LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — State officials and earthquake experts Wednesday encouraged Southland homeowners to apply for funding from a state program to help retrofit and protect homes from earthquake damage.
Next year, over 1,000 homeowners in over 150 zip codes will be eligible to receive up to $3,000 under the “Earthquake Brace + Bolt” (EBB) program, according to officials.
Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones were among several officials who spoke with reporters Wednesday at a seismically retrofitted 1927 bungalow in Pasadena.
Jones said when it comes to potential for damage, all homes are not created equal.
“We have about a million homes in California which, unfortunately, aren’t seismically retrofitted and are at extreme risk,” he said.
A residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing house, making it more resistant to earthquake activity such as ground shaking and soil failure. The process typically involves bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space.
Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) passed Assembly Bill 1440 this year, which secured an additional $3 million in the 2015-2016 budget to expand the program to more homeowners in earthquake-prone areas in Southern and Northern California.
He told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the state will help pay for homeowners to bolt older homes “that were not bolted to the foundation or had rooftops that had not been braced, and also to strap on water heaters.”
“That was also a major cause of damage,” Nazarian said.
Registration for EBB is currently closed, but will reopen in Jan. 2016.
CBS2’s Randy Paige says the registration process is easy. “You’ll need to go online, make sure your home is in one of the 150 zip codes that are part of the program and answer a few questions. Then you will be put on a list and names will be randomly drawn until the money runs out,” Paige reported.
If you don’t make the final list, Commissioner Jones says picking up the tab to retrofit your own home would be a good idea — a $3,000 investment could dave you more than $50,000 in repairs in the event of a quake and you’ll also get a discount on your earthquake insurance policy.
Click here for more information on “Earthquake Brace + Bolt”.