Will your building hold up in a major earthquake?

Los Angeles is no stranger to earthquakes and, like other cities in California, has experienced extensive damage in previous seismic events, which has led to significant advancements in earthquake engineering. Some might say that L.A. has been the epicenter of seismic code development since the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake. Because of its long history with seismic events and their aftermath, Los Angeles has embarked in a leadership role to create a long-term program to educate the public, help building owners to seismically strengthen their buildings, and improve overall community resiliency after the next earthquake.

According to the United States Geological Survey, there’s a 60 percent chance an earthquake measuring in at magnitude 6.7 or higher will strike the Los Angeles area in the next 30 years; there’s also a nearly one-in-three chance that earthquake will measure in at 7.5 on the Richter scale.

An important part of that is understanding risks you may face at the place you’re likely to be during the next major quake: home. Thousands of homes and apartment buildings are at risk of major damage in Los Angeles, though new rules requiring seismic retrofits for some of the most vulnerable structures should help mitigate the destruction.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued a report to help improve the seismic preparedness of the city which addresses telecommunications, water system infrastructure, and building vulnerability. The report calls for proposed ordinances, several of which relate to buildings and structures:

  1. Seismic Retrofit of Existing Wood-Framed Soft-Story Buildings

  2. Seismic Retrofit of Existing Non-Ductile Concrete Buildings

  3. New Cell Phone Communication Tower Design Requirements

In 2016, the city of Los Angeles released a list of more than 13,000 “soft-story” buildings vulnerable to collapse in a major earthquake.

Property owners have seven years to comply with those orders, so it’s best to check in with your landlord to get a better idea of when updates to the building will be complete.

To get started today or for more information, contact us today to schedule a FREE on-site inspection by our team of soft-story experts or call us now at (818)287-8002.

Posted on Thursday, July 11th, 2019.