In the first paragraph of his comment, Stein contends that ground motions with a 10% or 2% chance of being exceeded in 50 years are of “little use in formulating public policy such as building codes....” This remarkable statement is at odds with the fundamental principle used in the mitigation of catastrophic natural hazards. The seismic provisions in building codes are inherently designed to protect buildings from ground shaking that has a low but significant probability of occurring over the lifetime of a building. Because of the severe consequences of having ground shaking that exceeds the design (building damage, collapse,...

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