In 1999 the City of Seattle and surrounding jurisdictions created a standard retrofit plan. This collaboration allowed homeowners to do their own retrofits without expensive engineering costs. The plan uses the basic "ABCs of retrofit" to secure qualifying homes:
Anchor the house to its foundation with bolts or foundation plates
Brace the pony walls with plywood
Connect the sill plate or top plate of the pony wall to the rim joist of the flooring system with metal framing clips
About 25% of the homes that we inspect qualify for the standard plan. In the past, the City of Seattle has offered monthly classes for homeowners who are interested in doing their own retrofit work or who want to know more about the retrofit process. (Bruce Schoonmaker, the founder and head of A-FFIX, has been helping to teach these classes for almost 20 years. Follow this link to check the city's calendar of upcoming emergency preparedness classes.
Below are 8 reasons to schedule your retrofit now!
8 REASONS TO RETROFIT
Retrofit brings a home up to current safety codes and significantly reduces the risk of damage during an earthquake.
95% of homes that have been shaken from their foundations during an earthquake have to be demolished.
Earthquake insurance alone isn't adequate protection against a severe quake. Insurance won't keep you safe during the earthquake and may not provide for interim housing while your home is being repaired after the quake.
Accommodations for people who have lost their homes in an area severely impacted by an earthquake are usually limited to schools, community centers, churches, and tents.
Homes that aren't secured properly may collapse or be shaken off of their foundations during a major earthquake, making them inaccessible and uninhabitable in the aftermath of a disaster.
Potential earthquake damages to a house that isn't up to code are many times more expensive to repair than the cost of retrofit.
A homeowner whose house has been wrecked by an earthquake must continue to make mortgage payments whether the home is habitable or not.
No one should risk losing their house and home to an earthquake.