San Francisco Office of Emergency Services and
Major Activities and Accomplishments
From the Office of Emergency Services
May 18, 2006
HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PLANNING
Created a new Emergency Operations Plan for the first time in
a decade. The EOP Part 1 serves as the foundation for emergency
response in San Francisco. For the first time since 1996, this
document was updated - and it took less than a year to do it.
The new plan lays out how to respond to all hazards in or affecting
the CCSF, including earthquakes.
In addition, OES/HS has drafted Part 2 of the Emergency Operations
Plan - a document that never existed before. EOP Part 2 is the
nuts-and-bolts guide to the functioning of the Emergency Operations
Center, which will become partially or fully active in any large-scale
emergency. It outlines roles and responsibilities of the various
branches of the EOC, including planning and intelligence, operations
Created new annexes to the Emergency Operation Plan which never
existed before. Over the past 18 months, OES/HS has developed
and written new annexes that address specific types of emergencies
and specific emergency functions that will need to be carried
out. The topics of these annexes include, among others, Care and
Shelter, Terrorism, Severe Weather, Tsunami, Animal Care and Shelter,
Operation Return, and Communications.
Led the Application Process for 2006 Bay Area UASI funding. After
the federal Department of Homeland Security announced that for
the 2006 grant year the three previously separate Urban Areas
of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose (and the 10 Bay Area counties)
were being consolidated into one Bay Area Super UASI, OES/HS acted
quickly to use its leadership position to bring all parties to
the table. Working with the state Office of Homeland Security
and the federal Department of Homeland Security, OES/HS developed
a governance structure for the new group, and served as its chair.
This effort required over 40 meetings during a one-month period
between January-February 2006, with participation from 208 representatives
from 134 different federal, state, regional, local and non-governmental
agencies. The Bay Area Super UASI submitted a $332.2 million grant
application in February.
Leading the development of a new Regional Emergency Coordination
Plan. San Francisco recognized the need to plan for a catastrophic
event on a regional basis. The RECP, which includes the Governor's
Office of Emergency Services, the10 Bay Area Counties, and the
cities of Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco, represents the
first time this region has come together to engage in a comprehensive
emergency planning process. While the RECP had been in the planning
stages for months prior to Hurricane Katrina, it has become even
more significant with the increased national focus on the need
for a regional approach to emergency preparedness.
Highlights of the RECP include:
· Inventory of resource assets - federal, state, and local
- and mechanisms for deployment
· Coordination of transportation and emergency medical
· Coordination of fire, hazardous materials, and search
and rescue resources
· Regional planning for care and shelter services
· 90 Day Recovery Plan
Created a New Care and Shelter Plan and Database. For the first
time, the City's new Care and Shelter Plan addresses how to accommodate
up to 40,000 people who may become displaced by a disaster. As
a key part of this process, we created an online database of possible
shelter sites in all SF neighborhoods. We're conducting a comprehensive
survey of sites such as schools, recreation centers, congregations,
neighborhood centers and convention or large meeting facilities.
The information contained in the searchable database includes
floor plans and accessibility for the disabled. This important
planning tool will help to identify how and where we can provide
shelter to San Franciscans in advance of a disaster.
Created the City's First Community Disaster Plan. OES/HS has
begun a pilot program to help San Francisco communities develop
their own disaster plans. Beginning in Supervisorial District
5, and in conjunction with the Office of Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi,
the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services and SF 5 Together,
the program is designed to empower communities to work with city
agencies to develop emergency response plans that are tailored
to their unique needs. The Community Disaster Plan suggests forming
an Emergency Preparedness Committee to coordinate neighborhood
disaster preparedness efforts. Other key elements include identifying
resources such as recreation centers, congregations, and neighborhood
associations that can help support implementation of the plan,
and outlining how residents can work together to improve their
capacity to shelter safely in place for at least 72 hours post-disaster.
This project will be applicable to entire districts, neighborhoods,
or residential communities such as condominium and apartment complexes.
