To be truly effective, earthquake hazard reduction measures must be based on a realistic appraisal of occupants' capabilities and actions during earthquakes. Studies suggest that many overly general beliefs about appropriate response can endanger rather than protect building occupants. We need to analyze occupant actions with respect to hazards posed by the seismic performance of specific building types. This paper will review the findings of recent U.S. studies, discuss the applicability of research from abroad, and summarize requirements for continued progress in this vital research area.

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