Earthquake Clearinghouses and Reconnaissance Coordination

Earthquake Clearinghouses

Physical Earthquake Clearinghouses:

A physical earthquake clearinghouse provides a location where field investigators can come together to coordinate and share observations. Through LFE, EERI plans to operate a physical earthquake clearinghouse location following a major earthquake in the US. EERI may also participate in physical earthquake clearinghouses established for international earthquakes. In the US, a physical earthquake clearinghouse will be set up & running within 24 hours after an earthquake as near to area of the earthquake as practical. When possible, the physical earthquake clearinghouse will be co-located with FEMA’s DFO or other local response field office if possible. In California, EERI is Vice-Chair of the California Earthquake Clearinghouse. EERI is currently working with regional chapters to prepare for physical earthquake clearinghouse operations in Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

 Virtual Earthquake Clearinghouses:

Beginning in 2009, EERI created a series of virtual earthquake clearinghouses after major earthquakes where information coming from the affected area could be quickly shared with members and others. These virtual clearinghouses contain early information provided by investigators from a variety of disciplines, including members of EERI reconnaissance teams. EERI has established over 30 virtual clearinghouse websites for major earthquakes since 2009, all of which can be access through the LFE Reconnaissance Archive.

State Earthquake Clearinghouses

California Earthquake Clearinghouse

The California Post-Earthquake Information Clearinghouse was established in 1972 to provide State and Federal disaster response managers, affected agencies, and the scientific community with prompt information on ground failure, structural damage, and other consequences of a significant seismic event. The California Earthquake Clearinghouse will provide a location, real or virtual, after a damaging earthquake, where engineers, geologists, seismologists, sociologists, economists, and other professionals who arrive in the affected area can become part of a larger, temporary organization (the Clearinghouse) to facilitate the gathering of information, maximize its availability, and better use the talents of those present. The California Earthquake Clearinghouse is managed by the California Geologic Survey (Clearinghouse Chair), the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (Clearinghouse Vice-Chair), the California Office of Emergency Services, the US Geological Survey, and the California Seismic Safety Commission. More information about the California Earthquake Clearinghouse is available here:

Idaho Earthquake Clearinghouse

Idaho recently developed a Clearinghouse Operations Plan to aid in coorindation of post-earthquake field investigations. The Idaho Cleairnghouse Management Team includes the Idaho Geological Survey (Clearinghouse Chair), the Idaho Office of Emergency Management (Clearinghouse Co-Chair), the US Geological Survey, and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

View the Idaho Clearinghouse Plan

Earthquake Clearinghouse Coordination Hub

The Earthquake Clearinghouse Coordination Hub is a collaborative multi-organizational effort that coordinates regional scale information-sharing about clearinghouse activities, earthquake impacts, and reconnaissance efforts for earthquakes impacting the western United States.  The primary function of the Earthquake Clearinghouse Coordination Hub is to serve as an information exchange and coordination mechanism, not as a raw data repository. The Earthquake Clearinghouse Coordination Hub Plan was developed by the Idaho Office of Emergency Management and EERI with funding support from FEMA.

View the Earthquake Clearinghouse Coordination Hub Plan

Other Resources

The Western Sates Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC) has model clearinghouse plans available on their website:

International Reconnaissance Coordination

Through LFE, EERI has taken a strong earthquake reconnaissance coordination role that fosters collaboration between the many teams that conduct reconnaissance and helps to reduce the duplication of efforts. In this coordination role, EERI tracks teams and individuals conducting reconnaissance, coordinates with local partners to reduce the burden of incoming reconnaissance teams, and conducts regular coordination calls that allow teams to coordinate investigations and share observations.