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Affordable Seismic Retrofits for Your Home

We welcome Mike Ursel, President of QuakeSafe Retrofits, Construction Corp., and his guest contribution to our blog today. Thank you, Mike!

plates As much as we would rather not think about it, all of us in Victoria, Vancouver and the lower mainland of British Columbia live in an earthquake prone region – the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

As the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate subducts beneath the North American plate it pushes against the edge of the North American plate, generating stress and earthquakes both within the North American plate and within the subducted, or downgoing, portion of the Juan de Fuca plate.

The reality of an earthquake from the Cascadia Subduction Zone region draws nearer each day.

A great, plain language, description of this fault and the expected result when it releases was described by Chris Goldfinger in an article written by Kathryn Schulz and published in The New Yorker on July 20, 2015.

This article was so well received that it created a mini-tsunami of phone calls to our office that has not slowed in two months. It also prompted (in our opinion) an even more important follow up article published in The New Yorker On-Line a week later that focuses on the very tangible steps that we should all be doing now to prepare. We couldn’t have written it better ourselves. Of course it describes the necessary quake kit and emergency rations available at Total Prepare but it also speaks about the simple and inexpensive retrofits available that make you, your family and your home safer.
What we’ve been saying for almost five years! Proven, effective, and affordable seismic upgrades are available for your home. They will save lives and keep your house from collapsing. There is abundant evidence from the experiences in Northern California that these seismic retrofits work.

Yet after 5 years in the business and almost 50 homes remediated, our single biggest challenge remains getting the word out about how inexpensive upgrades can be. Though each home is analyzed on a case-by-case basis, most retrofits can be done for between $3,000 and $5,000. Think about that: For the price of a leather sofa, new granite counter-tops or a long weekend in Vegas, you can prevent your home from collapsing in an earthquake we all know is coming.  Lets hope The New Yorker articles do not just result in a blip in business but rather a trend to growing awareness of the opportunities and our responsibility to be prepared. Go to Vegas next year, but buy peace-of-mind today.

For the complete The New Yorker articles, more information on retrofits or to talk to us about your home and earthquake safety, please visit our website quakesafe.ca or visit our FB page.


Mike Ursel, P.Eng
QuakeSafe Retrofits Construction Corp.
Phone: 250-590-8544 | Fax: 250-479-4192

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