Thirty years after the devastating Northridge Earthquake, there are new opportunities to retrofit. Thousands of California homeowners are now eligible to apply for Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) seismic retrofit grants, as approximately 300 new ZIP Codes have been added to the program.
Beginning Jan. 10 and continuing through Feb. 21, eligible homeowners in 815 ZIP Codes — including all four South Monterey County cities — can apply for $3,000 seismic retrofit grants to help strengthen their homes against earthquake damage.
More than $20 million in grant funding is available to help offset the cost of seismic retrofits that include crawl space walls in older homes, if available, and bolt homes to their foundations, which is less vulnerable to earthquake damage.
In the 10 years since it began, the EBB program has helped more than 23,000 homeowners to strengthen their homes against earthquake damage. The EBB grant program is administered by the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP), a Joint Powers Authority between the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).
“California has a constant risk of earthquakes and no one knows when or where the next Big One might hit. But we know that older homes near faults are especially at risk if they haven’t been strengthened with a seismic retrofit,” said Janiele Maffei, CEA’s chief mitigation officer and executive director of CRMP. “By expanding to 815 ZIP Codes, we’re expanding our reach. to help more homeowners protect their families and property. I strongly encourage homeowners to take advantage of this opportunity and join the growing community of Californians who have taken this important step towards strength.”
Income-eligible homeowners may also qualify for supplemental grants. Up to $7,000 in additional grant funding is available for households with annual incomes at or below $87,360, which can provide up to 100% of the funds needed to cover a seismic retrofit. Grants are subject to meeting eligibility requirements and available funding.
There are more than 1.2 million homes in California built before 1980 in areas that are at risk of collapsing or being destroyed by foundation sliding during a strong earthquake.
“The memorable earthquake that shook the Northridge area in 1994 is a profound reminder for Californians to check if their homes qualify for an EBB grant,” said Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of the California Earthquake Authority. “Due to the unpredictable nature of earthquakes and the possibility of a life-changing seismic event, it is important for homeowners – especially those with older homes – to make the proactive measures that reduce the potential for earthquake damage. At CEA, we are strengthening our commitment to support California homeowners in these earthquake mitigation efforts with increased access and funding.
Until February 21, eligible homeowners can apply for a retrofit grant at EarthquakeBraceBolt.com, where they can also find detailed information on the program, choose a trained, licensed in California general contractor and view the full list of eligible ZIP Codes and program areas.
The EBB program has added ZIP Codes in new areas, including those in and around Eureka, San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland, Monterey/Salinas, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and San Diego.
The new EBB registration period coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, a devastating 6.7 magnitude earthquake that struck early on the morning of January 17, 1994. It caused an estimated $20 billion in damage and 57 death and led the State legislature to create the CEA in 1996.