The massive destruction caused by the Oct. 17, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, in California, jolted many homeowners out of complacency and into action. As a result, seismic retrofit has become a popular remodeling project. Although the quake was tragic, it proved in a dramatic way what engineers, architects and builders have known for years: wood-frame construction is inherently more resistant to earthquake damage than other types of construction. The earthquake also showed that the proper use of structural wood panels can help a home survive a major earthquake with little or no damage. American Plywood Association engineers arrived in California a few days after the quake. They observed a marked difference between the performance of wood-frame buildings with adequate seismic design details and the performance of homes without such features. This APA Homeowners' Guide for Earthquake Safeguards shows some of the ways APA structural wood panels can be used to protect a home, its contents and most importantly its inhabitants, from damage or injury during an earthquake.

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