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  • Mitigation saves: A resilient runway at Portland International Airport could save up to $50 for every mitigation dollar invested
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Mitigation saves: A resilient runway at Portland International Airport could save up to $50 for every mitigation dollar invested

Source(s):  National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS)

Oregon could experience a magnitude-8.7 or larger earthquake in the next 50 years.

A case study by the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council of the National Institute of Building Sciences has found the benefits of a $140 million seismically resilient runway at Portland International Airport (PDX) could include:

  • Saving up to $50 for every $1 invested in mitigation
  • Protecting lives, speeding the re-occupancy of homes and businesses, and reducing business interruption
  • Being better able to resist large earthquakes on the Cascadia Subduction Zone
  • Greatly improving the region's response and recovery efforts

"Pre-disaster mitigation is a wise investment," says Lakisha A. Woods, CAE, President and CEO of NIBS. "Portland International Airport can play a crucial role in the response and recovery from a catastrophic earthquake event."

Using NIBS' groundbreaking Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves research, a resilient runway at Portland International Airport could come with $460 million in health and medical benefits, among other recovery and business interruption benefits. The Portland area has nearly three million people, but fewer than 400 vacant ICU and emergency department beds. Medical evacuation through PDX could save up to 1,600 lives.

Webinar to Present Key Findings

The Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council will host a webinar about the PDX case study from 1-2 pm EST (10-11 am PST) on April 19, 2021.

In addition to Woods, speakers will include Dan Pippenger, Chief Operating Officer with the Port of Portland; the study's principal investigator, Dr. Keith Porter, with SPA Risk LLC; and Dr. Jiqiu (JQ) Yuan, Executive Director of the MMC and Building Seismic Safety Council of NIBS. Stephen A. Cauffman, Section Chief, Infrastructure Development and Recovery, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will serve as moderator.

Mitigation Saves Background

The Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council published four editions of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves study between 2005 to 2019. MMC found that mitigation saves up to $13 per $1 invested (national average) across multiple kinds of disasters and a wide variety of approaches.

The Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves 2019 Report represents the most comprehensive benefit-cost analysis of natural hazard mitigation, from adopting up-to-date building codes and exceeding codes to the upgrade of utility and transportation infrastructure.



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  • Publication date 29 Mar 2021

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