April is Earthquake Preparedness Month

earthquake_preparedness_monthAre you prepared for an earthquake?  This is the question that supporters of National Earthquake Preparedness Month in April seek to bring to the forefront of discussion.  Making everyone aware of how to be prepared for an earthquake will ultimately result in fewer injuries and less property damage than if homeowners remain uninformed about earthquake safety.  On The Level Contractors supports Earthquake Preparedness month by spreading the word:  preparing for an earthquake can save money and lives.

The good news is that you can and should prepare your home for an earthquake especially if the home was built in the 1940s or even earlier.  You can also prepare your home for an earthquake if you live in a manufactured home.  Implementing proper preventative measures can give you a “second chance” if your home is subject to the seismic upheavals of an earthquake.  On The Level Contractors is ready to help you determine if your home is “earthquake safe” or if more stringent safety measures are necessary,including retrofitting foundation enhancements and/or installing a certified earthquake resistant bracing system (ERBS).

What Happens After An Earthquake?

Anyone who has lived in California for some time has probably experienced what happens during an earthquake.  However, what happens after the earthquake is over?  Normally, officials will move through neighborhoods placing colored tags on homes.  A green tag means that the home needs only minor repairs.  A yellow tag means that there is some structural damage, while a red tag means that the house must be condemned.  If your home is red tagged, you will not even be allowed inside to collect your belongings in many cases! However, not all red tags need be demolished. Some can be partially rebuilt albeit at an often times prohibitive cost.

What Should I Do To Ensure My Home Is Safe?

The first thing you should do is talk to a foundation specialist to ensure your home meets safety standards.  If you live in a traditional home, particularly one that was built prior to the 1940s, you may need to retrofit foundation bolts and plywood.  If you live in a mobile or manufactured home, the challenges become even greater.

A mobile or manufactured home is required to have an approved Earthquake Resistant Bracing System or ERBS under the home.  This means that you have placed a number of strong steel braces under the home to hold it up and keep it from moving around in an earthquake.

ERBS should only be installed by a trained and licensed contractor.  On The Level Contractors, experts in mobile home earthquake bracing, can help you ensure you have the right equipment and that it is correctly installed in order to keep your home safe during an earthquake.