Earthquakes are a part of life.
You should be prepared, history tells us it will certainly happen again.


Contact Us Today For An Evaluation and Report Of Your Homes Safety

Vogler Builders - Santa Cruz Seismic
10090 Highway 9 Ben Lomond, Ca. 95005
831-336-4663    831-252-4663
Office conveniently located in:
    Natural Gas Shut Off
    These shut offs are located at the meter. It is best to have a wrench that is
    tethered to the meter, so you know it is there when you need it. If you have
    propane the tanks have shut off valves at the lines connecting them to the
    home or appliance. If you ever smell a strong odor of gas (rotten egg smell)
    shut off the gas immediately, turn off the electricity (this can prevent
    explosions or fire) and open all the doors and windows. Call 911 for the fire
    department and the gas company to locate and isolate the gas leak.
    Water Shut Off
    valves are rarely used they will often leak when you turn them off. For these
    reasons, we recommend that you locate your main shutoff at your water meter.
    Make sure you have the proper tool to turn off the water. Most of them can be
    turned with an adjustable wrench, similar to the valve on a gas line. Others
    may require a special tool available at your local hardware store. If you are on
    a well, familiarize yourself with the equipment in your pump house so you
    know how to turn off the pump and water valves.
    You should know how to turn off the power to your home. Usually there is a
    main shutoff in the breaker panel or at the power meter. Occasionally there is
    no single main shutoff, in this case, turn off every breaker in the panel.

    If your home has a fuse box there will sometimes be a shut off above or
    beside the box. If there is no shut off, then unscrew each fuse and lay them
    out in the same pattern as they were in the box. This is so you can replace
    each fuse in the proper location and not mix up the amperages of the circuits.
    Most older homes also have 2 or more pull out fuse holders, so remove these
    Hot Water Heaters
    When there are earthquakes, water heaters will often fall over. All water
    heaters should be anchored to walls. These straps should be heavy steel,
    not flimsy 'plumbing straps'. A standard water heater can easily weigh over
    400 pounds and plumbing straps are inadequate. Most people only worry
    about gas powered hot water heaters, but we are concerned with all of them.
    An electric heater that falls over will cause a huge leaking mess not to
    mention the power connected is typically 20 amps 240 volts! This can easily
    kill anyone that comes in contact with an electrified puddle.
    Structural Concerns
    connections make a home much more resistant to the movement during an
    connections make a home much more resistant to the movement during an
    Anchor bolts
    Most modern homes have these installed when the concrete is
    poured. They also can be retrofitted after construction.
    Another option is to have seismic anchors attached to the sill
    plates and bolted into the foundation. This type of retrofit can not
    only strengthen the home, but may make you eligible for a
    reduction in homeowners earthquake insurance rates.
Everyone should know where and how to turn off all utilities to your home. We will often see
these shutoff locations inaccessible. Never block a gas meter shutoff valve, water shutoff or
breaker panel! In an emergency you must be able to shut these off or risk fire, explosion,
electrocution, serious water damage or even death.
    Pony Walls
    Also known as cripple walls are susceptible to collapse in an
    earthquake. The lateral movement when the earth starts moving
    can cause this kind of failure.

    Most homes only have diagonal wood bracing, and this is often
    not strong enough to resist collapse. Shear walls have plywood
    nailed to them as in the diagram below.
    Post to Beam Connections,
    Joist Hangers
    A positive connection where post meet
    beams and where beam meet each other
    is usually a very simple step, it is an
    inexpensive fix and all connections
    should have them. Many structures and
    decks are lacking joist hangers, again, a
    simple and cheap fix that can save your
    life and help your home survive an
Located in  The  Courtyard  Plaza
VOGLER BUILDERS                      10090 Highway 9 Ben Lomond, Ca. 95005    Contact us:   831-252-4663
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Family Owned Since 1978
"Our Business Is Building"
Utility Shut Off Locations and Instructions