Homeowner's Guide: Earthquake Safeguards
In an earthquake the ground rocks, twists, heaves and subsides, changing direction and speed all the while. Such violent and chaotic ground movement sets buildings in motion. Houses tend to shift off their foundations and some structural elements may overturn. Houses literally come apart at the seams, section by section and piece by piece. But wood-frame houses, if properly attached to the foundation and tied together structurally can resist seismic loads and reduce the likelihood of earthquake damage. The light weight of wood-frame buildings results in less force from inertia. Less force means less damage.