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Press Release

January 23, 2018

Earthquake Brace + Bolt: Registration Opens For $3,000 Seismic Retrofit Grants

Earthquake Brace + Bolt available to more homeowners in more California cities

SACRAMENTO, Calif, Jan. 23, 2018—Registration opens today for eligible homeowners to receive grants of up to $3,000 for seismic retrofits of their older homes, making them more resistant to earthquake damage. Homeowners have until February 23, 2018, to apply for a grant from the Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program.

EBB is expanding eligibility this year to 17 additional California cities in high hazard areas, bringing the total to 51. The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) has provided $6 million in funding for the grants this year, enough to support an additional 2,000 or more code-compliant seismic retrofits.

“The natural disasters of 2017 remind us of the need to be prepared for the major earthquakes that are inevitable in California,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Californians can protect their families by strengthening older homes, which are particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage, and by making sure they have the financial strength to rebuild with earthquake insurance.”

Homes with qualifying retrofits are eligible for discounts of up to 20 percent on CEA earthquake insurance premiums.

More than 1.2 million houses in high-hazard areas of California are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because of the type of construction, according to the CEA. These homes are typically built before 1979, have a wood frame on a raised foundation and have a cripple wall in the crawl space under the house.

“The more houses a neighborhood has that have been retrofitted, the fewer condemned buildings will blight the neighborhood after a catastrophic earthquake and the faster life can return to normal,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. “I strongly encourage eligible residents to apply for EBB grants and retrofit their homes.”

“EBB sees increasing momentum and awareness for seismic retrofits among homeowners, local officials and contractors,” said Janiele Maffei, chief mitigation officer of the CEA and executive director of EBB. “By helping kick-start a retrofit movement, we are working to reduce the number of Californians who lose their homes in the next catastrophic earthquake.”

In addition to offering the grants, EBB works with local building departments on the permitting process for retrofits and to grow the base of contractors trained to do code-compliant retrofits. The EBB’s searchable Contractor Directory lists almost 900 trained contractors as of the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, CEA and EBB continue to promote earthquake safety by funding development of seismic retrofit codes and plans to include a broader set of housing types. The results of that research will be released later this year.

Typical retrofits for the type of homes currently funded by EBB grants cost between $3,500 and $5,500, and involve bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter. The cost is minimal compared to earthquake damage, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair. In the relatively moderate 6.0-magnitude Napa earthquake of 2014, homeowners received estimates of up to $300,000 to put their houses back on their foundations.

How to Apply for EBB Grants

Beginning January 23 and through February 23, eligible homeowners can apply for retrofit funding at EarthquakeBraceBolt.com, where they can also find detailed program information, select a licensed FEMA-trained contractor and view the full list of eligible ZIP Codes.

The 2018 program will be available in select ZIP Codes in the following cities:

 
Northern California Southern California
Albany   
Berkeley  
Burlingame  
Colma   
Daly City  
El Cerrito  
Emeryville  
Eureka   
Hayward  
Hillsborough  
Los Gatos  
Millbrae   
Napa  
Oakland
Piedmont 
Redwood City 
San Bruno 
San Carlos 
San Francisco 
San Leandro 
San Lorenzo 
San Mateo 
Watsonville 
Woodside 
Alhambra  
Altadena 
Claremont 
Colton  
Fillmore  
Glendale 
Granada Hills 
La Crescenta 
La Verne 
Los Angeles 
Mission Hills 
Monrovia 
Montecito  
Pasadena
Redlands 
San Bernardino  
San Fernando 
San Gabriel 
San Marino 
Santa Barbara 
Santa Monica 
Santa Paula 
Sierra Madre 
South Pasadena 
Sun Valley 
Valley Village 
West Hollywood 

 

About Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB)

Established by the California Residential Mitigation Program, EBB offers up to $3,000 to help California homeowners retrofit their house to reduce potential damage from earthquakes. Residential seismic retrofits bolt the house to its foundation and add bracing, if required, around the perimeter of the crawl space making it more resistant to earthquake activity. For more information, please visit https://www.EarthquakeBraceBolt.com.

About the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP)

CRMP was established in 2011 to help Californians strengthen their homes against damage from earthquakes. CRMP is a joint powers authority created by the California Earthquake Authority and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. For more information, please visit https://www.QuakeRetrofits.com.

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