Disaster Preparedness: The Loma Prieta Earthquake was 31 Years Ago Today

…as San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Services cheerfully reminded me today via text message. 😀

The Department of Emergency Services texts me more often than my closest friends do by volume, which tells you about the kind of times we are living in.

Yes, I remember EXACTLY where I was when it occurred: near a very large, floor-to-ceiling glass wall just outside of a classroom on the main campus of City College of San Francisco. My reflection VISIBLY distorted as the glass bent. My classmates inside looked up; I made a rolling wave gesture as they started to exit the room; and then there was a POP and the power went out.

As someone who has grown up with benign earthquakes, all I could think was: Now I don’t have to go to calculus class!”

I wasn’t used to people DYING in local earthquakes – fatalities were uncommon in our area in my lifetime. Earthquakes broke old brick walls that hadn’t properly been reinforced, but little else. And while this particular quake was long and rolling where I was standing, it didn’t feel like a big deal at the time. It took a while for the news to come in, and some of it wasn’t plausible…

Anyway: this is a public service announcement to remind you to have an earthquake kit refreshed and ready to use. Admittedly, at this point in time, this kit may also include your wildfire GO BAG, but should also contain 72 hours’ worth of food and water. And some extra masks to protect you from the pandemic and/or PM2.5 wildfire smoke particles. And two tiny women to help you soothe, summon, and manage Mothra.

Supplies | SF72

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.

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