Earthquake retrofit
The home on the left slid off its foundation during the magnitude 6.0 Napa Earthquake, which struck the area on Aug. 24, 2014. The home on the right did not, due to seismic retrofitting. (California Earthquake Authority)

CALIFORNIA — Thirty years after the devastating Northridge Earthquake, new retrofit opportunities are available. Thousands of California homeowners are now eligible to apply for Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) seismic retrofit grants, as approximately 300 new ZIP Codes have been added to the program.

Starting Jan. 10 and continuing until Feb. 21, eligible homeowners in 815 ZIP Codes — including all four cities in South Monterey County — can apply for $3,000 seismic retrofit grants to help strengthen their homes against earthquake damage.

More than $20 million in grant funding will be available to help offset the cost of seismic retrofits that brace the crawl space walls of older homes, when present, and bolt houses to their foundations, making them less vulnerable to earthquake damage. 

In the 10 years since it began, the EBB program has assisted more than 23,000 homeowners in strengthening their homes against earthquake damage. The EBB grant program is administered by the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP), a Joint Powers Authority between the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

“California has an ever-present risk of earthquakes and no one knows when or where the next Big One might hit. But we know older homes near faults are at greater risk if they haven’t been strengthened with a seismic retrofit,” said Janiele Maffei, the chief mitigation officer of CEA and executive director of CRMP. “By expanding to 815 ZIP Codes, we’re broadening our reach to help more homeowners safeguard their families and properties. I strongly encourage homeowners to seize this opportunity and join the growing community of Californians who’ve taken this vital step towards resilience.”

Income-eligible homeowners may also qualify for supplemental grants. Up to $7,000 in additional grant funds are available for households with an annual income at or below $87,360, which may be able to provide up to 100% of the funds needed to cover a seismic retrofit. Grants are contingent upon meeting eligibility requirements and available funds.

There are more than 1.2 million houses in California built before 1980 in high-hazard areas that are vulnerable to collapse or destruction by sliding off the foundation during a strong earthquake.

“The memorable earthquake that shook the Northridge area in 1994 is a profound reminder for Californians to check if their homes qualify for the EBB grant,” said Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of the California Earthquake Authority. “Given the unpredictable nature of earthquakes and the possibility of a life-altering seismic event, it’s crucial for homeowners — especially those with older homes — to take proactive steps that can lessen the potential for earthquake damage. At CEA, we are reinforcing our commitment to support California homeowners in these seismic mitigation efforts with more access and funding.”

Through Feb. 21, eligible homeowners can apply for a retrofit grant at, where they can also find detailed program information, select a trained, California-licensed general contractor and view the full list of eligible ZIP Codes and program areas. 

The EBB program added ZIP Codes in new areas, including those in and around Eureka, San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland, Monterey/Salinas, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and San Diego.

The new EBB registration period coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, a damaging 6.7 magnitude earthquake that struck early in the morning of Jan. 17, 1994. It caused an estimated $20 billion in damages and 57 deaths and led to the State legislature creating the CEA in 1996.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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