US: The hidden earthquake danger lurking in single-family homes
[...] A few cities across California have in recent years stepped up requirements that property owners retrofit vulnerable buildings to better withstand earthquakes. But those efforts have focused on apartment buildings, brittle concrete buildings and unreinforced brick.
While single-family homes have traditionally been seen by experts as less likely to cause death in an earthquake, deaths are still possible, and the financial consequences can be catastrophic.
Homeowners who endure major damage can face a bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of living out of their home to repair the damage — all while still paying the mortgage, experts say. Only about 10% of California homeowners have earthquake insurance.
State officials and the publicly managed California Earthquake Authority established a program for certain ZIP Codes that offers grants of up to $3,000 to retrofit homes where the cripple wall surrounding the crawl space is shorter than 4 feet tall.