California paying for home seismic retrofits

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The state is offering homeowners thousands of dollars to help get their homes retrofitted to better withstand earthquakes.

The Earthquake Brace + Bolt program offers homeowners up to $3,000 to have retrofitting work done in designated zones. The work typically costs an average of $4,500 in Southern California.

The program was expanded this year to include more cities.

The California Earthquake Authority says more than 1 million homes in California are vulnerable to serious earthquake damage.

"It's hard to imagine in a peaceful neighborhood like this the sort of devastation that can be wrought by even a minor earthquake," said state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

The work includes adding anchor bolts to a home's foundation, adding plywood to brace cripple walls and strapping in water heaters.

"It's going to save a lot of grief in the long run," said homeowner Sue Peabody, who had $3,000 out of the $3,500 cost paid for by the state program.

That has helped give her peace of mind as well as a better earthquake insurance policy, she said.

Registration for the lottery-style program remains open through Feb. 27.

More information is available at earthquakebracebolt.com.
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