Mike Means addresses a crowd of approximatley 300 at a Town Hall meeting on earthquakes held at the University of Central Oklahoma; inset below: Means and Curtis McCarty with Town Hall host Rep. Lewis Moore.
A pair of representatives from OSHBA recently were asked to address a topic that was once rarely considered by Oklahoma home builders: earthquakes.
Mike Means, OSHBA executive vice president, and Curtis McCarty with C.A. McCarty Construction, LLC., were among the speakers asked by State Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Arcadia, to address a Town Hall meeting at the University of Central Oklahoma.
The Jan. 14 meeting was called by Moore to discuss the increasing frequency of earthquakes in the area. About 300 people attended the event.
Means and McCarty were asked to address Oklahoma building codes and how they related to earthquakes.
McCarty is one of 12 members of the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission (OUBCC), which is charged with reviewing and updating the Oklahoma building code every six years.
Means was the first person asked to speak after an opening presentation by Rep. Moore. Mike briefly discussed implementation of the statewide building code in 2008 and the process to update the code.
“Up until this year we had no idea we were going to be worried about earthquakes when we finally adopted a statewide building code,” Means said. “One of the things we were concerned about was making sure that new buildings could withstand the wind, because we have so many tornadoes in Oklahoma.”
Before McCarty could speak, the focus of the Town Hall shifted as vocal audience members unleashed pent-up frustrations over the earthquakes and possible causes.
Lines formed at either of two microphones on either side of the room, and audience members emotionally described their earthquake experiences and fears. Many demanded action be taken against saltwater disposal wells that are identified by some as the source of the sudden increase in the number of Oklahoma earthquakes.
Like others in the audience, Means said he was searching for answers, as well, because his home has also been shaken by recent earthquakes.
“I’m also here on a fact-finding mission about what people are experiencing,” he said.