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.

News: Pandemic Precautions in San Francisco

From the excellent SF Department of Public Health page at https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp

First off, I’d like to give a general shout out to my local department of public health for doing such a great job of data sharing. The website (sample above) is clear, and there is lots of data about how this has played out neighborhood by neighborhood, zip code by zip code. This information has really helped me think about my relative risks and make informed decisions.

Next, I have to give praise to the people of my beloved hometown, San Francisco. A city of 800,000+ people still managed to keep the infection rate very low. I LOVE YOU PEOPLE!

The City is still adjusting what services are safe based on infection rates around the state. (SoCal keeps messing things up for us.) The current version of the game plan is here:

Reopening San Francisco

We are gradually reopening to keep our City safe and healthy.

My museums are writing to me with some excitement about their October re-openings, which will provide a new experience: uncrowded, carefully timed exhibit viewings! That’s… actually rather appealing. (I can’t sit to draw, but I can live with that.) I’m contemplating that now, and the complex logistics of getting around.

(Transit service was reduced dramatically to ensure compliance with the safety precautions, while providing minimum support for essential workers. This was hard on the essential workers! This resulted in stable access to everything for people who drive everywhere, and less access for socially responsible, environmentally concerned transit riders. 🙁 Yes, that is [sad face].)

I’ll review the SFMTA COVID-19 Core Service Plan (sfmta.com) before I try to go anywhere in October. IF I try to go anywhere…

San Francisco: Putting Politicians to Work for You

Today I mean this literally: I believe my next door neighbor stopped a local politician, who is running for the SF Board of Supervisors, and asked him to jumpstart her car.

He did it. While discussing neighborhood projects that might interest her.

That is an exotic example of a responsive local politician in action! 🙂

PSA: Complete the Census!

Stand up and be counted! There are just… five days left??

Home – Art + Action

The first iteration of the campaign was unveiled during Martin Luther King Jr. Week in January 2020, with 40 large-scale ‘COME TO YOUR CENSUS, S.F.’ posters-in the four official languages of San Francisco: English, Chinese, Spanish, and Tagalog-on JCDecaux kiosks along San Francisco’s Market Street corridor, and at the SF COUNTS 2020 Census launch with Mayor London N.

News: Pandemic-inspired Slow Streets in San Francisco

With so many of our streets largely deserted by cars, and people desperate for some fresh air, why not give the streets back to HUMANS?

That’s the idea behind Slow Streets, which also helps local businesses by providing space for customers to wait outside their businesses in safely spaced lines, while other people can safely walk through the area. It is a clever adaptation, and a good one to see!

Slow Streets

Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

News: SF COVID-19 Data

My City believes in data! And it even develops graphics to display it so it can be easily interpreted and visualized.

This is a serious topic, and I appreciate how the City is making such an effort to be sure we UNDERSTAND it.

San Francisco COVID-19 Data and Reports

San Francisco’s response to the coronavirus emergency is grounded in data, science and facts. Data are an important tool to help San Franciscans see the whole picture of coronavirus in our community. It can help us all do our part and see over time how the situation is changing.