By David Jacobson, Temblor
For a limited time, the Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program is offering grants of up to $3,000 for Californians to strengthen their home’s foundation to lessen the potential for earthquake damage. This opportunity, which is open until February 27, is aimed at residential homeowners in both Northern and Southern California. Now in its fourth year, the Brace + Bolt program hopes to help fund 2,000 retrofits.
Jointly funded by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and California’s general fund, the EBB program is directed towards people living in areas that face significant earthquake hazards. In California, the average cost to seismically retrofit a home is approximately $5,200. Therefore, a $3,000 grant provides significant economic relief to those eligible and interested.
In order to qualify for this grant, several criteria must be met. First, you must live in an eligible zip code (In total, the are 145). This is nearly a 40% increase in the number of eligible zip codes compared to last year. Additionally, cities such as Hayward, Redwood City, San Mateo, Redlands, and Santa Barbara are now included in the program.
If you live in one of the qualifying zip codes, your house must also be made of wood, built on flat or nearly flat ground, have a raised foundation, and have a 4-foot (or less) cripple wall beneath the first floor. If these criteria are met, you can register, and, if selected, you will be notified. If you would like help finding out if you are eligible, click here.
Under the EBB program, funding is allocated towards retrofits which bolt a house to its foundation, and strengthen cripple walls. These measures are aimed at preventing a home from sliding or toppling off its foundation during an earthquake. If you would like to know more about seismic retrofitting, click here.
In addition to providing support in an earthquake, retrofitting your home also qualifies you for up to a 20% discount on earthquake insurance. If you are interested in earthquake insurance, click here. Therefore, retrofitting can help provide multiple levels of security from earthquake damage.
Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program
California Earthquake Authority
The Mercury News