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Crisis Management in Disaster & Earthquake Risk Management in Turkiye (March 13, 2023)

*Mismanaged Risk causes uncertainty and insecurity.

*Mismanaged Crisis drives people to chaos and despair.

Five weeks ago, Turkiye was devastated by two major earthquakes with magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.4. What is more and worse was the intensity of the earthquake! XII - The maximum Mercalli Intensity! One of the largest Peak Ground Accelerations measured in an earthquake in history.

The natural disaster took the lives of thousands, left former habitants of 10 cities homeless, and tore down thousands of residential and commercial buildings leading to tangible and intangible damage.

The damage is irreversible!

  • Where are we at with this life-threatening issue countrywide?

  • Nationwide, how aware are we of the situation?

  • Should we still focus on crisis management or risk management?

The crisis is not well perceived and handled with poor management so far, but we still have a chance to prosper in the risk management of this beautiful country.

Throughout my observations in the aftermath of the disaster, the risk management aspect of the issue is also in jeopardy. I reviewed my previous studies to revise my technical knowledge, contacted many civil engineering peers, met civil engineering professionals in practice, and followed the memorandums of structural and earthquake engineering academics. Moreover, I read earthquake research papers and reviewed reinforced concrete building reinforcement application methods. I also had phone and face-to-face meetings with seismic, geotechnical, and structural engineers. To broaden my perspective, I also reached out to residential builders. I tried to comprehend builders’ approach to renewing, reinforcing, and retrofitting the buildings according to local municipal regulations and national building codes.

The number of professional institutes, structural bureaus, and municipalities that takes this issue very seriously is limited. They are applying a holistic approach to mitigate the risk. However, most private organizations and companies are still only after the cost-benefit of this matter. General Contractors and future homeowners care only about the cost implications of the issue. Neither the quality of what they need nor the correct project procedure they care about.

We should change the order of the approach. General contractors should not be the first to commence. We should begin creating the project charter of what we need to rebuild, repair, or reinforce.

  • What’s the business case?

  • Do we have a statement of work and scope of planned work?

  • Whom should we go to for pre-construction consultation?

  • What’s our Risk appetite, and did we create the Risk Register?

  • Do we have a stakeholder register?

  • Do we know the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats regarding the issue?


A preliminary inquiry like the above is essential to achieve CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONALLY!

If we start asking ourselves these questions, a brighter future can illuminate our glorious path for national welfare.

From now on, can WE, as a united nation, at least handle the Risk Management Process properly?


originally published on March 13, 2023

Kindest regards,

Ari Zingillioglu

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