Seismic retrofit advice deemed ‘irresponsible’

How hiring engineer can save time, money

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Not long ago, we published a question from one of our readers who was motivated to begin seismically retrofitting his home after seeing the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. We tried to assist by pointing him to three Web sites with information on seismic retrofitting. He was looking for resources that would help him learn about the process, so he could make informed judgments about recommendations made by professionals. At least at this time, he was not looking for specific instructions on how he could retrofit his house. As happens from time to time, one of our readers, Stephen Ferrero, a San Francisco civil engineer, took exception to our failure to go further and discuss the value of a licensed professional engineer in a seismic retrofitting project. Ferrero wrote: "I read your article with great anticipation for the mention of engineers and engineering. But the article disappointed. Omitting the availability of the sound and cost-effective advice of civil and s...