Seismic Retrofitting Works

Why Retrofit

Your home may be your single biggest investment, but it sits on a major earthquake fault zone. In 2005, emergency management experts drafted a scenario for a magnitude 6.7 earthquake on the Seattle Fault - their predictions:

  • More than 130,000 single family homes will suffer moderate or severe damage.
  • More than 46,000 households will be displaced.

Keep in mind that this scenario doesn't even address a 7.5 magnitude Seattle Fault earthquake, which is a real possibility.  If your home was built before 1975, most insurers won't even issue you an earthquake policy unless your house has been retrofitted.

FEMA Press Release:

Federal Emergency Management Agency geological and mitigation specialists urge Washington residents to take steps now to protect property from future earthquake damage, because an earthquake of unknown magnitude could occur at any moment.

3 Types of Earthquakes

Three types of quakes threaten the Puget Sound area. Each varies in severity and recurs at different time intervals:

  • Subduction-zone events (mag 8.0-9.5) are expected roughly every 300-600 years and will probably affect coastal areas most strongly.
  • Shallow crustal earthquakes are common, widespread, and mostly weak. However, Seattle Fault events can be very strong (mag about 7.5) and appear to happen about every 1,000 years. The next Seattle Fault event could cause catastrophic ground shaking in the Seattle area.
  • Finally, deep slab events like the recent Nisqually earthquake occur roughly every 30-60 years and cause significant shaking over a broad area, resulting in relatively minor but widespread damage.

However, Washington residents should not assume they have 35 to 1,000 years before the next earthquake jolts the state. "Protecting yourself and your property against the threat of an earthquake is not something you want to procrastinate about," said Bill Lokey, federal coordinating officer. "The Puget Sound area is associated with an earthquake hazard similar to that of Chile, Alaska or Japan, where the world's largest earthquakes occur. This hazard-potential is justification for anchoring your home and for taking other careful steps to reduce your risk."

Washington State Earthquake Hazard Map

See more on our Earthquake Hazard Maps Page

Retrofitting Works

Studies show that seismic retrofitting an older house can protect against major structural damage from all three major types of earthquakes.

Your home can benefit from these improvements.

Seattle Fault Seismic Event

Computer rendering

Ready to retrofit?

Let’s make your home safer

Get a professional evaluation

Call 206-352-5644

Sound Seismic
7543 15th Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98117

Contractor's license # SOUNDSL836ND

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