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Summary Mother Nature is a powerful and uncontrollable force. Of all the natural events that occur, earthquakes are among the most destructive. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), our nation experiences approximately 20,000 earthquakes a year, mostly small. According to a 2006 National Research Council (NRC) report, 42 states have some degree of earthquake risk, 18 of which have areas of high or very high seismicity. Since 1900, there have been earthquakes in 39 states, with damage in all 50 states. A National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) was established in 1977 to lead government efforts to reduce property damage, injury and fatalities due to earthquakes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are tasked to work together to implement and maintain the program.

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