Is your house ready for an earthquake?

Is your house ready for an earthquake?
(AP Photo / World Vision)

Hopefully you're prepared for an earthquake with your emergency kits and disaster drills. What about your house?

If it has has a crawl space, check to see if the frame is fastened to the foundation.

"The most critical connection for a home is to make sure it has good strong connection to the foundation to resist earthquake forces," said Paul McEntee with Simpson Strong-Tie.

So what can happen if the house is not secured this way?

"It could either lift up off the foundation or slide off the foundation and testing has show that having a good, strong connection at the base of a home will increase its chances of surviving an earthquake."]

McEntee says most homes around her built after 1985 should be fine. Earlier than that and you might want to check. If the foundation isn't bolted down, you may need  a retrofit.

The cost of the job will vary depending on the size of the house and what you need to do.

"It could be anywhere from a few hundred dollars, if you're just adding some anchor bolts in the foundation to strengthen that connection, to several thousand dollars if you need to get in and strengthen walls," McEntee said.

More Info: A Step-by-Step Guide to Retrofit Your Home for Earthquakes