Earthquakes are real
Designing and building in seismic areas has made us believers in the Big One.
Why we should be prepared.
This New Yorker article carefully lays out the issues surrounding potential and expected earthquakes and tsunamis in the Northwest, and very intelligently give us guidelines on what to do to mitigate damage.
Why strawbale can easily be made to withstand collapse.
Strawbales are ductile, that is, they can absorb a lot of energy (movement) without breaking. That's what you want in an earthquake. The plaster skin, and, most importantly, the lathing, keeps the bales in their place while all the shaking is going on, and transfers seismic loading from the shake down to the foundation.
This video shows a low-tech strawbale building put through a large simulated earthquake at University of Nevada, Reno.
The building stands.
Skillful Means built five houses within 20 miles of the 6.0 earthquake that struck Napa, CA in 2014. All the buildings rode out the quake with virtually no damage!