April Is Earthquake Preparedness Month In California. Are You Ready?

Our colleague Jon Arendsen, a general contractor, posted a good reminder that April is Earthquake Preparedness Month in California.

His information pertains to preparing our houses. Bolting the house to the foundation, and strengthening areas around garage door openings when living space is above, are two of the easiest and most important retrofits in my mind.

Read on.

April Is Earthquake Preparedness

Month In California. Are You Ready?



April Is the official month dedicated to "EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS" 




There are things you and I can and should do to help ourselves, our families and our neighbors. There are also things you need to know about that may not only help you minimize loss of life but also devastating losses to your home and property.








Could You Be At Risk of Being 


Forced Out of Your Home After An








Unlike wind, fire and flooding events that can and have wiped out entire communities “Earthquakes”  can and usually do give you a second chance if proper and preventative measures are implemented.


Next to loss of life and personal injury the biggest tragedy and challenge in the aftermath of any disaster is total loss of the use of your home aka  "Displacement"


There are three levels of classifications your home may be subjected to if it is damaged in an “Earthquake” as well as many other types of disasters.  






GREEN TAG: Ah! You will be in heaven compared to your less fortunate YELLOW AND RED TAGGED neighbors. Your life will not change much. After you pick up the broken glass, clean up the debris, negotiate (argue) with your tight fist-Ed insurance adjuster, make some minor repairs and tidy up a bit your life will go on pretty much as usual.  


You won’t be challenged by the same inconveniences as many of you’re YELLOW and RED tagged neighbors will be. But most importantly you won’t be having to look for temporary housing which in times like these can be a gigantic if not impossible task unto itself.


YELLOW TAG: If this happens your home is deemed somewhat structurally damaged but HABITABLE. This is HUGE! Here the homeowner is given a punch list with a certain window of time in which to make necessary repairs but may at least still be allowed to occupy the home. Naturally this is better than being out on the street.




RED TAG: Here the homeowner is DEAD in the water when they are given the news that their home is condemned by the health and safety and building departments and they are not allowed to re-occupy it and often not even allowed back in to gather personal belongings and keepsakes. 


Oh and by the way, these unfortunately displaced folks  will be looking for a relative or friend to bunk up with or a motel to check into, if they can find one, for an indefinite period of time while they figure out if, how and when they’ll be able to repair and/or replace and finally move back into their home.


Those so unfortunate to have become "Displaced" will probably even have to get used to driving a distance to get to their favorite store, doctor, dentist, etc.


Getting their children to and from school could be a challenge unto itself.  That’s if the school was not too damaged and deemed unsafe in which case After the 2001 magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake, this school in the Puget Sound area of Washington was closed for repair (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute photo).children will have to attend another school/s which, as parents know, can be quite traumatic for all.


Add to that the agonizing experience of dealing with not to friendly or sympathetic insurance adjusters and claims, contractors, permits, inspectors, utility companies, etc. 

Photo: After the 2001 magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake, this school in the Puget Sound area of Washington was closed for repair (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute photo).


The "Displaced" will be in for a very disruptive if not horrific experience that could go on for months and regrettably in some cases for years.


Now for some more positive news. You Don't Have To Become A Statistic. There are things you can and should do to protect you and your family from the inconvenience of becoming a "Displaced" VICTIM". 


If you live in a circa 1940's or older home you need to have your crawl space inspected by a licensed, bonded and insured "FOUNDATION SPECIALIST"  to make sure your HOME is securely bolted to its foundation.




The number of foundation bolts, square feet of shear panel, and floor-to-wall connections (brackets) that are required to seismically retrofit your home varies depending on its size, weight and construction methodology. Remember, earthquakes will find the weak spots in your home. So, if you add bolts but not plywood when and where neede, you will still have a problem when the ground shakes!





If you live in a "MOBILE" or "MANUFACTURED HOME"  make sure your home has a California Housing & Community Development Department (HCD) approved  "Earthquake Resistant Bracing System" (ERBS) under it. If it doesn't you need to have them installed before then next event and believe me there will be a next event.




