Today Mayor Garcetti and LA's very own seismologist, Lucy Jones, released a report full of recommendations for making Los Angeles safer in the event of an earthquake and it's got some big, bold ideas in it. The report focuses on the four areas it says LA is weakest in—two types of pre-1980 building types and water and communications infrastructure—and it also boldly calls for mandatory retrofits on potentially dangerous soft-story buildings (wooden structures that have weak or open first stories, like dingbats) and older concrete buildings, both of which he identified as "known killers," the LA Times says. If it happens, LA would be the only city in California to require such stringent retrofits.
Here's more of what Garcetti and Jones recommend:
· Mandatory retrofits for thousands of pre-1980 wooden soft-story buildings would take place within five years; mandatory strengthening of hundreds of pre-1980 concrete buildings would happen within 30 years.
· Huge tax breaks to subsidize building owners who make the mandatory retrofits. In order to alleviate the financial burden of the life-saving fixes, the mayor suggests that property owners be offered business tax breaks, that businesses moving into buildings post-retrofit get a five-year exemption from city business taxes, and that owners of soft-story buildings receive help connecting with private lenders to finance the repairs.
· Create a backup water delivery system for firefighters. In the wake of the Northridge 'quake, many firefighters didn't have adequate water resources to fight the inevitable fires because water lines were ruptured by the shaking. (Water mains have been bursting pretty regularly lately, and that's without any jostling.) This report recommends that the LADWP and the fire department work together to find a 'quake-resilient way to deliver water to firefighters, possibly by making use of seawater and reclaimed water.
· Build a solar-powered, city-wide WiFi network that would be available to residents during emergencies/in case the main network fails. The WiFi would be available in public areas, like schools, rec centers, and parks. The report also suggests strengthening LA's cell towers.
· L.A. mayor calls for mandatory earthquake retrofitting for thousands of buildings [LAT]
· Four Terrifying Scenarios to Expect After the Big One Hits [Curbed LA]
· Mapping LA's 1,451 Most Potentially Collapse-Prone Buildings [Curbed LA]