Strategic Plan

for the Northern California Chapter of the
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute

Updated December, 2015

This document sets out a Strategic Plan for the Northern California Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI-NC or the Chapter). The Chapter was formed in the fall of 2001 to provide a forum for those interested in sharing information and fostering earthquake risk reduction in Northern California. This document represents an update of the 2008 plan, developed and approved by the 2015 Board of Directors. This document is intended to be updated every five years, and will be accompanied by an Action Plan, to be updated every two years.

The mission of the Northern California Chapter is to support people with a common interest in reducing earthquake impacts in Northern California.

The Chapter is a dynamic and visible organization that is recognized for its contributions to improved understanding and management of earthquake risks.

Its membership is diverse in terms of experience, age, discipline, and sector, and represents some of the wide geographic terrain of Northern California. Chapter events expose attendees to a mix of knowledge-building and cutting edge ideas, stimulate healthy debate, and represent a broad range of interests. The Chapter plays a key role in cultivating the development of new leaders in the earthquake hazard mitigation field.

The Chapter has well-established relationships with other professional organizations that share an interest in disaster resilience. Through close ties with the EERI National organization and initiatives, it serves as a model for the development of other strong regional chapters. Local decision makers rely on the Chapter and its members for advice on technical information, tactics and policymaking to reduce earthquake impacts and promote disaster resilience.

In service to the mission and vision, the Chapter has four interrelated goals or “things that we do,” each of which is elaborated on in the following graphic. We then give more detail about specific objectives the Chapter has related to each goal.

Goals graphic

Goal 1:      Govern Responsibly

1a. Maintain an infrastructure to effectively support the organization’s mission and goals.

1b. Wisely manage and utilize the organization’s finances.

  • Support EERI National in streamlining the process of membership renewals and payment of annual dues
  • Maintain consistent policies and procedures for making expenditure decisions

1c. Find ways to use Chapter resources to encourage member participation (e.g., student member travel grants), promote long-term involvement (e.g., leadership development), and magnify the Chapter’s visibility and impact (e.g., joint events or co-sponsorships).

Goal 2:      Engage Membership
2a: Conduct useful and timely two-way communications with members.

  • Streamline member communications via an appropriate mix of modes such as email, newsletters, website, and social media
  • Seek and use member input in planning and evaluating Chapter activities

2b. Grow the diversity and level of involvement of our membership.

  • Provide more ways for members to participate and exercise leadership in Chapter governance and events, particularly among younger and senior members

Goal 3:      Share Knowledge

3a: Conduct compelling, varied, and convenient Chapter activities.

  • Provide a suite of events, field trips, and initiatives that appeal to the full variety of disciplines involved in earthquake risk reduction in the region

3b. Educate members about and seek to increase the use of existing risk reduction tools and strategies.

  • Serve as a reference point for members to get information about existing methods and training opportunities (e.g. educational materials, guidelines, ordinances, and regulations)

3c: Select and facilitate occasional feasible, high-reward volunteer service projects in the community.

  • Cultivate and solicit ideas for projects from members and other contacts, particularly to establish a committed “champion”
  • Create and supervise ad hoc committees to guide completion of special projects, with clear end goals and a charge that is reviewed annually

Goal 4:      Have Impact

4a. Proactively engage the wider public in seeking to understand and address earthquake risks.

  • Develop new or deepen existing relationships between the Chapter and other entities who share the common goal of increasing disaster resilience
  • Meet with and present to outside groups that inquire about earthquake risk
  • Acknowledge and increase the visibility of successful risk reduction efforts through awards or other recognition

4b. Appropriately advocate for earthquake risk reduction to decision-makers.

  • Support national EERI Policy Committee initiatives, such as tracking legislative activity related to earthquakes and developing policy positions
  • Participate in timely advocacy, such as consideration and, if desired, recommendation of sensible efforts to reduce risk (e.g. ballot measures, legislative proposals)
  • Assist and advise local governments or the media when invited or when opportunities arise, such as following a major earthquake

Specific Objectives for Fiscal Year 2016 & 2017:

  1. Increase membership by 15% per year.
  2. Build new or deeper relationships with at least two businesses or professional groups that share an interest in reducing earthquake impacts in northern California (e.g., host a joint educational or networking event, produce a white paper).
  3. Select and facilitate one significant volunteer action or project, ideally in partnership with an outside organization or jurisdiction.
  4. Develop a process and prepare a plan for what the Chapter will do in the wake of a local major earthquake, potentially setting aside up to 50% of the reserve to support local post-earthquake response activities.
  5. Update the Chapter’s logo.
  6. Streamline member communications activities, for instance by transitioning from Facebook to LinkedIn and simplifying the website and newsletter offerings.
  7. Establish a process for tracking progress and revisiting objectives annually.
EERI Northern California Chapter | c/o EERI National | 499 14th Street Suite 320 | Oakland, CA 94612-1934 USA |