EERI San Diego Chapter Webinar Series


Global pandemics and large earthquakes are both events that have a low frequency of occurrence, but a high risk for loss of life and economic losses. As a result, our current experiences with COVID-19 can be useful for discussions about preparing for these “low frequency/high risk” events. Although currently our scientific knowledge and technology are better than they have ever been, in the past six months, COVID-19 has posed challenges for the world despite attempts to prepare for events such as this. This webinar series looks at how scenarios are used as a planning tool, what challenges can be encountered in preparing for events such as these, and what next steps can be taken for earthquake preparedness in our community.

Webinar 1
Friday, October 16th, 2020, 12:00pm PDT (day before anniversary of Loma Prieta Earthquake)
Using Scenarios for Preparedness: Comparing Pandemics and Earthquakes
Scenarios are useful planning tools to help us prepare for future events, particularly events that have a low frequency of occurrence but a high risk of losses associated with them, such as large earthquakes and global pandemics. Several public health scenarios were developed in recent years to better understand and prepare for a global pandemic, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar discusses the outcomes and conclusions of these scenarios, a comparison to our current experiences with COVID-19, and a comparison to existing earthquake scenarios and what we can learn from them in an effort to improve earthquake preparedness.

Webinar 2: Friday, October 30th, 2020, 12:00pm PDT
Common Challenges Preparing for Low Frequency/High Risk Events (Earthquakes and Pandemics)
Abstract: Preparing and planning for events that have a low frequency of occurrence but high risk of loss associated with them can have a number of obstacles that must be overcome in order to achieve success. These obstacles include changing public perception of risk, communicating information to a non-scientific population, and obtaining sustained political and financial support, amongst many others. These challenges are discussed in the context of our current experiences, and how those same challenges are encountered in planning for earthquakes and developing more seismically resilient communities. This webinar will also discuss some of the ways in which these challenges can be overcome by learning from the failures and successes of our experiences with COVID-19.

Webinar 3: Date TBD – Friday, November 13 or 20, 2020, 12:00pm PDT
Next Steps for Earthquake Preparedness in Our San Diego Community
Developing communities that are more earthquake resilient and better prepared for large disasters takes time, resources, and lots of planning. This webinar will focus on how to prepare in our community by looking at outreach, developing a group of stakeholders, and identifying short-term and long-term goals for San Diego. This webinar is intended to be more interactive, with discussion amongst stakeholders. The basis for this discussion will be the San Diego Earthquake Scenario released in March 2020, before the pandemic hit the San Diego region.


Jorge F. Meneses, Ph.D., P.E., G.E.,D.GE, F.ASCE, Principal Geotechnical Engineer, RMA Group, Inc., San Diego, CA

Jorge F. Meneses, Ph.D., P.E., G.E., D.GE, F.ASCE, Principal Geotechnical Engineer, RMA Group, Inc., has more than 30 years of consultancy, project management, research, and teaching experience, in both private industry and research institutions in the field of geotechnical and earthquake engineering. He has been involved in numerous projects serving as a technical lead in geotechnical earthquake engineering and foundation engineering across the country and various markets including water, nuclear, transportation, high rise buildings, energy, schools, hospitals, commercial and industrial.

Dr. Meneses frequently acts as a peer reviewer for technical conferences and technical journal publications, is a guest speaker for domestic and international conferences, and has published more than 60 technical publications. He is currently a part-time faculty member in the graduate school of San Diego State University. He is the President and Founder of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) San Diego Chapter, California Seismic Safety Commissioner, Honorary Chair of the ASCE Geo-Institute San Diego Chapter, Member of the ASCE 7-16 (Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures) and ASCE 1 (Geotechnical Analysis, Design, Construction, Inspection and Monitoring of Nuclear Safety-Related Structures) Committees, member of the Industry Advisory Board, Department of Structural Engineering (University of California San Diego), member of the Academy of Geo-Professionals, and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Kristen Chang, P.E., Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Group Delta, San Diego, CA

With over 12 years of experience, Ms. Chang has worked on a broad range of projects in the field of geotechnical engineering. Her areas of expertise include design of foundations and earth retaining structures, and geomechanical numerical modeling and analyses. She has performed geotechnical forensic evaluations for landslides and repair of failed slopes; structural distress induced by seismic events and other adverse geologic conditions; performance of floor level studies, foundation condition surveys, and crawlspace observations for damage assessments.







Chair: Dr. Jorge Meneses
Janna Bonfiglio
Alvaro Celestino
Kristen Chang
Octavio Cortes Macouzet
Maryam Motamed
Tasneem Sadeque