Are You Ready For the Next Big One?
As San Francisco and other cities in the Bay Area commemorate the anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, we are reminded once again of the need to get prepared for the next natural disaster. The 6.9 magnitude earthquake not only resulted in collapsed homes, displacement of residents, but it also was a terrifying reminder of the need to reinforce the structures we use every single day.
Protecting Life & Building Safety Everyday
As a City built on three seismic faults, building safety in San Francisco is of the utmost importance. The role of the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) is very important for this reason. DBI oversees the building safety of more than 200,000 buildings in San Francisco, which include both residential and commercial properties. Every day, our building engineers review plans for code compliance and building safety, issue permits to allow the alteration or construction of new buildings and our inspectors perform inspections of new and existing buildings for code compliance and habitability. DBI is committed to working with residents, business owners, and property owners to protect the building and life safety of each and every person that lives, works and visits San Francisco.
Get Prepared Today
Earthquakes are unpredictable natural disasters with just as terrible aftereffects. Take the necessary steps today to get your property and family ready for the next emergency. We cannot predict when the next natural disaster will hit, but together we can take the next steps in being prepared.
- Make an emergency plan so you know who to find and where to find them when a crisis occurs. Make sure you know where and how to shut off the utility services in your home or building.
- Anchor bookshelves and other heavy furniture to wall studs. If you are indoors when an earthquake occurs: DROP, COVER and HOLD ON. Do not try to run outside or stand in a doorway or near windows.
- Whether you are at home or at work, make sure you have an emergency kit with supplies lasting for at least 72 hours.
Please find below resources and programs to help you prepare for an earthquake:
- Building Occupancy Resumption Program (BORP)
- Personal Preparedness
- Hazard Maps
- Helpful Earthquake Information
- Past Bay Area Earthquakes
- Soft Story Retrofit Program
- Seismic Safety Outreach
- Are You Ready for the Next Big One? (Chinese)
Building Occupancy Resumption Program (BORP)
This award-winning DBI program allows San Francisco building owners to pre-certify private post-earthquake inspection of their buildings by qualified engineers upon acceptance of a written inspection program. Find out more about the program requirements and details.
For Owners - FAQ for building owners.
For Engineers - Guidelines for engineers
- San Francisco Department of Emergency Management
- San Francisco Fire Department Neighborhood Emergency Response Training (NERT)
- US Geological Survey - emergency information
- Earthquake Safety Checklist
- Earthquake Safety Guide for Homeowners
- PG&E emergency information re: utility shutoff, etc.
- Have an Emergency Plan (English) (Chinese)
- U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 151-99 - Understanding Earthquake Hazards In the San Francisco Bay Region - Progress Toward a Safer Future Since the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake.
- Association of Bay Area Governments maps and other info
- California Division of Mines and Geology maps
- UC Berkeley - maps and info about recent quakes
- USGS maps
Helpful Earthquake Information
Past Bay Area Earthquakes
- San Francisco Museum info and photos from the 1989 Loma Prieta quake
- Earthquake Center info and photos from the 1906 quake