One of the most earthquake-prone urban areas in the world, Los Angeles is likely to be hit by a major quake in the coming decades. As stressful as it may be, planning for the big one is part of living in Hollywood. According to the United States Geological Survey, there is a 60 per cent likelihood that a magnitude 6.7 or higher earthquake will strike the Los Angeles area in the next 30 years; there is also an approximately one-in-three possibility that a magnitude 7.5 earthquake will hit the Richter scale.
An important part of this is knowing the risks that you may face in the position that you are likely to be in the next major quake: home. Thousands of homes and apartment buildings are at risk of major damage in Los Angeles, although new rules requiring seismic refurbishment for some of the most vulnerable structures should help mitigate destruction. If you’re worried how your home will be protected, useful resources are available to test the security of your house. In 2016, the City of Los Angeles released a list of more than 13,000 “soft-story” buildings vulnerable to collapse following a major earthquake.
Soft-story apartment buildings built anywhere between 1950 and 1980 do not comply with current seismic codes and require seismic refurbishment to withstand earthquakes. This is especially true of buildings that are built near and along fault lines. The California Geological Survey recently identified new faults affecting West Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Any apartment building constructed before 1980 is likely to be part of the 13,000 soft-story buildings listed by the Department of Building Safety in Los Angeles. This is especially true of any apartment building in West Los Angeles or San Fernando Valley, because these buildings are older and may have been constructed over fault lines. If you want to ask if your building is required to comply with the soft story refurbishment plan, you can contact us to check if your property is on the list.
Using the website of the Department of Building and Security, you can easily check if your building is on that list.
Only type your email in the search tool and press the “Soft-Story Retrofit Program Information” button when your building information appears. If your building is on the registry, you will also be able to see when your landlord has received an order to update the structure or to show that the necessary repairs have already been made.
In 2015, the Los Angeles City Council implemented one of the most strict earthquake building rules in the world. Managed by the City Department of Building and Security, the rules require owners of so-called soft-story buildings to improve the structures within seven years.
To get started today or for more information, please contact us today to schedule a FREE on-site inspection by our team of soft-story experts or call us at 888.901.2607