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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

Readiness. Response. Recovery.

Phone: 503-823-4375

Fax: 503-823-3903

TDD: 503-823-3947

Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Seismic Retrofit Project

UPDATE: The City's URM Work Group held its first meeting on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 from 3-7 p.m. at the Development Services Center, Rooms 2500 B and C (1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland OR 97201) kicking off a new City initiative to address the risks associated with URM buildings.

The group is expected to spend a year focused on recommendations to promote seismic retrofits for URMs. URMs are the most dangerous buildings in an earthquake. There are believed to be at least 1,600 URM buildings in Portland. 

In contrast to past efforts, the new work group will focus on programs to support voluntary seismic retrofits, rather than on standards for mandatory retrofits. The work group will consider the needs of non-profits, as well as how to support for-profit businesses. 

Questions? Email urms@portlandoregon.gov or contact 503-823-4375.


On October 23, 2019, Portland City Council passed two items involving earthquakes and unreinforced masonry buildings:

  • Appointed a committee to develop a voluntary seismic retrofit policy with options to help for-profit and non-profit building owners complete the work (click here to view the Council documents); and
  • Removed a requirement to notify tenants and place earthquake warning signs on unreinforced masonry buildings (click here to view the Council documents).

URM Building Work Group

Information about the URM Building Work Group from December 2019 to present.

URM Building Locator

Click to be redirected to a searchable map and database of Portland URM buildings.