Is your home 'earthquake proof'?

Is your home 'earthquake proof'?
SEATTLE - When the next big earthquake hits Western Washington, emergency management officials worry many homes will rock right off their foundations.

Homes perched on a hill may have spectacular views, but the dramatic location only increases their earthquake vulnerability.

"I'm hoping the hill doesn't slide if there is an earthquake," homeowner Adam Kramer says.

Kramer is retrofitting walls and foundation - doing all he can to protect his home - to make them more resistant to quakes.

"It's always good to think ahead," Mark Stewart with Washington Emergency Management says. "It's far less expensive to retrofit the house than to try to repair it after an earthquake damages it badly."

Seismic retrofitter Leif Jackson focuses on houses built before 1985, and says the most critical upgrade is securing the walls to the foundation.

"That's the weakest part," Jackson says. "And there we also need some metal connections to help keep things from sliding."

The work can be expensive depending on your home, but when the earth starts moving, it can make all the difference.

For more information:

Great ShakeOut

Prepare you home for earthquakes