Seismic Retrofits

Scientists agree that there will be a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake in Oregon’s future that has the potential to devastate the Pacific Northwest. Despite the idea of how frightening a large scale quake is, developing a strategy for short-term and long-term survival is key.

In the short-term, looking at simple fixes to your home to make it more earthquake resistant. This can include strapping down the water heater, attaching a natural gas shut-off valve or adding seismic retrofits to the internal workings of the home.

Seismic Retrofits

Seismic Retrofits – Natural gas shut-off valve.

Seismic Retrofits

Seismic Retrofits – Water heater strapped to post.

Considering the long-term, what do you and your family require to live through an extended disaster? Besides food and water, does anyone need special medication, do you have pets? As well, where will you store all of these goods, so that when an emergency hits, you will be able to access these important life-saving items.

Although we can never truly plan for a major disaster, EcoTech wants to provide you with a blueprint to succeed in surviving weeks and months afterwards, hopefully to give you a little piece of mind considering life could be turned onto its head.

Fox 12 Good Day Oregon and EcoTech LLC, Seismic Attachment Segment

Retrofitting

Seismic Retrofitting

Many homes within the Portland area are built on top of a foundation; meaning that gravity is the only connection between the house and its substructure. Earthquakes can shake unattached homes off their foundation, and homes that were built on raised foundations with a crawlspace or basement are especially vulnerable. Seismic attachments connecting the home to the foundation allow the home to act as one structure during a quake, not two.

With this in mind, you may be considering adding seismic attachments to your home; possibly for the earthquake insurance or to protect your investment, or both. Whatever the reason, there are distinct advantages to adding retrofits to your home. Not only for your protection, but by reducing risk of injury to yourself, your structure and personal possessions.

Retrofitting

Retrofitting – Seismic attachment of the sill plate to the foundation and the rim joist to the sill plate.

If you’d like to explore some of the advantages of seismic retrofitting your home, please see our, please see our Seismic Retrofit Common Questions section to consider the benefits of seismic upgrades to your home .

We also wanted to provide a peek behind the scenes of what it actually involves to retrofit your home through our Seismic Retrofit Attachments Illustration and Photos section.

Preparation

Earthquake Preparation

After knowing what it involves to seismically retrofit your home, the next step is to prepare for the aftermath of a disaster. Although earthquakes are rare, the Pacific Northwest has a real potential of being struck with a very large earthquake which could in-turn, cause significant damage.

A megathrust quake will most certainly cause death and injuries, but many will survive. It is thinking in terms of survival and how to proceed for weeks and months without the comforts of shelter, utilities and most importantly food and water. By taking simple steps in developing a strategy for a disaster, protects you and your family, and improves your chances of not having to rely on outside help, which may not be available for days.

We have complied an Earthquake Preparation Checklist for your reference on how to formulate a plan for you and your family.

Preparation

Preparation – Earthquake survival kit, kept in a container that will not allow the elements to effect the contents.

In addition, we have provided three governmental websites which are extremely useful as you prepare for an earthquake or any other natural disaster that may occur:

Cascadia Subduction Zone

Cascadia Subduction Zone

Understanding the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) does not necessarily allow us to foresee when the “big one” will happen, but it does arm us with knowledge, and as the saying goes “knowledge is power”. With that power, we can begin to recognize what is truly happening to the Pacific Northwest.

As we know, the earth surface is under constant motion, which results in earthquakes or seismic events. In the Pacific Northwest we have the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which is considered a “megathrust” fault. This considerable fault stretches from Northern Vancouver Island, Canada to Cape Mendocino, California. It consist of the Juan de Fuca plate, which slowly moves toward and is eventually shoved beneath the North American plate. Over the years this slow migration builds pressure as the plates meet, until a sudden movement releases massive amounts of energy and uplift, causing a “megathrust” earthquake and resulting Tsunamis.

Cascadia Subduction Zone

Cascadia Subduction Zone – Image of the Juan de Fuca Plate.

As unnerving as the possibility of large scale earthquake from the Cascadia Subduction Zone is and what it could bring to our region, it is also quite captivating to read about. We’ve included numerous links for your knowledge and information on our CSZ page.