Earthquake Brace+Bolt

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Program Rules

Homeowners and contractors participating in the FEMA Earthquake Brace + Bolt program are required to agree to and adhere to the full Program Rules and Terms of Use posted on the website.

For homeowners these include but are not limited to:

  • Homeowner must be the owner of record and live in the house that will be retrofitted.
  • The house must be located within one of the ZIP Codes designated by FEMA EBB.
  • The house must meet the structural requirements of a Chapter A3 retrofit which is done completely in the crawl space around the perimeter of the foundation.
    1. For houses with cripple walls 4-feet or less, a contractor or homeowner may complete the retrofit using an approved standard plan set.
    2. For houses with cripple walls taller than 4-feet an engineered solution is required.
  • The house must not have a completed brace and bolt retrofit previous to being accepted into FEMA EBB.
  • If the Homeowner is using a contractor, Homeowner must use contractor in the Contractor Directory and obtain a minimum of two bids.
  • The building permit must be received and dated after acceptance into FEMA EBB.
  • The homeowner must meet all program deadlines and submit the required documentation.
    • Pre-retrofit documentation must be uploaded and approved by EBB, prior to beginning the retrofit:
      • Building permit details and scope must state the retrofit is in accordance with Chapter A3
      • Provide the name of the Participating Contractor selected to do the work.
      • Three photos of house exterior
      • Three photos of crawl space
    • Post-retrofit documentation required for payment:
      • The house must successfully pass a final inspection by a local building inspector, confirming the retrofit was done in accordance with Chapter A3 and the signed permit submitted.
      • If the retrofit is an engineered solution then the signed and stamped letter from the engineer must state the retrofit is in accordance with Chapter A3.
      • Three photos of the completed retrofit work.
      • Contractor invoice or if completed as owner/builder receipts-only (labor will not be paid).
  • In addition to the brace and bolt retrofit the work must include strapping and bracing the water heater and photos submitted to confirm. *

For contractors these include but are not limited to:

  • Contractors must perform all FEMA EBB retrofit work in accordance with Chapter A3.
  • All retrofit work is done completely in the crawl space around the perimeter of the foundation.
  • Contractors must ensure that each and every building permit for an FEMA EBB retrofit includes the required references to Chapter A3 or a standard plan set (for a Type 1 Qualifying House) or the required references to engineered plans (for a Type 2 Qualifying House).
  • To be listed in the FEMA EBB Contractor Directory, contactors must be licensed by the State of California and successfully complete the FEMA training.
  • Contractors may be removed from the Directory in the event FEMA EBB determines that the Participating Contractor has failed to meet the program requirements.

Read the full Program Rules.

*Resources for strapping and bracing your water heater: Earthquake Country Alliance and Seismic CA

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