In a 2008 study, the US Geological Survey found there’s a greater than 99% chance of a 6.7 magnitude quake or larger hitting the California area over the next 30 years. Apart from building up your earthquake prep kit of bottled water and rice, you also need to prepare your home.

Here in Los Angeles, almost any house built before the 1980s likely needs improvements to reduce earthquake risk. Even more recently-built homes might not have the latest earthquake resistant features.

Los Angeles is prone to sustained shaking due to its geological makeup. The shaking could cause a range of damage.

Determining if your house is safe requires a survey. Take a walk around your home – there are a number of things to look out for that will help you determine how safe your house will be in an earthquake.

 

SAFE:

  • Wood frame-house – single story is the safest
  • Properly installed poured-concrete foundation with no cracks
  • House that is bolted to the foundation and adequately braced
  • Appliances and cabinets bolted to the wall

If your home is made of brick, has a crumbling foundation, or is not bolted to the foundation, you might not be safe!

Hiring a professional retrofitting company is something to consider if your home is not up to par. The cost to retrofit your home could cost between $4,000 and $10,000. However, considering how much of your home, your belongings, as well as the safety of your family could be saved, it’s worth the investment.

This home faced severe damage after the Northridge quake.

You might wonder if you should look into earthquake insurance for your home. It is impossible to say whether or not your individual house should get this insurance, but speaking with an insurance company might be a good idea.

The deductible on an earthquake insurance policy typically has a 10% or 15% deductible. if your home has an insured replacement value of $1,000,000 and you have a 15% deductible, then the deductible is $150,000. So, you would need to suffer a loss greater than $150,000 in order to receive any claims settlement for the damage to your home. However, many policies will provide funds for emergency repairs or living expenses even if you don’t reach your deductible.

Living in Southern California, earthquakes are a part of life. It’s up to you to be prepared! Is your home ready? Let us know if you need a referral for a retrofitting company!

Posted on 10.09.17

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