Unexpected: Earthquake 2011, Lessons to Be Learned

This volume brings together nine reports and six short communications that describe damage and other problems caused for the Smithsonian Institution by the earthquake that occurred in the Washington, D.C., area on 23 August 2011. The first chapter is a summary of the presentation by Secretary G. Wayne Clough to the Smithsonian community nearly a month after the event, and the second gives an overview of the impact that the earthquake had on buildings and collections. The third chapter describes in detail both damages to and post-seismic stabilization of the Hempstead House, listed as a historic site on Smithsonian property in Maryland. The fourth chapter describes some of the damage to and subsequent conservation of fossils in the National Museum of Natural History; the next two chapters describe damages suffered by the Botany–Horticulture Library and the fluid collection located in this same building. The short communications report whether damage was suffered in six other Smithsonian museums. Chapter eight deals with the Smithsonian’s Museum Support Center, describing damage suffered by collections in the pods of this center as well as the structure overall and, in particular, its roof, in which many previously undiscovered leaks were subsequently exposed (over offices and laboratories) by Hurricane Irene. The final chapter brings together recommendations for measures to be implemented based on the experience gained. An epilogue on the need for preparedness for unexpected emergencies and a bibliography close the volume.

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CC BY 4.0