WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city is launching a project to help prepare for a major earthquake.
The city’s Building and Safety Division has contracted with Degenkolb Engineers, a firm specializing in seismic analysis, evaluation and strengthening solutions, to survey the city’s existing building stock and to assist the city with a seismic retrofit ordinance.
On Dec. 2, teams of structural engineers began a citywide visual assessment of existing buildings from public right-of-ways. The engineers will catalog every building in the city, with the visual assessment including photographs that is expected to be completed in February.
Data collected in the survey will assist with phase two of the seismic program, which is the development of a retrofit ordinance.
West Hollywood is a densely populated city with many buildings that are not retrofitted to withstand larger earthquakes, a city spokesperson said. The city’s goal is to take a proactive approach to increase life-safety and minimize damage in the event of a major earthquake.
Once the survey is complete, buildings that are potentially vulnerable can be identified and a framework for a retrofit program can be tailored for the city.
While no building is absolutely earthquake-proof, the city is taking precautionary measures to lessen the potential for catastrophic failure of existing buildings, the spokesperson added. Retrofitting existing buildings will protect the safety of the people who live and work here, and lessen the economic impact following a major earthquake.
For additional information about the seismic survey, contact project manager Cynthia Zabala at (323) 848-6892.