October 09, 2018

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(SACRAMENTO) Registration opens today for the 2019 Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program, which offers eligible homeowners grants of up to $3,000 for seismic retrofits to strengthen their older houses and make them more resistant to earthquake damage.

With $3 million in funding from the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and $3 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), EBB will offer 2,000 retrofit grants expanding into 18 additional high-hazard program areas and 76 additional ZIP Codes in 2019. For the first time, homeowners in cities including Alameda, Sonoma, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Richmond, Burbank and Pomona are eligible to apply for grants.

“More than 1.2 million homes in high-seismic-hazard areas of the state are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because of the type of construction,” said Janiele Maffei, chief mitigation officer of CEA and executive director of EBB. “This program aims to reduce the number of California homes that will be severely damaged by the next big earthquake—and improve communities’ ability to recover by increasing the probability that these homes remain safe and available for shelter.”
On Oct. 21, California will mark the 150th anniversary of the 1868 Hayward Quake, one of the most destructive in state history. Of all the faults in the Bay Area, the Hayward Fault has been judged the most likely to produce a large earthquake, with a one-in-three chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger quake over the next 30 years. Several hundred thousand people are likely to be homeless after the quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

“The USGS has two main goals in commemorating the 1868 Hayward earthquake: first, we want to be sure that Bay Area residents recognize they live in earthquake country and to share some of what has been learned about earthquake hazards in recent decades,” said Keith Knudsen, Deputy Director, Earthquake Science Center, USGS. “Second, we want to encourage and empower people to ask questions and learn about the safety of the buildings in which they spend time.”
Vulnerable houses that can benefit from brace-and-bolt retrofitting are typically built before 1980, have a raised continuous perimeter concrete foundation and may have wood-framed walls in the crawl space under the house. A brace-and-bolt retrofit typically costs between $3,000 and $7,000 and helps to prevent the house from toppling off its foundation during strong shaking—damage that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair.

Launched in 2013 as a pilot in just two California cities, the demand for EBB has increased each year with a record number of registrants in 2018. The not-for-profit CEA, the country’s largest provider of residential earthquake insurance, offers premium discounts of up to 20 percent on CEA earthquake insurance policies for houses with qualifying retrofits.

How to Apply for EBB Grants
Eligible homeowners have until Nov. 13 to apply for retrofit funding through EBB. To apply and for detailed program information, visit EarthquakeBraceBolt.com. A full list of eligible ZIP Codes and a searchable directory of licensed, FEMA-trained contractors with more than 1,000 trained contractors is available. Once registration closes, participating homeowners will be selected through a random drawing and notified via email if they have been selected or if they are on the wait list.
EBB Program Locations in 2019
EBB retrofit grants will be available in 255 select ZIP Codes - 2019 EBB Program ZIP Codes 

About Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB)
Established by the California Residential Mitigation Program, EBB offers up to $3,000 to help California homeowners retrofit their house to reduce potential damage from earthquakes. A residential seismic retrofit makes a house more resistant to earthquake activity, such as ground shaking and soil failure, by bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space. For more information, please visit http://www.EarthquakeBraceBolt.com. About the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) CRMP was established in 2011 to help Californians strengthen their homes against damage from earthquakes. CRMP is a joint powers authority created by the California Earthquake Authority and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. For more information, please visit California Residential Mitigation Program 

About CEA

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is a not-for-profit, privately funded, publicly managed organization that provides residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake loss. Learn more at Earthquake​Authority.com​​.

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