FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 18, 2015
Department of Insurance: 916-492-3566
Earthquake race + Bolt Program: 916-769-5766
Homeowners encouraged to apply for funds to brace and bolt their homes
1,000 CA homeowners will receive funding to protect their homes
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Next year, 1,000 homeowners across the state will receive up to $3,000 to seismically retrofit and protect their homes from earthquake damage. The Earthquake Brace + Bolt program is expanding to include more than 150 ZIP codes in vulnerable areas in Northern and Southern California.
State officials and earthquake experts joined Pasadena homeowners today who took advantage of funds from the program to retrofit their 1927 bungalow.
Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) secured $3 million in the 2015-2016 state budget to expand the program to more homeowners in earthquake-prone areas across California. Eligible homeowners can apply for funding to retrofit their homes in January at EarthquakeBraceBolt.com.
"Expanding the Brace + Bolt program to 1,000 new homes is an important step forward in preparing California for a large earthquake," stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. "Bracing and bolting homes to their foundation can help protect property and save lives. I look forward to continuing our work with Governor Brown, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and the Legislature to make further improvements to Californians' seismic safety."
United States Geological Survey seismologists predict a major temblor is likely to strike California, causing serious damage to millions of homes and residential structures. There are more than 1.2 million vulnerable homes in California that need retrofitting to protect them.
"The California Earthquake Authority developed the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program because we know mitigation works," said Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of the California Earthquake Authority. "This funding allows an additional 1,000 Californians to make their homes a safer place."
Homes eligible for an Earthquake Brace + Bolt retrofit have a crawl space under the first level with a short, weak, wood-framed wall called a cripple wall and are typically built before 1979. This retrofit bolts an older home to its foundation and adds bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space in order to keep it from sliding or toppling off its foundation during an earthquake.
"I knew my 1920s home needed bolting but didn't fully appreciate the peace of mind I'd feel after the work was done," said Deena Willis, a Pasadena homeowner and Earthquake Brace + Bolt program participant. "I feel safer knowing my house has been strengthened and am thankful that this program made it possible."
"Homeowner insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. We encourage all Californians to take steps to protect their homes before the next major earthquake strikes," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who serves on the Board of the California Earthquake Authority. "Thanks to the leadership of Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program has expanded so more Californians can protect their homes."
If an unsecured house is damaged during an earthquake, homeowners can face hundreds of thousands of dollars in repair costs, while the cost of bracing and bolting a home averages between $3,000 and $5,000.
• Photos and video footage of today's event will be available at http://bit.ly/EBBPressConference.
• The program's grants are income-tax exempt at the state level.
• To apply for the program, homeowners should visit EarthquakeBraceBolt.com.
• View the 2016 program ZIP codes at https://www.earthquakebracebolt.com/HomeownerRegistration.
• To help homeowners find contractors, the Earthquake Brace + Bolt website offers a list of contractors who have successfully completed Federal Emergency Management Agency seismic retrofit training.
• Contractors interested in doing residential retrofits are encouraged to register on the EBB website and complete the free training.
• The Earthquake Brace + Bolt program was introduced in 2013 by the California Residential Mitigation Program, which is a joint power authority between the California Earthquake Authority and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
• Houses that meet the state building code retrofit criteria typically are:
o Constructed before 1979;
o Built on a level or low slope site;
o Constructed with a four-foot (or less) cripple wall under the first floor;
o And have a raised foundation.
• View the seven steps to earthquake safety at earthquakecountry.org/sevensteps.
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