Connections + Information = Community Resilience

Connections + Information = Community Resilience

April 18th marks the 108th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. Although very few of us have a first-hand memory of what remains one of California’s most significant catastrophes, every April many of us think about the what ifs with regard to earthquakes.

DEM dressed for last year's commemoration ceremony.

DEM dressed for last year’s commemoration ceremony.

But actual emergencies look more like people coming together than communities falling apart. And at the heart of the matter is being connected…connected in your affinity groups…connected in your community…connected in your neighborhoods.  And a connected and informed community is a resilient and strong community.

Today SF72 announced a partnership with Nextdoor, (, the private social network for neighborhoods. One of the neatest DEM and SF72 can now use Nextdoor to work directly with San Francisco residents to build stronger, more connected neighborhoods across the city.

With Nextdoor, San Francisco residents can join private neighborhood websites that make it easy to connect with neighbors and communicate about crime and safety, local service recommendations, lost pets, and emergency plans. SF72 will use Nextdoor to share emergency preparedness tips and help connect neighbors before San Francisco faces an emergency situation. SF72 also can share emergency alerts to affected neighborhoods through Nextdoor.

Each San Francisco neighborhood has its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. Neighborhoods establish and self-manage their own Nextdoor websites, and the City will not be able to access residents’ websites, contact information, or content. San Francisco residents interested in joining their neighborhood’s Nextdoor website can visit and enter their address.

So as we think about the 1906 earthquake and fire, let’s commemorate by taking the time to meet your neighbors – at home, at work, or through social networks. After all, these are the people we rely on everyday no matter the crisis!

15628__234HR ©Michael Mustacchi


Three Years Later: Tohuku Earthquake and Tsunami

Originally posted on San Francisco DEM:

Today marks the third anniversary of the Tohoku, Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The earthquake was a magnitude 9.0 and was the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit Japan. The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 133 feet and traveled up to six miles inland. 

Immediately after the earthquake, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center both issued tsunami warnings for Hawaii, the U.S. West Coast, Alaska and the island territories in the Pacific. A tsunami warning is the highest level of alert so DEM got to work, gathering in the early morning hours at our Emergency Operations Center and began issuing public alerts and warnings about the tsunami expected to hit the California coast line. Thankfully, the tsunami caused little damage. We were lucky.

While the tsunami generated by the Tohoku…

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Shake Up Call

Last night’s magnitude 6.9 earthquake off of the coast of Eureka, California was reminder that we live in earthquake country.  Thankfully, there were no reports of injuries or damage and the ocean tremor did not generate a tsunami.

Judy was in Tokyo, riding the train to the airport, when the 8.9 Tōhoku earthquake struck. Her immediate reaction was simple: to reach out to her digital networks, and let them know what was happening. Tomorrow, March 11 is the 3rd Anniversary of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

Earthquakes can happen at any time with little or no warning.  That’s why it’s important to take simple steps now so we’re ready for any emergency.

Get Connected: When disaster strikes, we come together to help each other. Getting prepared is about knowing your neighbors, saying hi to the regulars at the local market, and staying in touch with family and friends—both digitally and in person.

Gather Supplies: Whether you’re just starting out or a preparedness pro, gathering your emergency supplies is easy. A good rule of thumb is to have supplies for about 3 days, or 72 hours. You’ll be surprised at how much you already have.

Make a Plan with your People: A little foresight can go a long way—make a plan now, so you know how to find and get in touch with your people when something happens. The same connections that are important in everyday life—with friends, family, neighbors, and communities—are even more crucial in a crisis.

For more information visit  SF72 is your hub for emergency preparedness. You’ll find information about what to do in an emergency, simple steps to get connected, and useful guides to help you get prepared.

Hey SF! Get your Tsunami-Walk On!

Originally posted on San Francisco DEM:

NERT volunteers walk away from Ocean Beach during the inaugural SF Tsunami Walk

NERT volunteers walk away from Ocean Beach during the last year’s inaugural SF Tsunami Walk

When: Saturday March 29th 10:30am to 1:00pm
Begins: Marina Green at Marina & Scott
Ends: Marina Branch Library at Chestnut & Webster
Brought to you by: San Francisco Department of Emergency ManagementSan Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT)American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, and the Neighborhood Empowerment Network.

Preparedness is all about people. So bring your people to the Marina Green for the SF Tsunami Walk! Like an actual tsunami evacuation we’ll walk away from the bay and head to higher ground.   The SF Tsunami Walk is on Saturday March 29 at 10:30 AM and begins at the Marina Green at Marina Boulevard and Scott Street.  We’ll walk inland along Cervantes Boulevard until we reach Fillmore St. Our walk will end at the Marina Branch Library

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Three Things

Originally posted on San Francisco DEM:

Three Things
Mayor Edwin M. Lee presents a box of SFMADE products.

Mayor Edwin M. Lee presents a box of SFMADE products to the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The first two days of the Mabuhay Manila mission were all about encouraging trade and business.  The delegation visited the Center for International Trade and Missions where we previewed Philippine-made products that you may one day see at Crate & Barrell or Whole Foods.  Delegates also participated in forums with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry about doing business in Manila and San Francisco.

Naturally, as emergency managers, we had to find our own spin on things.  We asked three things business leaders from Bay Area and Manila would share with customers about being prepared.

SFDEM with delegates representing the SF Bay Area private sector.

SFDEM with delegates representing the SF Bay Area private sector.

Dennis Biscocho, President, Bisocho Insurance Agency, Farmers Insurance

Dennis knows a thing or two about emergencies.  He was on the ground with the Farmers…

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