The pilot program is expected to expand to other districts later
Complied with requirements of Federal Disaster Mitigation Act
of 2000 (DMA 2000). DMA 2000 requires that cities, counties, and
special districts have a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan to be eligible
to receive FEMA pre-disaster or post-disaster hazard mitigation
funds. OES/HS developed a comprehensive mitigation annex for San
Francisco with over 300 strategies as part of the Multi-jurisdictional
Local Hazard Mitigation Plan sponsored by the Association of Bay
Area Governments (ABAG). The San Francisco annex to the plan was
approved by resolution of the Board of Supervisors and signed
by the Mayor, then submitted to the Governor's Office of Emergency
Services and FEMA for approval. Following FEMA approval of the
plan in March 2005, San Francisco applied for and received funding
for two pre-disaster mitigation projects in FY 2005.
Established San Francisco as a StormReady Community. OES/HS applied
for and received recognition from the National Weather Service
as a StormReady community. San Francisco was one of the first
major cities in the nation to receive this designation. The program
is designed to help communities better prepare for and mitigate
effects of extreme weather-related events, focusing on the communication
and safety skills needed to save lives and property. It provides
a close partnership with, and direct assistance from, the National
Weather Service before and during an event. The National Weather
Service follows a strict process of evaluating a community for
this designation, including enhanced communication and notification
systems, community training as "storm spotters," and
training for emergency communications dispatchers. In addition,
the National Weather Service has approved our new Severe Weather
annex. Becoming a StormReady Community is also a required process
for becoming a TsunamiReady community, which OES/HS is currently
working on and will be the first major city with that designation.
TRAINING, EXERCISES AND EQUIPMENT
Conducted and funded regular exercises and training. Over the
past 2 years, exercises and training have increased substantially.
OES/HS conducts monthly exercises at our Emergency Operations
Center and larger-scale exercises on a regular basis. A tabletop
exercise based on the London and Madrid transit bombings was attended
by 120 emergency personnel from the region including the Mayor,
key department heads, FBI, federal and state Homeland Security
personnel, and the National Guard. OES/HS also held a field exercise
based on the transit bombing scenario last October and participated
in the statewide Golden Guardian exercise last November. Other
exercise scenarios include an anthrax outbreak, catastrophic earthquake,
a terror attack on a ferry (which was held at the Port of San
Francisco) and a gas main leak with explosion resulting in evacuations
and mass casualties. OES/HS has also provided funding for extensive
training, including: terrorism awareness training for 4,000 public
safety personnel; structural collapse training for Fire Department
personnel; incident command training for public safety and health
command staff; and CBRNE-related training for Police Department
Developed the Disaster Service Worker Training Program and Identification
System. Under state and local law, all 26,000 City employees are
disaster service workers - meaning they can be called upon to
assist in any way during a major disaster. Last year, in conjunction
with the Department of Human Resources, OES/HS began to develop
a training program and new Disaster Service Worker identification
system for all city workers - both of which had never existed
before. Over the last six months, more than 400 City employees
have received this training. In addition, DHR and OES/HS are developing
a "skills-tracking" computer program - which will identify
language skills, medical skills, and special training - to help
strategically and effectively deploy employees during an emergency
event. We expect to expand the program to train hundreds of employees
over the coming year (pending funding and personnel).
Investing in critical equipment and security upgrades. Major
improvements have been made to the City's emergency radio communications
system. Funding has been provided for protective equipment for
first responders for CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological,
Nuclear, Explosive) types of events. And we've invested in security
improvements for critical infrastructure.
CITIZEN PREPAREDNESS AND PUBLIC NOTIFICATION
Created an innovative and interactive new website - www.72hours.org.
72hours.org helps San Franciscans plan for emergencies such as
earthquake, fire, severe storms, power outages, and acts of terrorism.
The website is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. We've
launched public education campaigns using bus and shelter ads
and street banners to encourage people to visit the website and
get prepared. We've designed new multilingual brochures with the
same content as the website.
The city of Chicago has emulated the website and other cities
and jurisdictions, including Sonoma, Boston, Annapolis, and San
Diego, have contacted OES/HS with an interest in adopting 72hours.org.
Since last September, 72hours.org has had more than 302,000 visitors.
