Home & Garden Columns

Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday August 18, 2006

Will Uncle Sam Save Us? 

Many people wrongly believe that the U.S. government will rescue them financially if they suffer losses in an earthquake. The truth is that federal disaster assistance is only available when the president formally declares a disaster. Even if you do get disaster assistance, it is usually a loan that must be repaid with interest.  

Grants may be available, but are designed to meet only your most immediate needs, not to replace your losses. The average FEMA grant is less than $15,000—not nearly enough to rebuild a damaged home.  

The bottom line: As the folks in New Orleans sadly learned, you can’t count on any level of government to provide timely or significant help. Prepare yourself and your home, and start by having your home retrofitted, or have your existing retrofit evaluated. 


Larry Guillot is owner of QuakePrepare, an earthquake consulting, securing, and kit supply service. Call him at 558-3299, or visit www.quakeprepare.com.