The Tuf-1 Permanant Foundation is designed to be a retro-fit foundation.  This product is an engineered foundation, and can be stamped for any state.  The systems also has FHA, HCD & HUD approvals.  The Tuf-1 can also be modified into a Earthquake Resistant Bracing System or (ERBS).  This simple product can turn your Manufactured Home into "REAL PROPERTY" and ready for bank lending. 


April Is Earthquake Preparedness

Month In California. Are You Ready?




I take this very seriously inasmuch as I've been an active disaster response contractor for over 3 decades and have worked in the aftermath of myriad disasters ranging from 6 major earthquakes since 1986 as well as fires, floods and the aftermath of Hurricane Charlie and the fearsome foursome that ravaged the entire state of Florida in 2004. 

There are many things you as active and community conscience citizens, stakeholders and RE or other professionals can and should do to reach out to your family, friends, neighbors and clients. I will be re posting a series of earthquake related posts and misc information that I have been sharing within my sphere of influence. Please feel free to repost them however and whenever you see fit.



Call On Us Anytime To BE Your

Go To Guys 

For Information & Knowledge about

Earthquake Retrofitting and Foundation Repair for your


800 909-1110 Or call me on my cell. 760 815-6977


Why To Choose Us?

California has one of the most complex procedures for the conversion of a manufactured home from personal to real property. Whether you are dealing with a new transaction or a case of a former error in titling, we have a team of professionals experienced in navigating the murky waters of California's manufactured housing title issues.

California's personal property title cancellation process is not a "fill-in-the-blanks" form. It requires direct access to building departments, knowledge of state-approved engineered systems, a network of manufactured home specialty contractors, engineers and a working knowledge of Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Title 25 Codes and Standards.

Although we continue to amass more knowledge throughout California daily, our state-wide technicians are familiar with most city, county, and state jurisdictional guidelines, which allows us to resolve issues in an expeditious manner (depending on the building department of course!)

We can work directly with a title company, attorney, lender or escrow company to untangle the most difficult of transactions!


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--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®


CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547









Comment balloon 9 commentsLottie Kendall • April 24 2016 11:23AM


Great reblog, Lottie, for those living in earthquake-prone areas. As I don't and haven't lived in SF since 1976, I must say I am not prepared.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 4 years ago

Great post Lottie. You know in Oakland the city has a grant program to help with the costs of Earthquake Retrofitting.http://www.oaklandnet.com/documents/HomeownerSeismicstrength.pdf

Posted by Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070, Opening the Doors to California Homes -East Bay (Golden Gate Sotheby's International) over 4 years ago

Lottie Kendall - Wow!  What a great re-post that is loaded with terrific , helpful, information.  If you have quakes, you need to get prepared!

Posted by Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale TahoeLauraRealEstate.com, Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers (Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260) over 4 years ago

Good morning, Nina Hollander - John's post is a good reminder for us to prepare for whatever natural disasters might occur in our various areas. 

I didn't know about Oakland's program, Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070 but know that many cities do. Thanks for sharing the link.


Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 4 years ago

Good morning, Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com - it is all too easy to get lax about preparedness, whether areas are prone to earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, etc. John's post send out a good reminder to us.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 4 years ago

great re-blog!  I missed it originally, so I really appreciate you posting it.  In Missouri we have not had a big quake in many years but we do have small ones about once a year.  I live near the fault line so we have a quake insurance rider.

Posted by Anna Hatridge, Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC (R Gilliam Real Estate LLC) over 4 years ago

Hi Anna - amazingly, not many people in my area of California have earthquake insurance. Deductible is extremely high and coverage is costly.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 4 years ago

Lottie - this was a very interesting blog and important to those in California.  Building codes reflect issues in the area.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 4 years ago

This post about earthquake preparedness was certainly worth a re-blog, Grant Schneider 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 4 years ago