The recent earthquake in Nepal has brought to the forefront of many people’s mind how “earthquake-proof” our buildings are. Living in Denver, we rarely, if ever, feel an earthquake and commonly associate them with the west coast. The major and most devastating occurrences are usually covered by the news and paint a fairly horrifying picture, however earthquakes occur in the United States quite frequently. In fact, according to the United States Geological Survey, 3 earthquakes have occurred within the past 24 hours. Most earthquakes are too small to feel and therefore go unnoticed by the public.
But how safe are we in our houses? The answer is very safe. The seismic codes that govern Californian buildings also apply to the rest of the country and are becoming ever more stringent. This is due to the fact that Mother Nature is not constant and the impact we as humans have had on the earth with drilling, mining, etc. are changing the earth reacts. As we become more aware of our risk, the building code developed and we can take the steps to insure our buildings are being designed to withstand them.