by Brittany Kyles
On January 17, 1994, the devastating Northridge earthquake struck the city of Los Angeles, California. At a shattering momentum of 6.7, the earthquake destroyed thousands of homes, caused 75 deaths and over 9,000 injuries. Nearly $20 billion dollars were estimated in damages to the city, including apartment buildings which were split into two, collapsed homes, broken sidewalks and driveways, and many other serious ramifications in several neighboring cities.
Damage reached as far as 85 miles away from the epicenter, leaving much of the San Fernando Valley in ruins. As a result the real estate market took a negative downturn, creating added economic distress for those affected.
In California, earthquakes pose a constant threat, essentially since much of California resides on a active fault. Therefore, in order to ensure the safety of your home, loved ones, and precious belongings, it is imperative to reinforce your structures, a sort of “earthquake proofing” insurance.
Julian De la Torre of Julian Construction Inc. has been reinforcing, retrofitting and house bolting homes since the early 1990’s, aiding in the prevention of earthquake damages for thousands of homes. “Julian Construction Inc. specializes in foundation bolting and the bracing of cripple walls (short stud walls between the floor and foundation of some houses) by using structural-grade plywood which, if needed, provides greater resistance to earthquakes”(http://www.julianconstruction.com).
By taking these steps, along with proper floor securing measures, you can better equip your home with the strength to fight these extreme disasters. The Northridge earthquake left a lasting impression on those who endured its wrath and yet, much of the damage could have been avoided if these properties had been properly retrofitted. Therefore it seems only sensible to take such precautions as a resident in California.
Many believe the next “big one” is on its way, which stresses the importance of taking proper safety measures before the next disaster takes your home, or your life. And when it comes to the safety of your loved ones and home, it is important to choose an expert. Founders of Julian Construction have been in the business of securing homes for over 20 years, and when you work with this company, you are working to the best. January 17, marks the anniversary of this disparaging catastrophe, and to start off the New Year, it’s only logical to prepare for the future.
Brittany Kyles is a former intern at a popular newspaper in Santa Barbara and is now perusing her MA in journalism. Her father Shawn Kyles is an expert in foundation repair and house bolting, and is a partner in Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com) located in Los Angeles. Shawn has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with both engineering firms and local departments of building and safety. Julian Construction can be contacted by phone at 323-733-3377. The company’s blog is http://julianconstruction.typepad.com/