Remembering 1906 by Taking Action

Mother Nature likes to remind us that the “big one” is inevitable. And she proved that earlier this week by waking up some Bay Area residents with a 4.1 magnitude earthquake in Healdsburg, a quiet city nestled in California’s Wine Country.

With each shake, we are reminded it was not too long ago that San Francisco rose up from the ashes after the 1906 earthquake. And though the impact in San Francisco was devastating, the earthquake also wrecked considerable damage in other Bay Area cities.

Panorama of San Francisco burning (1 of 3).

While the SFPUC continues major infrastructure upgrades across our system to be more resilient, residents can also prepare for the next big quake before disaster strikes.

  • Make an emergency communications plan and practice with your family. Keep phone numbers and meeting places updated, and have an emergency contact that’s located in outside of your region. Practice your emergency plan to ensure all members of your household know what to do, especially if you are not all in the same location.
  • Build or update your emergency kit. Keep an emergency kit at home, your vehicle or work space. Include essentials like water, non-perishable food, battery-powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit, cash, batteries and prescription medication. Be sure to consider specific needs for all members in your household (e.g. babies, children, seniors, pets).
  • Store enough water for you and your family to last for 3-5 days. Each family member needs one gallon of water per day, and don’t forget your pets. Store water in a dark, cool place.
    • Use food-grade plastic containers to store tap water. Label the containers with the date of storage and replace every six months. When you drink your stored tap water, you do not have to treat it.
    • Store bottled water. It is not recommended to store bottled water after the seal has been broken. Store bottled water in the original sealed containers. Label them with the date of purchase and replace every six months.
  • Safeguard important documents. This includes passports, social security cards, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies and other important information.
  • Sign up for AlertSF to receive emergency notifications. San Francisco Department of Emergency Management will send alerts for disasters, major police, fire, or health emergencies, or significant transportation disruptions.

Now is the time to be ready and be prepared.

Spring Valley Water Company. Possibly damage to company headquarters at Stockton and Geary streets from SF earthquake. 1906. Prints from album.