Protecting Older California Homes from Earthquake Damage biggest program expansion ever

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According to the California Earthquake Authority (which supports and oversees CRMP with Cal OES), there are more than 1.2 million houses in California built before 1980 in high-hazard areas that are vulnerable to collapse or destruction by sliding off the foundation during a strong earthquake. Recently, Chief Mitigation Officer at the California Earthquake Authority, Janiele Maffei, conducted a satellite media tour to spread critical awareness about the importance of seismic retrofits and share resources to help California Homeowners protect their home from earthquake damage.

A video accompanying this announcement is available at:

Homeowners in 815 California ZIP Codes encouraged to apply for $3,000 grants from January 10th through February 21st

On January 10, the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) kicked off the 2024 Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) open registration, during which California homeowners can apply for up to $3,000 in grants to retrofit qualifying pre-1980 homes.

Supporting this effort will be an education campaign focused on ZIP Code eligible areas, which aims to spread critical awareness about the grant period, earthquake safety, and residential mitigation including Eureka, San Francisco, Salinas/Monterey, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and San Diego. Registration for the 2024 EBB grant program continues through February 21st.

Overall, EBB hopes to provide funding for approximately 6,000 seismic retrofits this year. EBB grants help offset the cost of seismic retrofits that brace the crawl space walls of older homes, when present, and bolt houses to their foundations, making them less vulnerable to earthquake damage. In the ten years since it began, the EBB program has assisted more than 23,000 homeowners in strengthening their homes against earthquake damage. The EBB grant program is administered by the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) a Joint Powers Authority between the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the California Governors Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

Homeowners in 815 high-risk ZIP Codes can apply for grants of up to $3,000 to offset the cost of a seismic retrofit that can help lessen the potential for damage during an earthquake. In addition, income-eligible homeowners can qualify for supplemental grants amounts vary depending on the region and type of retrofit completed. These supplemental grants may cover up to 100 percent of the cost of a seismic retrofit.

Seismic retrofits covered by the EBB program are completed by FEMA trained contractors and can help reduce damage to a house in the event of a destructive earthquake by bracing existing cripple walls in the crawl space with plywood and bolting the home to its foundation. Since 2014, more than 23,000 EBB retrofits have been completed.

The new EBB registration period coincides with the 30th Anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, a damaging 6.7 magnitude earthquake that struck early in the morning of January 17th, 1994. It caused an estimated $20 billion dollars in damages and 57 deaths and led to the State legislature creating the CEA in 1996.

To learn more about the retrofit grant visit:

About Janiele Maffei:

Janiele Maffei was hired as CEAs first Chief Mitigation Officer in May 2011 and became Director of Research in 2015. Currently her responsibilities include managing the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) and that programs first retrofit incentive program– Earthquake Brace and Bolt (EBB); various research projects that will benefit the strategic insurance, mitigation, and education goals of CEA; and other mitigation efforts that will benefit both policyholders and California homeowners.

Thanks to EBB, more than 22,000 California homeowners have completed a code-compliant seismic retrofit. Janiele and her team often hear the sentiment from homeowners that they can now sleep better at night. Janiele is proud to be part of the effort helping a growing number of California families live in more resilient housing.

Janiele attended University of California Berkeley, earning an AB in Architecture and an MS in engineering. Following that, she obtained her civil and structural engineering licenses. In 2017, Janiele was inducted into the Distinguished Alumni Association of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UC Berkeley.

Prior to joining CEA, she served as the President of the Northern California Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). She then joined the National board of EERI as Secretary Treasurer for six years, ending in 2017. In 2018 she became Vice President of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California and assumed the role of President in 2019. Additionally, Janiele regularly participates in the EERI Visiting Professionals Program, speaking at California colleges and universities, encouraging students to consider careers in earthquake engineering.

Janiele enjoys theater, travel, family, and music. Her international travel has exposed her to the rich diversity of our planet, and she considers herself fortunate to have had the privilege of visiting over 45 countries.

About Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB)

Established by the California Residential Mitigation Program, EBB offers up to $3,000 to help California homeowners retrofit their house to reduce potential damage from earthquakes. A residential seismic retrofit makes a house more resistant to earthquake activity, such as ground shaking and soil failure, by bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space. For more information, including an online media kit, please visit and

About the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP)

CRMP was established in 2011 to help Californians strengthen their homes against damage from earthquakes. CRMP is a joint powers authority created by the California Earthquake Authority and the California Governors Office of Emergency Services. For more information, please visit

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