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Input Requested on Potential Lifeline Projects

ALA planning guidelines for improving hazard management practices

New York, Mar 01, 2005

The American Lifelines Alliance (ALA) is soliciting input on potential projects to support improving current hazard management practices (for both natural and man-made hazards) in the lifelines industry. Lifelines are those systems necessary to provide electric power, natural gas, water and wastewater, and transportation facilities and services that are essential to the well being of the community served by these systems. ALA is in the process of identifying projects that can be funded in FY 2006 (October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006). Project ideas for consideration in FY 2006 must be submitted by April 8, 2005.

ALA is a public-private partnership project funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and managed by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), with the goal of reducing risks to lifelines from hazards. In 1998, FEMA and the American Society of Civil Engineers – an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and accredited standards developing organization (SDO) – entered into a cooperative agreement to establish the American Lifelines Alliance to facilitate the "creation, adoption and implementation of design and retrofit guidelines and other national consensus documents that, when implemented by lifeline owners and operators, will systematically improve the performance of utility and transportation systems to acceptable levels in natural hazard events, including earthquakes."

ALA projects are incorporated into national consensus guidelines developed through ANSI-approved SDOs. According to ALA, each consensus document will have a "home" in an SDO. This will ensure that the documents will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis and will remain current with respect to new hazards data, system performance evaluation procedures, and changes in society's acceptable levels of risk.

Suggestions for potential FY 2006 ALA projects should be related to one of the following topics:

  • improvement of existing guidelines and standards for lifeline systems and components

  • new guidelines based on past successful industry practices

  • focused studies that provide information necessary to assess lifeline systems to various hazards

  • integrated approaches for assessing lifeline system performance to multiple hazards

  • assist decision makers in the public and private sectors in assessing the performance of lifeline systems and identifying appropriate means to improve performance.

ALA requests that input be limited to a (no more than two-page) project description that identifies the need for the project, the key aspects of the project that address this need, and the approximate level of effort envisioned to carry out the project (in terms of duration, total man-hours, or approximate cost). Project ideas should be provided in electronic format (Word or Acrobat) and can be sent to Mr. Joe Steller at jsteller@nibs.org. For more information, visit http://www.americanlifelinesalliance.org/Solicitations.htm.

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