AIR Worldwide Sponsors the Global Earthquake Model Project

February 25, 2009

Catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide Corp. (AIR) is sponsoring the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) project, a five-year project led by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to produce the world’s first global, open source model for seismic risk assessment. As a key contributor to the GEM project, AIR scientists and engineers will collaborate with earthquake researchers in many aspects of earthquake risk quantification and will have access to new global data sets.

“The Global Earthquake Model project generates information of the highest standard through cooperation between many of the world’s top earthquake experts,” said Dr. Ross Stein, geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey & GEM co-founder. “AIR’s expertise and support will help ensure that GEM will be the critical instrument to support decisions and actions that reduce earthquake losses worldwide. We are proud to have AIR Worldwide standing with us in providing open, accessible information that enables people to understand and cope with the seismic threat.”

All who face risk, from homeowners to governments, need accurate and transparent risk information before they will take action. GEM creates an independent standard to estimate earthquake risk, raise awareness, promote mitigation, and stimulate insurance and risk sharing.

The GEM initiative brings together scientists from around the world to create open source models based on data sets and model components that are assembled using a systematic and uniform approach for all regions. Such data sets may include: clean historical catalogs and fault databases; data on ground motion observations for historical events; vulnerability of structures in different countries; and damage and loss information for historical events.

“In developing countries there often is little or no insurance and the financial burden is borne largely by the government,” said Dr. Jayanta Guin, senior vice president of research and modeling at AIR Worldwide. “AIR’s scientific and financial contributions to GEM are consistent with AIR’s support for the private-public partnerships that are needed to help developing countries better plan, react and recover from natural catastrophes.”

Source: AIR Worldwide Corp.

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