The destruction from the recent earthquake in Japan and in Christchurch, New Zealand is a reminder of how vulnerable we all can be. All construction and engineering is a balance between risk management and economics. It’s possible to build a structure that will essentially never fall down. However, that would be very expensive—and affording the building is the real key.
So how safe are structures in Eugene and Springfield? At least one company thought they weren’t safe enough—Symantec is spending millions of dollars to upgrade its Springfield facilities.
The possibility of an earthquake in Lane County is there—we live in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which is known to be seismically active. So what can you do? Local building codes have continued to become more stringent and therefore more earthquake resistant so new structures will fare better if an earthquake does happen. Plus, earthquake insurance is available.
What do most of us do? Ignore the risk.