SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) today announced it will offer incentive payments of up to $3,000 to help Napa homeowners strengthen their homes to better survive the next major earthquake.
The magnitude-6.0 earthquake that struck Napa in August 2014 damaged more than 1,500 homes and caused an estimated $362 million in damage to private homes and commercial properties according to Napa County and the City of Napa. Fewer than six percent of homeowners and renters in Napa County have earthquake insurance.
Napa is the latest area to become eligible for CRMP's Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program, which helps pay for seismic retrofits to houses that are most vulnerable to catastrophic damage: pre-1979 houses that aren't bolted to their foundations, include a crawl space and have unbraced "cripple walls" surrounding that crawl space. Seismic retrofits include bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space.
In a strong earthquake, this crawl space is vulnerable to collapse, causing it to slide off its foundation. Although last year's Napa quake was relatively moderate, houses with this type of damage received estimates of up to $300,000 for repairs including lifting the house while the foundation is rebuilt. Most homeowners' insurance policies don't cover earthquake damage.
EBB incentives are now available to Napa homeowners in the 94558 and 94559 ZIP codes. Homeowners can apply for the incentives between March 2 and April 2 by going to EarthquakeBraceBolt.com. Earlier this year CRMP invited residents of six other cities in Northern and Southern California to apply for EBB incentives. CRMP plans to expand the incentive program to additional ZIP codes and cities mid-year to reach as many high-risk areas in the state as possible.
"In last year's Napa earthquake, homes with proper seismic retrofits were much less likely to suffer serious structural damage than neighboring homes that lacked these retrofits," said Janiele Maffei, executive director of CRMP and chief mitigation officer of the California Earthquake Authority. "We are happy to help Napa's homeowners protect their most valuable possessions against future earthquakes."
How the EBB Program Works
Seismic retrofits of these types on average cost about $5,000 and can be performed either by a contractor or a homeowner. The incentive payments of up to $3,000 will be awarded to as many as 75 qualifying Napa homeowners to offset the cost of seismic retrofitting. Once registration for the program closes, CRMP will conduct a random drawing to select the homeowners from each of the two Napa ZIP codes who may be eligible to receive incentive payments.
The houses must meet certain criteria, including being built on a level or low-slope site, on a raised foundation, and with a four-foot (or less) cripple wall under the first floor. Additional information is available at https://www.earthquakebracebolt.com/Homeowners.aspx.
To help homeowners find contractors, EBB's website offers a list of contractors who have successfully completed FEMA seismic retrofit training. Contractors interested in doing residential retrofits are encouraged to register on the EBB website and complete the free training.
About Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB)
Established by the California Residential Mitigation Program, EBB offers up to $3,000 to help California homeowners retrofit their houses 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 Governor's Office of Emergency Services. For more information, please visit http://www.CaliforniaResidentialMitigationProgram.com.
SOURCE California Residential Mitigation Program