Surviving The Big One

How to prepare your home before a major earthquake strikes

Surviving The Big One

OAKLAND (KRON) — John Accinelli’s Oakland Hills home was built in 1950.

“I didn’t want to blame myself for being, say, cheap, and not doing the right thing, if later an earthquake hit and the damage would maybe be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.

Earlier this year, he hired Taye Nguyen to retrofit his home, hoping to keep his home from falling off its concrete foundation during an earthquake.

“All the old equipment, the old bolts, materials and the size of the bolts were insufficient,” he said.

Nguyen is underneath Accinelli’s home in the crawl space showing KRON4’s Michelle Kingston the 2,500 square-foot ranch, making the home safer and hopefully eliminating major damage should an earthquake happen.

“These types of homes are usually the most susceptible to earthquake damage because of the heavy weight on top and the very fragile small wall that’s holding it up,” Nguyen, with Earthquake Retrofit, said.

Nguyen says homes on hills like Accinelli’s and ones built before 1980 are ones he retrofits the most.

“It’s because of the anchor bolts that are used. the anchor bolts prior to 1980 were non-galvanized so they are rusting now,” Nguyen said.

Homes built on slabs or built after 1980 normally don’t require a retrofit.

Nguyen says if you’re in an older home or fearful of possible earthquake damage, check out the state’s Brace and Bolt Program, which reimburses you for strengthening your home up to $3,000.

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