22 March 2006: The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has announced on 20th March that it will award up to $5.5 million in National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) grants for earthquake research in 2007. Earthquakes are one of the most costly natural hazards nationwide – 75 million Americans in 39 states face significant risk from earthquakes. Worldwide, more than 500,000 earthquakes occur annually. As part of the multi-agency NEHRP program, USGS has the lead federal responsibility to provide notification of earthquakes.
In 2006, USGS received 272 proposals and awarded $5.5 million in NEHRP grants that resulted in 96 research grants. Funding was awarded to universities, state geological surveys and private institutions. Key projects include cataloging earthquakes in southern California to better prepare emergency services, the public, and the media about earthquakes; providing seismic hazard estimations so communities and critical institutions can engineer their buildings and roads to be structurally sound; and providing data on ground shaking to help minimize damage.