Q: After the 2005 disaster in New Orleans we decided we should go ahead with the seismic retrofit of our home in El Cerrito, Calif. Can you recommend any research that I should do before doing the project? I am confused as to what methods are recommended for homes in my area and whether what's recommended to me by experts who do this work is right for my home. A: The Gulf Coast has hurricanes; the Midwest has tornados; and the San Francisco Bay Area has the ever-present threat of an earthquake. As the baseball playoffs and World Series approach we often reflect on the Loma Prieta quake of Oct. 17, 1989. The Marina District was in flames; a section of the Bay Bridge collapsed; and an elevated section of Interstate 880 fell. We have often wondered why the 1879 Victorian house that Kevin lived in and the 1920s Craftsman bungalow Bill was renovating came through unscathed. We believe the bolted concrete foundation we had recently installed on Bill's house, like the upgrade...
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