WSSPC Post-Earthquake Technical Clearinghouse

History of Clearinghouses

The first post-earthquake clearinghouse was established by California Governor Reagan’s Executive Order after the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. The purpose of the clearinghouse was to provide disaster response managers and the scientific and engineering communities with prompt information on ground failures, structural damage, and other impacts from major earthquakes.

California developed a clearinghouse plan, and after the Northridge earthquake in 1994, clearinghouse forms were developed to standardize data collection by the various researchers who were expected to visit the area impacted by the earthquake. The forms covered geological and tsunami observations; structural and non-structural building effects; transportation and industrial facilities; seismological instrumentation; and emergency management and social impacts.

In 2001, the M6.8 Nisqually earthquake in Washington led to the establishment of a physical clearinghouse at the University of Washington to facilitate the collection, dissemination, and archiving of data as well as a virtual information clearinghouse on the Internet.

A month after the Nisqually earthquake, the WSSPC Basin & Range Province Committee convened a Post Earthquake Technical Clearinghouse Workshop in Salt Lake City, Utah, to share the experiences of California and Washington and to plan for the possibility of operating a clearinghouse following a major earthquake in their state. The Committee modified an earlier version of California’s post-earthquake technical clearinghouse plan to create a generic model plan applicable to all Basin and Range Province states.

Post-Earthquake Technical Clearinghouse Workshop
March 26-27, 2001, Salt Lake City, Utah

Model Post-Earthquake Technical Clearinghouse Plan (PDF)

Model Post-Earthquake Technical Clearinghouse Plan (Microsoft® Word format) (Use this format for adapting/editing)

After the Wells, Nevada M6.0 earthquake in 2008, a virtual clearinghouse website was created by Utah and Nevada which may be viewed at:

WSSPC Policy
A WSSPC Policy Recommendation was first developed in 2001 to encourage states to pre-plan for post-earthquake technical clearinghouses.

WSSPC Policy Recommendation 13-3 on Post-Earthquake Technical Clearinghouses states:
WSSPC recommends that each member state, province, and territory establish a plan for a post-earthquake technical clearinghouse to be activated if possible within 24 hours after each major earthquake within its jurisdiction. WSSPC also recommends that multijurisdictional agreements between and among WSSPC members and Federal agencies be in place that would allow for the establishment of a single comprehensive technical clearinghouse in the event of a large earthquake.

Current Clearinghouse Activities
In California, meetings are held regularly. A new website was launched in April 2013:

A flyer describing the California Earthquake Clearinghouse in more detail is available here:

A flyer describing the California Earthquake Clearinghouse in more detail is available here:

EERI’s Earthquake Clearinghouse: Includes large world earthquakes: