On April 29, 2022, a 2.8 magnitude earthquake struck the St. Louis region for several seconds. Its epicenter was located just south of Valley Park with effects, including shaking and loud noises, reported throughout the Metropolitan area and beyond. Although the earthquake was relatively moderate, it was a powerful reminder that St. Louis is located in a seismically active area with a history of earthquakes and the potential for more in the future.

Given this reality, state and local governments, volunteer organizations, and private companies throughout Missouri are committed to addressing the threats to human safety posed by earthquakes as well as their economic and other impacts. In early March, for example, St. Louis hosted the fourth annual “Earthquake Summit”, a professional development conference where attendees gathered to learn about earthquakes in the Midwest, preparedness strategies, and recovery planning. Furthermore, on May 22, 2022, ABNA Engineering’s headquarters in St. Louis served as the venue for a meeting of the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission (MSSC).

ABNA’s Construction Services Manager, Raymond Bailey PE, RG, Ph.D., is the MSSC’s soils engineering representative, and during his tenure of more than a decade with the Commission he has served as secretary, vice-president, and president. Dr. Bailey describes the purpose of the Commission, which comprises volunteers appointed by the Governor of Missouri, thus: “It’s a non-partisan commission with the goal to bring together people who are aware of the risks associated with earthquakes and then to identify what can be done to mitigate those risks to protect the public. That’s our whole concern.”

Dr. Bailey notes that several factors made ABNA an excellent choice for hosting the meeting: “Whenever the Commission meets we try to find a place where there’s no cost. At ABNA we have access to a high-tech meeting room that made it possible for commission members who couldn’t travel to St. Louis to join in and participate actively.” Most importantly, he says, MSSC’s efforts fully align with ABNA’s mission. “ABNA supports the Commission and what it’s doing. Its work really ties into the Company’s mission to provide an environment for professionals in the Design-Build industry to grow and thrive as passionate leaders and guardians of our public and private infrastructure.”

The commitment of ABNA’s staff to leadership, both on the job and as volunteers, is seen throughout the organization. In addition to his service with the MSSC, Dr. Bailey is one of several team members—including Stephen Alsbury PE, Faress Hraib PE, Ph.D., and Michael Buscher PE—who are current or past members of the Missouri Structural Assessment and Visual Evaluation (SAVE) Coalition. SAVE is a group of volunteer engineers, architects, building inspectors, and other trained professionals that assists the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency with building damage inspections.