by Brittany Kyles
On May 18, 2010, the seismically active California-Mexico border area was rattled by a sizeable earthquake shaking the San Diego region, reaching 4.5 in magnitude. The quake was an aftershock of the major 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the northern Mexico region April 4, Easter Sunday, and the new quake was felt throughout the San Diego area, even reaching as far north as parts of Los Angeles.
The quake was centered approximately 18 miles southwest of El Centro, the Imperial County seat in California’s southeastern corner. It occurred only miles below the earth’s surface, reaching 8.1 miles in depth. No damage was immediately reported.
Within the last year, several major earthquakes have led to death, damage and destruction across the world, including in Haiti, Chile, Indonesia, Spain and Puerto Rico. With the recent quakes in San Diego it seems more than likely that Los Angeles could be due for another big one.
Therefore, now more than ever is the time to prepare, for the more than obvious natural disaster that could be headed our way. We want to avoid the drastic consequences that these violent earthquakes create within our lives, with loved ones, and with our homes and communities.
The Northridge earthquake in 1994 took a serious toll on the community and the individuals affected. Buildings collapsed, apartment buildings were split in two, and lives were lost.
Most older homes in California and elsewhere throughout the United States do not have the reinforcement needed to protect against a large earthquake, and as a result these disasters can destroy a life, a home or a business.
Therefore, having your home reinforced, by a process known as earthquake retrofitting or house bolting, will prove very beneficial. This process secures your house to the foundation, so that during an earthquake, with its sideways forces and motions, the home does not move off of its foundation. It will essentially protect your home and family from the inevitable earthquake that may be due for Los Angeles.
An earthquake retrofit is the process of firmly attaching a house to its concrete foundation using foundation plates and anchor bolts. Because California is "earthquake country," the up-and-down and side-to-side motion of an earthquake can shake an unbolted house off its foundation, making for a very costly repair job.
It is important to find a company in your area that specializes in home foundation repair and construction, and have them do a foundation inspection on your home. They will determine if there is currently any damage or weaknesses in your foundation, and advise you on any needed earthquake retrofitting or other reinforcement or repairs that are needed to protect you from a potential major quake. The foundation inspection would include looking at the house bolting and seeing if it is adequate and if any other reinforcements are needed in your home. The inspection is usually free and the cost of any house bolting and reinforcements will usually be a lot less than moving your house back onto its foundation if an earthquake causes it to slide off.
It is much better to prepare now and have the peace of mind that are as ready as possible, rather than kick yourself later.