"The EBB program was pretty simple, and it was pretty clear what the requirements were."
Catherine has lived in her home, which was built in 1926 and located on the Hayward fault, for almost 11 years.
“I love my house and the neighborhood. It’s an historical neighborhood and every house is very different—each with a unique building style.”
The neighborhood has the attention of USGS geologists because of its proximity to the Hayward fault1 . That’s why Catherine was concerned and wanted to have her home seismically retrofitted.
“Just knowing that retrofitting was something I could do as a safeguard was comforting. EBB was a great incentive.”
USGS geologists study the movement of an area that’s considered to be capable of generating powerful earthquakes. The last major earthquake on the Hayward Fault was a magnitude 6.8 earthquake that occurred October 21, 1868 and according to USGS it “was one of the most destructive in California’s history.”2
Catherine first heard about EBB from a friend.
“A friend of mine in Oakland had her house seismically retrofitted through EBB. At that time, my ZIP Code was not in the program. I decided I was going to get it done anyway. I cleaned out my basement to start the process and it turned out my ZIP Code was included when registration reopened.”
Once accepted into the EBB program, Catherine started looking for a contractor.
“I did some research—I talked to friends who had completed an EBB retrofit, read about retrofits online and met with three contractors. Once I decided on what contractor to hire, I looked at the EBB Contractor Directory and the contractor was listed on there; so, I used the Directory as confirmation.”
“My contractor did a lot of the uploading of required documents. The EBB program was pretty simple, and it was pretty clear what the requirements were. It’s nice that both the contractor and the homeowner can input information and pictures.”
“I do feel that this is the best thing I could do to improve my chances of surviving a big quake. I feel more confident that the house can stand a good shake. EBB is a great program. I hope it continues successfully and that more people take advantage of it. It certainly is a good incentive to get the work done.”
 Berkeley Seismology Lab, The Hayward Fault http://seismo.berkeley.edu/hayward/
 The Hayward Fault—Is It Due for a Repeat of the Powerful 1868 Earthquake? https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2008/3019/fs2008-3019.pdf