Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program Comes to San Marino


When a catastrophic earthquake hits California, buildings could topple and hundreds of people could be killed.  Complications would be a widespread lack of water, power, and significantly disrupt our daily lives.   Which areas would be most affected depends on which fault ruptures.   A magnitude 7.5 earthquake on the Puente Hills thrust fault directly underneath downtown Los Angeles would be catastrophic there, but would leave other areas outside of Los Angeles in better shape.  A significant rupture of the Raymond Fault could have serious impacts in our own City of San Marino.  Experts say it would be much better to shelter in place in our homes.  Residents of San Marino can prepare to do so by retrofitting their homes that may be at risk of sliding off their foundations. 

The Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) Program, a seismic retrofit program jointly administered by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) makes California homeowners, including San Marino residents, eligible for up to $3000 this year to make their homes less vulnerable to earthquakes. 

Homeowners can apply for grants online during the registration period, February 19 through March 19, 2020.  EBB continues to grow with additional funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the EBB program this year will be available in 351 ZIP Codes in 133 Cities. 

Since the program was founded in 2013, EBB grants have helped more than 9,000 homeowners retrofit their homes.  Because older homes are more likely to slide off their foundation during an earthquake, an EBB seismic retrofit braces the cripple walls, when present, and bolts the house to the foundation making the home more resistant to earthquake damage. 

More than 1.2 million homes in high-hazard areas are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because of the type of construction, according to the CEA.  These homes are typically built before 1980; are wood framed with a raised foundation; and may have a cripple wall in the crawl space under the house. 

Beginning February 19, 2020, San Marino homeowners can apply for retrofit funding at; select a FEMA-trained, California licensed general contractor; and also find detailed information about this program.

Program information is also available in Chinese here.

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