Duck and Cover California- Things are Getting Shakey!

During a planning meeting yesterday morning, our ceiling started to shake as if the financial corporation upstairs were having an astro jump party without us. My co-worker asked, “Hey, what IS that? Is it an… an earthquake?” to which someone quickly responded, “You think ONLY the roof would shake if it were an earthquake- oh come on”. Little did we know, just a few miles away, the center of a 4.1 earthquake struck at 10:30am. The bad part is… we didn’t duck and cover or seek refuge in a door way. The good part is… we now know where the weakest part of this building is… the roof.

This got me thinking… how are  new homes better structured to protect against earthquakes than an older  resale home?

After a short phone call with our Development Manager, Bob, I learned that most of the areas we build in (think- Palo Alto, Mountain View, San Francisco) are some of the most seismically active geographic areas in California.

Because of this extreme earthquake threat, SummerHill follows stringent design criteria for earthquake preparedness. In February 2007, the State of California building standards commission stated that, “New seismic design standards provide the latest in earthquake safety for the construction of all buildings in California. These standards are especially important in California since this state experiences approximately 75 percent of the nation’s seismic activity (reference)”.

These CA standards require better quality products that provide greater stability to the product built and a better built more quake-resistant physical structure. As an additional precaution, before any of the finishes are installed in our homes, Summerhill invites an inspection by a structural engineer to ensure our homes adhere to all requirements and codes.

Of course, there is a lot a homeowner can do to make their home more resistant to earthquake damage. Here are a few websites I would recommend checking out for ways to make your home earthquake prepared-  Earthquake Country and USGS. If you need some motivation to get going on this prep work, check out highly inspiring article.

Here’s to the Great Shakeout and a very happy Friday.