Registration opened today for eligible Southland homeowners to receive grants of up to $3,000 for seismic retrofits of older homes, making them more resistant to earthquake damage.
Homeowners have until Feb. 23 to apply for a grant from the Earthquake Brace and Bolt — EBB — program, according to the state Department of Insurance. The procedure involves bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter.
The 2018 program will be available in select neighborhoods in Alhambra, Altadena, Claremont, San Fernando, Glendale, Granada Hills, Santa Monica, La Verne, Los Angeles, South Pasadena, Mission Hills, Sun Valley, Monrovia, Valley Village, West Hollywood and Pasadena.
“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.”
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 California Earthquake Authority. The vulnerable homes were typically built before 1979, have a wood frame on a raised foundation and have a cripple wall in the crawl space under the house.
In addition to offering the grants, EBB works with local building departments on the permitting process for retrofits and on increasing 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.
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 areas, which include the 90046, 90048 and 90069 ZIP code areas.