I Usually wait until April as it is officially the month dedicated to Earthquake preparedness and awareness for some reason. However, with the recent events that have taken place in just the past few days I thought it prudent to launch my
campaign a few days early this year.
Could You Be At Risk of Being Forced Out of Your Home After An
Unlike wind, fire and flooding events that can and have wiped out entire communities “Earthquakes” can and usually do give you a second chance if proper and preventative measures are implemented.
Next to loss of life and personal injury the biggest tragedy and challenge in the aftermath of any disaster is total loss of the use of your home aka "Displacement"
There are three classifications your home may be subjected to if it is damaged in an “Earthquake” as well as many other types of disasters. But let's focus on “Earthquakes” as April
Preparedness and Awareness Month.
GREEN TAG: Ah! You will be in heaven compared to your less fortunate YELLOW AND RED TAGGED neighbors. Your life will not change much. After you pick up the broken glass, clean up the debris, negotiate (argue) with your tight fist-ed insurance adjusters, make some minor repairs and tidy up a bit your life will go on pretty much as usual.
You won’t be challenged by the same inconveniences that you’re YELLOW and RED tagged neighbors were but most importantly you won’t be having to look for temporary housing which in times like these can be a gigantic if not impossible task unto itself.
YELLOW TAG: If this happens your home is deemed somewhat structurally damaged but habitable. This is HUGE! Here the homeowner is given a punch list with a certain window of time in which to make necessary repairs but may at least still occupy the home.
Naturally this is better than being out on the street but get ready to start dealing with many of the same problems described for RED TAGGED homeowners in a very short period of time.
RED TAG: Here the homeowner is DEAD in the water when they are given the news that their home is condemned by the health and safety and building departments and they are not allowed to re-occupy it and often not even allowed back in to gather personal belongings and keepsakes.
Oh and by the way, these unfortunately displaced folks will be looking for a relative or friend to bunk up with or a motel to check into, if they can find one, for an indefinite period of time while they figure out if, how and when they’ll be able to repair and/or replace their home.
After the 2001 magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake, this school in the Puget Sound
area of Washington was closed for repair (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute photo).
Those so unfortunate to have become "Displaced" will probably even have to get used to driving a distance to get to their favorite store, doctor, dentist, etc.
Getting their children to and from school could be a challenge unto itself. That’s if the school was not too damaged and deemed unsafe in which case children will have to attend another school/s which, as parents know, can be quite traumatic for all.
Add to that the agonizing experience of dealing with not to friendly or sympathetic insurance adjusters and claims, contractors, permits, inspectors, utility companies, etc. The "Displaced" will be in for a very disruptive if not horrific experience that could go on for months and regrettably in some cases for years.
Now for some more positive news. You Don't Have To Become A Statistic. There are things you can and should do to protect you and your family from the inconvenience of becoming a "Displaced" VICTIM".
If you live in a circa 1940's or older home you need to have your crawl space inspected by a licensed, bonded and insured "FOUNDATION SPECIALIST" to make sure your HOME is securely bolted to its foundation.
The number of foundation bolts, linear feet of plywood, and floor-to-wall connections (brackets) that are required to seismically retrofit your home varies depending on its size and weight. Remember, earthquakes will find the weak spots in your house. So, if you add bolts but not plywood, you will still have a problem when the ground shakes!
If you live in a "MOBILE" or "MANUFACTURED HOME" make sure your home has a an approved “Earthquake” “Resistant Bracing System” (ERBS) under it. If it doesn't you need to have them installed ASAP.
The Tuf-1 Permanant Foundation is designed to be a retro-fit foundation. This product is an engineered foundation, and can be stamped for any state. The systems also has FHA, HCD & HUD approvals. The Tuf-1 can also be modified into a Earthquake Resistant Bracing System or (ERBS). This simple product can turn your Manufactured Home into "REAL PROPERTY" and ready for bank lending.