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Lessons Learned from the Humboldt, CA Earthquakes

A house that has been "red tagged" in Ferndale, CA due to structural earthquake damage and is no longer safe to inhabit.


The earthquakes last December and earlier this year in the Humboldt region of Northern California, USA, reminded us once again that every part of California is vulnerable to earthquake damage, and we need to make our homes and communities better prepared. Earthquake mitigation should not be overlooked. Let’s explore the lessons learned from these quakes and discuss why earthquake retrofitting is needed now.

Protect Your Home, Your Family, and Your Legacy:

Earthquake retrofits strengthen your home, make it more resilient to earthquake damage, and reduce the risk of injury or death during quakes. Retrofitting helps protect your biggest investment and financial asset—your home—from catastrophic damage. By fortifying your property, you safeguard not only your loved ones and the physical structure, but also your precious belongings and memories that can’t be replaced.

Earthquake damaged porch in Ferndale, CA.


The Cost-Effective Solution:

Earthquake retrofitting is not as expensive as you might think. Depending on your location, a brace and bolt retrofit for a single family may only cost between $3,000 and $7,000. Grants are sometimes available that can bring the out-of-pocket cost for homeowners even lower. Verified retrofits may even lower the cost of earthquake insurance. When compared to the potential cost of home repairs after an earthquake, retrofitting is a smart investment. 

Ease of Retrofitting:

Earthquake retrofits are often a relatively simple process that can be completed in just a few days, especially for brace and bolt style retrofits. In many cases, workers can perform a brace and bolt retrofit without even entering your home. This type of retrofit is easy, convenient, and accessible for many homeowners.

Long-Term Benefits and Peace of Mind:

Especially in the long term, earthquake retrofitting just makes sense. Strengthening your home increases its resilience, making severe earthquake damage less likely. This helps alleviate the potential financial burden of costly repairs and the need to find alternative housing while your home is being repaired (all while still paying your mortgage). By retrofitting, you can sleep better at night, knowing that your home is more prepared for the next earthquake.

Unreinforced chimneys are especially vulnerable during earthquakes and can injure loved ones and pets.


Build a Stronger Community:

Thousands of Californians have already taken steps to strengthen their homes. When you retrofit, you not only protect your own home and family, but also contribute to a stronger neighborhood. Earthquake retrofits help make the entire community more resilient and build a safer environment for everyone.

The lessons learned from the recent earthquakes in Humboldt remind us of the urgency of earthquake retrofitting. By strengthening your home, you help keep your family safe, protect your valuable assets, and can sleep better at night knowing you’ve done your part. Retrofitting is a cost-effective and straightforward process that can lower insurance costs and minimize the need for expensive earthquake damage repairs. Finally, by retrofitting you actively contribute to the strength and resilience of not just your own home, but your entire community as well. Take action today—make earthquake retrofitting a priority and protect your home and family from the next earthquake. Visit to learn more.