California offers financial assistance to make homes quake safe

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Are you ready for when the big one hits in California? Your home may not be. The state is now offering financial assistance to help homeowners get their homes earthquake safe. (KGO-TV)

Are you ready for when the big one hits in California? Your home may not be. The state is now offering financial assistance to help homeowners get their homes earthquake safe.

An early warning system may help keep you safe, but it won't protect your home from an earthquake.

Several homes slid off their foundations during the Northridge earthquake in 1994.

"That's the first thing that comes to mind, your house," said Hayward resident Ashana Kahn, who worries about future quakes in the Bay Area.

A program by the City of Hayward is now offering grants to owners of single-family homes to help pay for seismic retrofits on their home's foundations.
"Through the local program, they can get the entire cost of retrofit paid for if they qualified," said Chuck Finnie, who works for the city.

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Howard Cook showed ABC7 News how his home was correctly bolted to its foundation. He's a former FEMA inspector who now owns a company specializing in seismic retrofits.

He says the Hayward fault is overdue for an earthquake.

"If you don't bolt and brace your home, you're going to lose it," Cook said. "You'll wind up in a homeless shelter, living with relatives, putting your whole life back together."
The state is most concerned about homes built before 1979, with wood frame construction and raised foundations.

"I think it's beneficial to someone who can't afford it, but needs it," said Hayward resident Alfred Early, on seismic retrofitting.

The deadline to apply for the state retrofit grant is Feb. 23.

Click here to apply.

Related Topics:
weatherearthquakesafetytsunamiwarningcalifornia
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