California hospital applies for $34.5M grant for earthquake protection

Mountain Mesa, Calif.-based Kern Valley Hospital applied for a $34.5 million grant to meet a 2030 deadline that requires the hospital be "reasonably capable" of providing care following an earthquake, reported Nov. 30.

In 2019, two earthquakes momentarily shut down the hospital. If the grant is approved, it will cover 70 percent of the costs and the Kern Valley Healthcare District will cover the remaining 30 percent.

The 2030 deadline is part of the Hospital Seismic Retrofit Program, a law passed in 1994 after an earthquake shut down numerous hospitals.

"Our systems are worn out," Bob Easterday, plant operations officer at Kern Valley, said. "The requirements are not just to the physical structure but also includes [things] like our water pipes, gas piping, heating and cooling and AC systems. All those have to be replaced to meet seismic requirements."

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