From KRON 4: Legislature passes classroom earthquake safety bill 2 years after Napa quake

The bill authored by Assemblyman Bill Dodd, D-Napa, requires school districts in seismically active areas to inspect school contents and equipment to ensure they comply with state guidelines. Assembly Bill 1783 now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.

Sixteen years ago, the state Legislature directed state officials to develop guidelines regarding the precautions needed to secure the contents of classrooms in the event of an earthquake, but there is no state law requiring school districts to adhere to the guidelines, according to Dodd’s office.

Classrooms in Napa suffered millions of dollars of damage during the 3:20 a.m. South Napa earthquake on Aug. 24, 2014, and the damage could have been life-threatening if it occurred during school hours, according to Dodd’s office.

Napa Valley Unified School District consultant Don Evans said items fell in the doorway blocking access to classrooms during that earthquake.

“We believe the preventive approach is the way to go and we believe future damage is controllable,” Evans said a statement.

Also on the second anniversary today of the South Napa earthquake, the Napa Valley Community Foundation said it has distributed $7.8 million of the $10.9 million contributed to its Disaster Relief Fund in the wake of the quake.

An additional $590,000 also was earmarked for 17 nonprofits that have agreed to help residents when the next declared disaster strikes Napa County, foundation president Terence Mulligan said.

The Napa Valley Community Foundation now has at least $2 million available for the next natural or manmade disaster or public health emergency in Napa County, Mulligan said.

The foundation has distributed $1.2 million in grants since summer 2014 to 63 qualified homeowners to repair structural damage and to 179 qualified mobile homeowners for installation of seismic reinforcement for additional stability during future earthquakes.

The money also provided materials to 91 volunteers to repair 40 homes in Napa County, according to the foundation.

An additional $161,800 went to nonprofits to update their emergency operations, and for a study that compares Napa County to the state regarding disaster preparedness and response capacity.

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