San Francisco Comes Together to Help Survivors of the Mission Fire

San Francisco DEM

San Francisco, CA – At 6:30 p.m. this evening the City and County of San Francisco, the American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army will open a temporary emergency shelter to help the survivors of this week’s 4-Alarm Mission Fire.  Sixty-seven San Franciscans including 15 children lost their homes and all of their belongings.

“The devastating Mission Street fire tragically took a life, destroyed many homes and small businesses,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “We are working closely to rapidly rehouse displaced residents and support small businesses as they recover.  Confronted with the challenge of rebuilding their lives, we will continue to support them.  We call on neighbors, friends and partners to assist the families and small businesses to help them recover from this tragedy.”

The temporary shelter located The Salvation Army’s Mission Corps Community Center at 1156 Valencia Street will serve as a place where survivors can stay until housing…

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Fire Safety and Prevention is in Your Hands

San Francisco DEM

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher Remember the word P.A.S.S PULL -Place the extinguisher on the floor. Hold it by the tank (pressure on the handle could pinch the pin). Pull the pin straight out. AIM -Start 10 feet back from the fire. Aim at the base of the fire. SQUEEZE -Squeeze the lever on the fire extinguisher SWEEP -Sweep from side to side, moving in slowly until the fire is out.How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Remember the word P.A.S.S
PULL – Place the extinguisher on the floor. Hold it by the tank (pressure on the handle could pinch the pin). Pull the pin straight out.
AIM – Start 10 feet back from the fire. Aim at the base of the fire.
SQUEEZE – Squeeze the lever on the fire extinguisher
SWEEP – Sweep from side to side, moving in slowly until the fire is out.

Last night’s 4-Alarm Fire in the Mission was tragic as one person lost their life and dozens were left without a home.   As fire investigators determine what happened it is important to remember that there are simple things you can do prevent a fire in your home.   Here are a few:

  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Don’t overload extension cords.
  • Never leave food on the stove or in the oven unattended.
  • Always unplug small appliances when…

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A Little Now Means a lot Later

San Francisco DEM

This afternoon, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake occurred southwest of Ferndale, California (approximately 260 miles north of San Francisco). We think this is a good reminder that we need to do what can now, before the next earthquake impacting San Francisco, because that will make our City’s recovery all the more effective.

So, let’s use Ferndale’s earthquake as an opportunity to not only build upon our earthquake preparedness, but connect within our community networks about emergency preparedness in general. Have a conversation about preparedness with your family, neighbors, friends, and coworkers. Talk about what you would do if an earthquake causes damage in our city, and in our neighborhoods. Visit to learn how to be prepared for earthquakes (along with any type of emergency), and ask your neighbors to do the same.

Plan Basics

We also encourage everyone connect into emergency preparedness by taking the San Francisco Fire Department’s free Neighborhood Emergency Response…

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San Francisco DEM

As I write this blog, I’m home sick with a head cold. Thankfully I could work from home in an effort to prevent the spread of flu…but I don’t have the flu, perhaps thanks to the flu shot I got last November.

“But wasn’t that flu vaccines not as effective as originally thought it to be?” you may be wondering?

Our friends as the San Francisco Department of Public Health want us to know about the benefit of getting a flu shot—even at this point in the flu season. Their point is simple and reassuring: even during a season when the vaccine is only partially protective against one flu virus, it can protect against the others.

“Even though the flu shot is not a perfect match for all of this year’s flu viruses, it is still worth getting,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, San Francisco Health Officer. “The shot will still…

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One Strap at at Time

“Non Structural Mitigation” is a fancy term for doing what you can to prevent things like furniture, appliances, wall decor, etc. from falling or tipping over during an earthquake. This blog is an ongoing journal by DEM‘ers (and SF72 enthusiasts!) first-hand incremental steps to prevent the big mess that the big one could cause. We’d also love to hear about anything you’ve done to Beat the Quake, so please share here!

The first in this series of “One Strap at a Time” comes to us from Francis Zamora, DEM’s Public Information Officer, Mirolama Park resident, and soon-to-be first-time dad.


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We all have a little bit of “I should” in us.  I should get back to the gym or I should know what does and does not belong in the compost bin by now. For many of us, preparedness is no different: I should be more prepared for an emergency.  While getting back to the gym can be a challenge, there are a lot of quick wins when it comes to preparedness.

Case in point: For months, I’ve been saying I should really secure my TV.  Over the long weekend, I finally did it.  For $19.99, I bought a set of Flat Screen Safety Straps from Home Depot (Aisle 13). They’re also available on Amazon for the same price.

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The next day, I took a quick look at the instructions and used the straps to secure my TV.  It was easy and took less than 10 minutes.  Now I have some piece of mind that I’ve done what I can prevent my TV from falling over during an earthquake, kid-quake, or pet-quake.

For more simple preparedness tips and ideas visit

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