Last summer’s articles in the New Yorker by Kathryn Shulz “The Really Big One”, and “How to Stay Safe When the Big One Comes” stimulated a useful discussion between home owners, city governments and engineers about residential structural safety in an earthquake. Scientists have known for years that the Oregon coast experiences rare but very large and destructive earthquakes. It is not a question of if, but when the next “Big One” will strike. Home owners, home buyers and sellers are not required by any law to consider the seismic safety of their home. Some proactive owners have approached me asking if their homes were safe, or what they could do to improve their home’s safety. Those questions both surprised and inspired me. They surprised me because I was not aware how little information the average owner had about residential seismic safety. So, I was inspired to begin speaking about the subject whenever possible, and I was inspired to begin writing a blog so I could easily direct owners to useful information about the subject. This will be the first of multiple blog entries I will post on this important subject. I highly recommend reading the articles by Kathryn Shulz: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one, and http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/how-to-stay-safe-when-the-big-one-comes. While certainly written for dramatic effect, the information in the articles is informative and useful. I will continue to post discussions about residential seismic safety, and I encourage you to let me know if you have a specific question or concern that you would like me to write about.

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