Brace + Bolt

LANCASTER — City residents may now qualify for a state program which provides grants to help secure their homes against earthquakes.

The Earthquake Brace + Bolt program is a state program that provides grants of up to $3,000 to homeowners for seismic retrofits in specific eligible areas.

“By undergoing a seismic retrofit, older houses that were not built to withstand an earthquake are braced and bolted into their foundation,” Janiele Maffei, chief mitigation officer for the California Earthquake Authority, said. “This helps to prevent the home from sliding off its foundation in the event of an earthquake and reduces the amount of damage a house can incur.”

The program has $13.2 million this year to offer more than 4,400 retrofit grants, officials said.

For the first time, Lancaster is included in the list of eligible cities.

Registration is open through March 19. Once registration closes, homeowners will be selected through a random drawing and notified if they have been selected or are on a wait list.

As the name suggests, the retrofits consist of either adding anchor bolts in the crawl space beneath a house to improve the connection between the wood frame and concrete foundation, or bracing in the crawl space to help prevent the house from toppling off its foundation.

Houses that meet the specifications for these types of retrofits are typically wood-frame construction built before 1980, built on a level or low slope and have a raised foundation, among other qualifications.

The retrofit work may be completed by a licensed general contractor, typically for between $3,000 and $7,000, according to the program website.

For an experienced do-it-yourself homeowner, the process may be less than $3,000.

Visit EarthquakeBraceBolt.com for details and to register.

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