PORTLAND – The majority of homes built before the 1980s might not be able to withstand an earthquake like the one that hit Japan last week.
There are several steps you can take to protect your home. One of them is to install a seismic gas shut-off valve. When your home starts shaking, it automatically shuts off the gas and reduces the risk of fire.
But one of the most important things people can do to protect their homes is to have them seismically retrofitted.
In the majority of homes built more than 30 years ago, the frame is not bolted to the foundation. Bolting the two together will keep your home from shaking off the foundation during a quake.
A water heater should be braced against a wall or post, so it too doesn't fall over in a quake.
Depending on the size of the house, seismic retrofitting could cost anywhere from a thousand to several thousand dollars.