In the month of April alone, there were over 40,000 visitors,
doubling the number from the previous month. And the site has
recently won a Webby Award, the leading international honor for
Developed a Community Outreach Program and Ad Campaign. OES/HS
regularly presents preparedness information at venues including
street fairs, town halls and community meetings. Each year during
Fleet Week, we hold an earthquake preparedness fair at Marina
Green that attracts thousands of people.
In the fall of 2005, OES/HS launched a unique ad campaign that
encouraged San Franciscans to think about what items they need
in order to be prepared for an emergency. The theme of the ads,
which appeared on MUNI buses and bus shelters, was "Nice
to Have"/"Need to Have," juxtaposing items such
as water and wine; sushi and a can of tuna; a battery-operated
toy monkey and a flashlight with batteries.
The latest ad campaign, launched in mid-April, centers around
the centennial of the 1906 earthquake. The campaign consists of
five designs in English, Chinese and Spanish and reminds citizens
that in a major disaster, it might be three days before vital
services are restored. The ads appear on 134 MUNI buses, 30 bus
shelters and on 2,000 bus interior placards and will run through
Coordinated Educational Component of 1906 Earthquake and Fire
Centennial Activities. Under the auspices of SF Rising, a diverse
group of City departments, public and private groups and emergency
management experts came together to ensure that personal preparedness
was highlighted in the Centennial activities. OES/HS distributed
educational materials at Lotta's Fountain and at the Fire Department
parade. OES/HS supported the San Francisco Fire Department Historical
Society's 1906 Expo by coordinating the educational component,
soliciting the participation of a variety of emergency preparedness
experts from around the Bay Area. OES/HS provided an interactive
booth, highlighting the 72hours.org web site, and offering materials
and subject matter expertise to visitors.
Through the SF Rising committee, OES/HS worked with the San Francisco
Chronicle, which distributed 100,000 72hours.org preparedness
brochures to all subscribers in the Sunday newspaper. Additionally,
OES/HS participated in multiple Centennial events across the City,
distributing over 20,000 preparedness brochures and 6,000 emergency
Collaborated with USGS to Produce "Putting Down Roots in
Earthquake Country," a Comprehensive Guide to Citizen Preparedness.
Beginning in the summer of 2005, a team of subject matter experts
brought together by the US Geological Survey undertook a project
to develop a single, comprehensive guide to earthquake risk and
preparedness in the Bay Area. OES/HS joined experts from the American
Red Cross, the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Earthquake
Engineering Institute, the California Geological Survey, the California
Earthquake Authority and the US Department of Homeland Security
in the development of this handbook. In addition to distribution
by the San Francisco Chronicle, OES/HS along with our partners
have distributed thousands of brochures since its 2005 release.
Creating New Notification System for Emergency Personnel and
Public (Roam Secure Alert Network) - to be implemented in 2006.
In order to provide up-to-the minute information and instructions
to emergency personnel and the public in an emergency situation,
OES/HS will be implementing the Roam Secure program. This text-based
emergency notification system can be a valuable tool in recalling
first responders and in providing vital information to the public.
This program also includes capabilities for reaching the disabled
community. Text messaging has proven to be a reliable means of
communication, especially when other systems are down, as was
the case after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. OES/HS is adapting
a best practice in the National Capital Region, where 48,000 residents
have signed up to receive alerts.
Conducting Outreach and Training for Housing Authority Residents
and Building Managers. Noting lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina,
OES/HS launched a program to provide personal preparedness information
to vulnerable San Francisco residents dependent on housing assistance,
particularly seniors and the disabled. The program focuses on
personal contact with Housing Authority residents through presentations
and multi-lingual preparedness information based on 72hours.org.
Other cities have expressed interest in adopting this initiative.
BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS WITH CITY, STATE AND FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS
AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Created the City's Departmental Operations Center Program. OES/HS
has assisted the various City departments that have a role in
disaster response in establishing Departmental Operations Centers.
The DOCs serve as the department's response headquarters during
a major emergency. This effort is aimed at ensuring the consistency
of equipment and operational functions.
