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San Francisco Quake Drill Highlights Need For Home Retrofits

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(AP)

(AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – You may have participated in Thursday’s Great California Shake-Out drill and practiced your “drop, cover and hold on.” Now, you might want to take some time to see if your home is ready for “the Big One.”

Reinforcing or retrofitting your house is not a mystery, and doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

KCBS’ Susan Leigh Taylor Reports:

“We know about systematic vulnerabilities in the house that we have seen through our experience in prior earthquakes that can be fixed very cost-effectively,” said Kelly Cobeen, president of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California.

She said that taking action now may not only save the house, but can reduce damage so it’s still livable after the quake.

“You should make sure that your water heater is strapped to the wall,” said Cobeen. “It can be a major source of water damage, and can start a fire.”

The next most important thing you should do is make sure that your wood-frame house is bolted to the foundation.

“This applies to houses that have wood-framed floors and a crawl space underneath,” said Cobeen. “And while you’re down there in that crawl space you should also make sure that the short walls around the perimeter have plywood on them.”

For more tips and help finding the right person to help you reinforcing your home, you can go to ABAG.ca.gov.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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