By: Mahmoud Abunie

In the wake of the 6.1 magnitude earthquake centered in Napa County, San Francisco was once again reminded of the vulnerabilities we face living in California. The jolt was felt throughout the Bay Area, and in San Francisco, it was 10 seconds of fear and a reminder that “The Big One” is still coming.

We all remember the 7.3 Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 and the lives it took as well as the damage is caused. However, since that fateful day on October 17, 1989 at 5:04 pm, San Francisco has become more resilient and aware of what we need to do in order to stay safe during and after the inevitable quake.

What is SF72?

SF72 is a website, a self-proclaimed “hub,” that informs San Franciscans how to prepare and stay safe during and after a quake. The information allows San Franciscans to take care of themselves and each other for at least 72 hours. Since City services may be overwhelmed due to capacity or may be damaged, it’s important that citizens understand how to care for themselves until help arrives.

The SF72 website offers important step-by-step instructions of what supplies to keep handy and what to do for oneself and their community. SF72 suggests San Franciscans make and keep a plan assuming that most, if not all, public utilities will be out of service. The website also offers that best places to go in case of aftershocks or if criminal activity occurs.

SF72 is a very simple and accessible website for any San Franciscan to use. The information is guided for earthquakes, but can be used generally for a variety of natural disasters. When the “Big One” does hit, San Franciscans will be ready and more prepared, saving lives and reducing damage.

Other resources for earthquake information and affiliates of SF72 can be found here. If you’d like to dive in and get hands on training, the San Francisco Fire Department offers free training as part of the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team or “NERT.” Learn more here.