How engineering can improve the chances of survival from an earthquake. Awareness of the hazards caused by earthquakes is probably higher in California than anywhere else in the world. Many buildings and other structures have been strengthened or designed and built to be earthquake-resistant.

Look at how building construction and regulations can help an area to prepare for an earthquake and how the effects of an earthquake can be mitigated by engineering. Compare traditional and modern building technologies from different countries, and research how different types of construction respond to different scales of earthquake. Debate whether richer countries should be investing more in helping poorer countries prepare for earthquakes, rather than helping them react to the resultant destruction.