The ability to make observations rapidly and precisely following a disaster has long been recognized as critical to managing emergency response activities in the short term and improving the understanding of natural hazards in the long term. Participating in tsunami and earthquake reconnaissance is a vivid reminder of why we are actively engaged in earthquake engineering and risk management.

In 1973, EERI formally initiated the Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Program. This program, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, sends out multi-disciplinary teams of researchers (e.g., earth scientists, engineers, social scientists) into the field to investigate and to learn from the damaging effects of earthquakes and tsunamis. The reconnaissance team makes a rapid, general damage survey of the affected area, documents initial important observations from the tsunami and/or earthquake, and assesses the need for follow-up areas of research.

In recent years, related organizations and private firms have also established their own reconnaissance programs, particularly the Geo-engineering Extreme Events Reconnaissance, and these teams typically collaborate on field research and publications.

This website will post up brief observations from all teams in the field as well as link to websites maintained by these organizations where more detailed information can be found.