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Map: How Safe Are California Schools?

Many schools are located near fault lines or other earthquake hazards. That doesn't mean they'll collapse in a quake, but some school construction projects have failed to follow basic safety standards.

Interactives

What kind of damage can we expect from a 3.0 earthquake? What about a 7.2? It all depends on where you are.

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Bay Area Schools: By the Numbers

How vulnerable are our schools? We combed through the reams of data obtained by California Watch in this investigation to see just how much has -- or hasn't -- been done to secure Bay Area schools in the event of an earthquake.

Alameda417 public schools More county-specific data
Seismic informationFindings
223
schools in a liquefaction zone
3
schools in a landslide zone
61
schools in a fault zone
933
total school construction projects completed without receiving safety certification from the state
389
total pre-July 1978 buildings that need retrofitting
39
buildings already retrofitted

Contra Costa269 public schools More county-specific data
Seismic informationFindings
0
schools in a liquefaction zone
0
schools in a landslide zone
33
schools in a fault zone
572
total school construction projects completed without receiving safety certification from the state
197
total pre-July 1978 buildings that need retrofitting
0
buildings already retrofitted

Marin81 public schools More county-specific data
Seismic informationFindings
0
schools in a liquefaction zone
0
schools in a landslide zone
3
schools in a fault zone
178
total school construction projects completed without receiving safety certification from the state
92
total pre-July 1978 buildings that need retrofitting
1
buildings already retrofitted

Napa47 public schools More county-specific data
Seismic informationFindings
0
schools in a liquefaction zone
0
schools in a landslide zone
4
schools in a fault zone
162
total school construction projects completed without receiving safety certification from the state
53
total pre-July 1978 buildings that need retrofitting
0
buildings already retrofitted

San Francisco132 public schools More county-specific data
Seismic informationFindings
16
schools in a liquefaction zone
0
schools in a landslide zone
0
schools in a fault zone
270
total school construction projects completed without receiving safety certification from the state
62
total pre-July 1978 buildings that need retrofitting
0
buildings already retrofitted

San Mateo179 public schools More county-specific data
Seismic informationFindings
24
schools in a liquefaction zone
1
schools in a landslide zone
33
schools in a fault zone
446
total school construction projects completed without receiving safety certification from the state
176
total pre-July 1978 buildings that need retrofitting
2
buildings already retrofitted

Santa Clara407 public schools More county-specific data
Seismic informationFindings
178
schools in a liquefaction zone
2
schools in a landslide zone
96
schools in a fault zone
1,427
total school construction projects completed without receiving safety certification from the state
543
total pre-July 1978 buildings that need retrofitting
80
buildings already retrofitted

Solano115 public schools More county-specific data
Seismic informationFindings
0
schools in a liquefaction zone
0
schools in a landslide zone
15
schools in a fault zone
315
total school construction projects completed without receiving safety certification from the state
62
total pre-July 1978 buildings that need retrofitting
0
buildings already retrofitted

Sonoma185 public schools More county-specific data
Seismic informationFindings
0
schools in a liquefaction zone
0
schools in a landslide zone
14
schools in a fault zone
424
total school construction projects completed without receiving safety certification from the state
72
total pre-July 1978 buildings that need retrofitting
0
buildings already retrofitted



Defintions:

A liquefaction zone is an area with softer soil, where landfill has been used to build the area, or something that was once a beach or river.

A landslide zone is where the earth could fall and damage structures nearby.

A fault zone is an area within 50 feet of a fault line. (Note: The Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act, restricts construction on or near earthquake faults. High-occupancy buildings, such as schools, hospitals and commercial projects, built since 1972 must be set back 50 feet from an active fault, however California Watch and KQED have found buildings such as schools in those areas.)

Methodology:

KQED and California Watch editors combed through data and state records obtained during this investigation, and filtered out data pertaining to the nine-county Bay Area. Each editor ran the same numbers and performed the same calculations, which provided an additional level of verification.

About These Numbers:

The number of projects completed without receiving safety certification includes projects that have never been reviewed at all, as well as projects that have been reviewed, but have been deemed not certifiable according to standards introduced by the 1933 Field Act.

The state's data is messy. Names are misspelled. Schools are located in the wrong district, or don't appear to exist at all. Despite best attempts, California Watch and KQED were unable to independently verify all of the numbers represented here.

If you wish to dig deeper and find out more about your kid's school, start with California Watch's extensive map and database. We've also provided a list of contacts and steps to take should you wish to persue further with state or local officials.

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