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CEA Surveys Napa Homeowners about Recent Earthquake Damage—City of Napa Encourages Participation

Residential research will shed light on seismic performance and retrofit techniques

Key Points:

  • Napa survey is first-of-its kind in California to study seismic performance of houses
  • Online survey is available now at www.EQsurvey.org, through March 15
  • $25 gift card is available to the first 500 homeowners who complete the survey

(SACRAMENTO) – Today the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), in cooperation with the City of Napa, will begin to survey homeowners to better understand how single-family houses fared during the August 24 South Napa earthquake. The research data obtained from the voluntary responses of survey participants will help paint a picture of how houses performed and provide insight into effective retrofit techniques to be shared statewide.

Napa has many historic houses that are particularly vulnerable to seismic activity. Understanding how these houses performed in the recent earthquake will provide experts important insight into the effectiveness of various retrofit techniques. Little data currently exists in California that identifies seismically retrofitted and non-retrofitted single-family house performance.

"We are lucky to have so many historic and older homes makeup the unique and charming fabric of our community," said Napa Mayor Jill Techel. "This research can help us learn how to protect these properties and our participation is critical to the success of the study. We encourage all homeowners in the City of Napa to go online and take the survey."

Napa homeowners are being asked to take a voluntary online survey at www.EQsurvey.org to share the types of damage their house experienced and whether any seismic retrofitting had been done prior to the earthquake. Questions include: "Did you experience any damage to the inside structure of your house?", "Did any glass windows or doors break?", and "Was there any chimney damage?" The online survey, offered in English and Spanish, will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

"As I drove around Napa the morning of the earthquake I saw first-hand examples of mitigated houses that were standing tall and unmitigated houses that had toppled off their foundations," said Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of the CEA. "We want to learn as much as we can from this recent experience to help all Californians become better prepared before the next damaging earthquake."

A $25 gift card is available to the first 500 eligible homeowners that complete the online survey. The survey will end on March 15, 2015.

As a follow-up to the survey, CEA will inspect some houses that had been retrofitted before the Napa earthquake. This part of the research is intended to identify potential ways to improve retrofit techniques and assistance programs. Specifically, researchers are interested in houses built before 1960 that were retrofitted before the quake. Napa homeowners who are willing to participate and who are accepted into this follow-up can receive an additional $50 gift card.

About the CEA

The CEA is a publicly managed, privately funded, not-for-profit organization that provides catastrophe residential earthquake insurance and works to help encourage all Californians to take steps to reduce the risk of earthquake loss.

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