Helping homeowners pay to retrofit their homes is a good investment for all. We hope all California homeowners will take a moment and see if they qualify for the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program to receive $3,000 to seismically retrofit their home. The deadline to apply is February 15th.
About the Program: Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB), funded by the CEA, and managed with the help of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, was developed to help homeowners lessen the potential for damage to their houses during an earthquake. A residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing house, making it more resistant to earthquake activity such as ground shaking and soil failure, by bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space. A typical retrofit may cost between $2,000 and $10,000 depending upon the location, the size of the house, and the amount of work involved.
Strengthen Your Home
Surrounding the crawl space under the first floor, many houses have a short wood-framed wall (“cripple wall”) that needs to be strengthened to prevent the house from sliding or toppling off of its foundation during an earthquake. Strengthening involves adding anchor bolts and bracing in the crawl space. Adding anchor bolts in the crawl space improves the connection between the wooden framing members of a building and its concrete foundation help to keep the house from sliding. Bracing the cripple walls in a crawl space with plywood will keep the house from toppling off of the foundation during an earthquake.
How to Qualify
In order to participate in the program, EBB requires homeowners to pre-qualify through a series of questions, in order to determine whether their house meets the Program criteria specified in California’s Existing Building Code. Qualifying houses were constructed before 1979, have a raised, wood first floor, and have a cripple wall that does not exceed four feet in height.
In 2015, EBB will come to selected zip codes in both Northern and Southern California.
Homeowner Registration and Selection
Homeowner registration will be open from January 15 through February 15, 2015. Before you register:
- Check to make sure their house is located in a Program Zip Code;
- Answer the pre-qualification questions posted on the Program website to see if their house meets the basic requirements.
If these basic requirements are met, homeowners may register for EBB online. Homeowners can also call, (877) 232-4300, for a paper application. When registration closes, participating homeowners will be selected through a random drawing process. Homeowners who are selected will be notified via email and provided more detailed information for participation in the Program.
For more information on the Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program, go to www.earthquakebracebolt.com.