What is the mission of the Learning from Earthquakes Program?

The mission of the Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Program is to accelerate and increase learning from earthquake-induced disasters that affect the natural, built, social and political environments worldwide.

How does the Learning from Earthquakes Program achieve its mission?

LFE responds to earthquakes worldwide by conducting earthquake reconnaissance and disseminating products and lessons learned. LFE's earthquake response consists of:

  • Establishing Virtual Clearinghouse Websites: Reconnaissance products, including webinar recordings, reports, journal papers, data, and photos, are compiled on virtual earthquake clearinghouse websites. These websites serve as a long-term archives of lessons learned from earthquakes. View sites for over 300 earthquakes in the LFE Reconnaissance Archive.
  • Activating the Virtual Earthquake Response Team (VERT): Beginning in 2015, LFE formalized a virtual earthquake reconnaissance program aimed at rapidly assessing impacts of damaging earthquakes through review of news articles and social media. The Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team (VERT) provides opportunities for graduate students, early career professionals, and young faculty to be involved in post-earthquake reconnaissance. Learn More about the Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team.
  • Sending EERI reconnaissance teams to investigate earthquakes: Through LFE, EERI sends multi-disciplinary reconnaissance teams of earthquake risk mitigation experts to investigate earthquake impacts. Reconnaissance teams travel to earthquake-impacted areas, document important observations, and identify topics in need of follow-up research. Increasingly, LFE has focused on capturing lessons for community resilience through earthquake reconnaissance. LFE has developed a framework for resilience reconnaissance and has begun conducting follow-up reconnaissance trips months and years after damaging earthquakes. 
  • Coordinating international reconnaissance teams: In addition to the LFE program, there are many related organizations and private firms that also conduct earthquake reconnaissance programs. As the number of organizations that conduct reconnaissance continue to increase, EERI has led the coordination of international reconnaissance efforts. This coordination fosters collaboration, reduces duplication of efforts, and helps to minimize the burden of international reconnaissance teams on local contacts in earthquake-impacted areas.
  • Participating in physical clearinghouses: For earthquakes in the US, EERI provides staffing support to operate a physical clearinghouse. A physical clearinghouse is a place where field investigators can gather to share observations and coordinate with others.

More information about how EERI responds to earthquakes can be found in the Protocols for Operations of the LFE Program (PDF).

Who manages the Learning from Earthquakes Program?

Learning from Earthquakes is a program of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and is managed by a committee of experts with extensive experience conducting earthquake reconnaissance. Meet the LFE Executive Committee Members:

eduardo miranda profilephoto

Eduardo Miranda,

Mike Mieler

Mike Mieler,

Judith Mitrani-Reiser

Judy Mitrani-Reiser,
Board Liaison

erica fischer

Erica Fischer,
VERT Co-Chair

manny hakha

Manny Hakhamaneshi,
VERT Co-Chair

Yu Xiao

Yu Xiao,
Business Resilience

Thalia Anagnos

Thalia Anagnos,
Travel Study Chair

craig davis

Craig Davis

ken elwood

Ken Elwood

David Friedman

David Friedman

david frost

David Frost

Jeff Hunt

Jeff Hunt

Charlie Huyck

Charlie Huyck

Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Rob Olshansky

Rob Olshansky

RWilson headshot

Rick Wilson


More details about the committee’s charge and role can be found in the Committee Charge and Organization (PDF).

Who Are the LEarning from EArthquakes program Partners?

EERI (LFE) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) share responsibility under a federal post-earthquake investigation plan to manage reconnaissance efforts in the United States. EERI has primary responsibility in international earthquakes. LFE collaborates with many other partners who conduct earthquake reconnaissance around the world.


Organization    Country Website
usgs United States Geological Survey USA https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/
fema Federal Earthquake Management Agency USA https://www.fema.gov/
nsf National Science Foundation USA https://www.nsf.gov/
image10 National Institute of Standards and Technology USA https://www.nist.gov/
image9 Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance USA http://www.geerassociation.org/
peer Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center USA http://peer.berkeley.edu/
cech California Earthquake Clearinghouse USA http://californiaeqclearinghouse.org/
image13 Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team UK https://www.istructe.org/resources-centre/technical-topic-areas/eefit
image15 Sociedad Mexicana de Ingenieria Sismica Mexico http://www.smis.org.mx/
image12 Applied Technology Council USA https://atcouncil.org/
seanc Structural Engineers Association of Northern California USA https://www.seaonc.org/
image16 Structural Engineers Association of Southern California USA https://seaosc.org/
nset National Society for Earthquake Technology Nepal http://www.nset.org.np/nset2012/
nzsee New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering New Zealand http://www.nzsee.org.nz/
gns GNS Science New Zealand https://www.gns.cri.nz/
quakecore Quake Core New Zealand http://www.quakecore.nz/
eucentre EUCENTRE Italy http://www.eucentre.it/
relius ReLUIS Italy http://www.reluis.it/
dpri Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto Japan http://www.dpri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/
nied National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED) Japan http://www.bosai.go.jp/e/Col221:Col321
image18 Institute of Social Science Japan http://www.iss.u-tokyo.ac.jp/
sac Institute of Social Safety Science Japan http://isss.jp.net/
iiees International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology Iran http://www.iiees.ac.ir/en/
ncree National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering Taiwan https://www.ncree.org/
ncdr National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction Taiwan https://www.ncdr.nat.gov.tw/
agies Asociacion Guatemalteca de Ingenieria Estructural y Sismica Guatemala https://www.agies.org/
cigiden Centro de Investigacion para la Gestion Integrada del Riesgo de Desastres Chile http://cigiden.cl/es/
asce ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division USA http://www.asce.org/infrastructure-resilience/infrastructure-resilience-division/
  Disaster Research Center USA https://www.drc.udel.edu/
nhc Natural Hazards Center USA https://hazards.colorado.edu/
jsce Japan Society of Civil Engineers Japan http://www.jsce-int.org/
aij Architectural Institute of Japan Japan https://www.aij.or.jp/aijhome.htm
edim Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Germany https://www.cedim.de/
nicee NICEE India https://www.nicee.org/
aci American Concrete Institute USA https://www.concrete.org/committees/directoryofcommittees/acommitteehome.aspx?committee_code=C0013300
caee Canadian Association of Earthquake Engineering Canada http://caee.ca/
aees Australian Earthquake Engineering Society (AEES) Australia http://www.aees.org.au/

What are the impacts of the Learning from Earthquakes Program?

LFE has supported over 80 reconnaissance teams and archived information for over 300 earthquakes in 50 countries leading to advances in Structural Engineering, Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering, and Social Science. Read more about the impacts of LFE in The Learning from Earthquakes Program: A Brief Synopsis of Major Contributions (PDF).

When was the Learning from Earthquakes Program established?

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute has, since its inception in 1949, conducted post-earthquake investigations for the purpose of improving the science and practice of earthquake engineering and earthquake hazard reduction. In 1973, EERI formally initiated the Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Program.

Other Questions?

Please contact EERI LFE Program Manager, Maggie Ortiz-Millan at maggie@eeri.org with other questions related to LFE.