A seismic retrofit can help protect homes during earthquakes

May 6, 2011

Strengthening a residence through a home earthquake retrofit is as simple as ABC: anchor, brace and connect.

Most homes built in the past 30 years or so do not need a retrofit to hold steady in earthquakes, but older homes may need some foundation tune-ups. If the foundation is not secured to the rest of the structure, major damage can result from the ground shaking.

The earthquake in Japan — plus major temblors in New Zealand, Chile and Haiti in the past year — has renewed the focus on seismic safety at home.

“When the earth starts shaking sideways, the foundation moves with the earth,” Sound Seismic co-owner Leif Jackson said. “This big, massive object is not going to immediately move with the foundation. It’s going to kind of lag behind, and it’s going to lag behind when that foundation oscillates back in the opposite direction. So, the house and the foundation get out of synch, and it can get jolted off of the foundation.”

Though most homeowners can take some small steps to reduce earthquake risks, older homes make for the likeliest candidates for a seismic retrofit, due to the adoption of modern building codes from the mid-1970s onward.

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Meeting for communitywide Haiti fundraiser is tonight

February 9, 2010

UPDATED — 4:19 p.m. Feb. 9, 2010

McKnight Middle School teacher Dave Black is organizing a March 5 communitywide spaghetti dinner and silent auction in the McKnight commons to benefit the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

However, he needs volunteers, and he is hosting a meeting in the McKnight commons at 7 p.m. tonight for anybody interested in helping out.

Black said he needs volunteers to seek items for the silent auction and help the night of the event.

The dinner is not affiliated with the school. Tickets will be $15 each, although children younger than 6 are free. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross.

Call Black at 425-221-7149 or e-mail him at doitallnow@comcast.net for more information about how to volunteer.