Nobody likes to think about it, but this is another timely civic PSA reminding you that we’re all living in a major seismic zone, and quite a few homes aren’t ready for the Big One.
Don’t blame us, though. This update comes by way of the Department of Building Inspection, which notes that 60 percent of soft-story buildings in the city are not yet compliant with safety standards.
To drive the point home, there’s a map of every seismically suspect property. As you can see, there’s relatively little to worry about in southern-lying neighborhoods, or in neighborhoods along the western edge of the bay.
But the center and northern fringes of the city are a mess. Or a potential mess, as the case may be.
The contrast is particularly stark on the west side of town, where the Sunset hosts only a handful of problems, but the Richmond is studded with them.
The Haight, Mission, and Pac Heights are densely clustered with potential problem properties as well. And even after the hard lessons of 1989, not everyone in the Marina has gotten their act together.
Retrofitting a house is not exactly an easy order for every property owner, of course. And over 99 percent of soft-story owners filed the necessary screening paperwork, so local landlords are not necessarily slacking off.
But there’s only so much sympathy the city can afford to extend. Mother Nature has never been the sort to take it easy on us.