CBS Channel 5 (KPIX, San Francisco)
news story on inadequate earthquake retrofits,
originally aired November 18, 2012.

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Further Information on Earthquake Safety
(FEMA documents, other references)
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What is "QuakeCheck"?

QuakeCheck was composed as a public service by joint effort of the Golden Gate Chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors (GGASHI), homeowner consultant and retired technical author Paul Rude, and Structural Engineer and residential earthquake retrofit specialist Thor Matteson (author of "Wood-Framed Shear Wall Construction--an Illustrated Guide").

QuakeCheck presents the following:

Many existing earthquake retrofits will fail to protect homes as expected. Estimates vary on what fraction of homes are properly retrofitted to resist earthquakes. Inspectors and other experts in the San Francisco Bay Area report that 69 percent or more of the retrofit installations will not provide the level of protection needed.

GGASHI inspectors see faulty earthquake retrofits every day. Structural engineers have responded to some of these defects with shock and disbelief. QuakeCheck was written to help you determine whether existing retrofit work will protect your house as expected.

QuakeCheck features:

  • 30 pages, over 50 color photographs
  • Explains the three essential components of a typical earthquake retrofit
  • Shows current "best practices"
  • Lists 11 structural hazard categories identified by FEMA
  • Brief overview of other references on earthquake retrofits
  • List of non-structural earthquake hazards
  • Solutions to corrosion caused by pressure-treated lumber
  • Glossary of common earthquake retrofit terms


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