Taking steps to get prepared for living safely and well in earthquake country can be as simple as buying some extra bottles of water to keep in the basement. But while you’re done there, look to see if your home is bolted to the foundation.
The California building code did not require houses to be bolted to their foundations until 1949, and in some jurisdictions, not until 1958. If your house is older than 1958, take a careful look.
You’ll be able to tell if your house is bolted to the foundation by the big bolts going through your foundation.
However, even if it isn’t, you can with a small investment, secure the foundation of your home and brace cripple walls and soft stories. San Leandro, Oakland and Berkeley are encouraging residents to seismically retrofit their homes by providing a variety of aid, including tax rebates, grants, how-to workshops and even tool lending. Call your city hall to find out if there is a program to help you.
Make your home earthquake secure by bolting your home to its foundation, and bracing cripple walls/soft stories. It won’t cost and arm and a leg, and the money you will save in not having to chase your house down the street during an earthquake makes it all worth it.Photo Credit: Seismic Retrofit Project by iandavid on Flickr