Unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings in moderate- to high-seismic areas can be a disaster in waiting. These types of structures have very little of the ductility required of structures to prevent loss of life or business disruption in a seismic event. (Consult our Structural Engineering Blog post “Building Drift – Do You Check It?” for a discussion on ductility.) Many of these buildings are in densely populated areas, have historical meaning, provide important living or business spaces, and can be costly to retrofit. In this blog, Simpson Strong-Tie engineers discuss tools available for engineers to assess these buildings and design the retrofits needed to mitigate a potential loss of life and increase seismic resiliency.