This paper establishes a new upper bound on the failure probability of linear structures excited by an earthquake. From Drenick’s inequality max|y(t)| ≤ MN, where N2 = h2, M2, = x2, x(t) is a nonstationary Gaussian stochastic process representing the excitation of the earthquake, and y(t) is the stochastic response of the structure with impulse response function h(τ), we obtain an exponential bound computable in terms of the mean and variance of the energy M2. A numerical example is given.

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