Engaged in substantial outreach to non-first responder and smaller
City offices and departments on disaster planning issues. These
departments include the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services,
the Mayor's Office of Disability, Medical Examiner, Animal Care
and Control, Purchasing Division of the Office of Contract Administration,
Controller's Office, Department of Telecommunications and Information
Services, Small Business Commission, and Administrative Services.
While these departments may not be traditional "first-responders,"
OES/HS has recognized the importance of including their input
and expertise into the City's emergency planning process.
Created excellent working relationships with our state and federal
partners in response. By engaging in significant outreach, OES/HS
has built close working relationships with agencies such as the
state Office of Emergency Services, the state Office of Homeland
Security, the Federal Department of Homeland Security, FEMA Region
IX, US Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.
In the post-Katrina world, it is clearer than ever that these
relationships are extremely important. In a major emergency, it
will be valuable to have already established lines of communication
and working relationships between the local, state and federal
Working with Hospitals for Emergency Response. OES/HS, in collaboration
with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, works closely
with all CCSF hospitals in coordinating response and preparedness
activities. Through the use of UASI funds, standardized equipment
has been purchased, including a patient tracking system for all
hospitals and the emergency communications dispatch center. Hospitals
are closely involved with exercise development and execution,
ensuring that the goals and objectives of the healthcare community
are addressed in these efforts. OES/HS attends the monthly Hospital
Council Emergency Preparedness Task Force, a network of health
care providers and stakeholders from throughout public and private
entities in San Francisco.
Partnered with Walgreens to Promote 72hours.org and Disaster
Preparedness. As part of the events commemorating the 1906 earthquake
and fire, OES/HS has partnered with Walgreens drugstore on a major
initiative to promote personal preparedness and encourage San
Franciscans to log on to 72hours.org. Walgreens is prominently
placing a 72hours.org display in its 180 Bay Area stores, which
will include a checklist and items to put in a disaster supply
kit. In addition, in its April 16 advertising circular in the
San Francisco Chronicle, Walgreens placed a special ad featuring
Reaching out to private sector associations and non-profit organizations
to engage in emergency preparedness issues. OES/HS has regular
contact with groups such as the Hospital Council, Hotel Council,
Building Owners and Managers Association, Salvation Army, Red
Cross, the Volunteer Center, Community Agencies Responding to
Disaster (CARD), San Francisco Foundation, San Francisco Interfaith
Council, SF Ready and many more.
FOLLOWING A ROADMAP TO RECOVERY
Implemented the majority of the recommendations made by the Civil
Grand Jury in a 2003 report entitled "It's A Catastrophe:
The State of Emergency Planning in San Francisco." In 2005,
the Civil Grand Jury again evaluated OES/HS and issued a continuity
report that said, "The CGJ is pleased to conclude that, based
on the observed changes within OES, the state of emergency planning
and preparedness in San Francisco is no longer a 'catastrophe.'
The OES is doing an admirable job, given its current federal resources
and the limited amount of space at the current location."
OES/HS used the 2003 report as a roadmap to completely revamp
the operation of a once-neglected office. The Civil Grand Jury
noted these efforts by saying, "Substantial improvements
have been made at the Office of Emergency Services (OES)."
Convened Disaster Council and Disaster Forum on a regular basis.
OES/HS has delivered regular updates on disaster preparedness
efforts to policymakers, elected officials, and the public through
televised Disaster Council meetings. In addition, we have held
monthly Disaster Forums, at which city department representatives
discuss disaster planning and participate in a tabletop exercise.
Since August 2004, there have been 6 Disaster Councils and 20
Disaster Forum meetings.
Attracted Top Emergency Management Staff. For the first time
in the history of the Office of Emergency Services, the major
emergency departments are all under one roof - Police, Fire, Public
Health, Sheriff and Transit. In the past year and a half, OES/HS
has attracted top people from numerous disciplines including hazardous
materials and explosives, heavy rescue, emergency medical services,
care and shelter, tactical operations, and disaster response.
This group of trained experts comes from organizations as varied
as the American Red Cross and the U.S. military.