DGGS logo
Office of the Governor Governor / Boards and Commissions Boards and Commissions / Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission ASHSC

Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission

View of Anchorage from Earthquake Park


The Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission is charged by statute (AS 44.37.067) to recommend goals and priorities for seismic risk mitigation to the public and private sectors and to recommend policies to the governor and legislature to reduce the state's vulnerability to earthquakes. The Commission consists of eleven members appointed by the Governor from the public and private sectors for three-year terms. It is administered by the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS).

Earthquake Hazards in Alaska

Alaska is the most seismically active region of the United States and is at risk of economic and societal losses due to large damaging earthquakes. The second largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world occurred along the eastern Aleutian subduction zone, the Mw9.2 Great Alaskan earthquake of 1964. The largest on-land earthquake in North America in almost 150 years occurred along the Denali fault in 2002 and was a powerful reminder of the seismic hazards and risk in Alaska.

Project Highlight: Schools and Earthquake Safety

Schools in Alaska represent more than just education facilities. They act as gathering places for the general public, centers of community development, and emergency shelters in case of a natural disaster. Following the 11/30 Anchorage Earthquake, we all saw how a community can be disrupted when schools are damaged. It is therefore critical that we ensure that our school buildings are designed and constructed with Alaska's seismic risk in mind.

The Alaska Seismic Hazard Safety Commission has worked with several Alaska school districts to complete FEMA Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) of their school facilities to identify those at risk of damage in a seismic event. This is the first step in a process of improving the seismic safety of our schools:

  • Step 1: Rapid Visual Screening identifies at-risk facilities
  • Step 2: Engineering Evaluation confirms if facility is at-risk and designs a retrofit project
  • Step 3: Construction of seismic retrofit work is completed

The commission has initiated Step 1 in this process and confirmed that there is a great need for Step 2 and Step 3 to be completed. We strongly recommend that the Governor and Legislature take up this issue.

Click the links below for more information on the Rapid Visual Screening efforts of the Commission:

National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP) training announcements

NETAP is designed to help state, local, territorial, and tribal governments obtain the knowledge, tools, and support that they need to plan and implement effective earthquake mitigation strategies. Courses in 2022 are offered online for free and are open to Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. Find the full list of available courses here or click the links below for course-specific information.

  • FEMA E-74 - Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage
  • FEMA P-50 - Simplified Seismic Assessment and Retrofit Guidelines for Detached, Single-Family, Wood-Frame Dwellings
  • FEMA P-154 & ATC-20 - Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards (pre-disaster), and Post-Earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings (post-disaster)
  • FEMA P-767 - Earthquake Mitigation for Hospitals
  • FEMA P-2055 - Post-Disaster Building Safety Evaluation and Guidance


Earthquake Information

Partnering Agencies

Copyright © 2024 · State of Alaska · Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys · Webmaster