates how long it will take an affected area to recover from a similar earthquake and what socio-economic conditions impact the recovery time and trajectory.

While not all earthquakes are the same, this tool will help civic leaders plan and direct resources where most needed to help the community recover.