Civil Grand Jury report critical
of San Francisco disaster preparedness
By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service
May 26, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A civil grand jury report released
today faults San Francisco for its lack of a disaster-preparedness
plan, especially in the case of a major medical emergency.
The report comes on the heels of a scathing
audit released May 16, which questioned the Office of Emergency
Services' readiness for a major disaster.
Today's grand jury report points out several areas where the
city could improve: planning, organization, leadership, training,
communications, public information and surge capacity. The report
concentrated on medical services in the public and private sector.
San Francisco's current central body for emergency planning,
the Disaster Council, was criticized for its bureaucratic flow.
The grand jury reported that, due to all the red tape, the council
has been used ineffectively.
The grand jury also reported that privately owned hospitals,
which account for 80 percent of the hospital care in San Francisco,
are not coordinated with city departments and have little say
in the city's disaster plan.
The report also calls for a medical expert to lead the city's
planning process, citywide disaster drills, a mass-media campaign
and a plan to alleviate pressure on the staff of overwhelmed hospitals.
The complete grand jury report is available on the San Francisco
government Web site at http://www.sfgov.org.
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