City, Giants work on disaster plan

If 40,000 people were at a baseball stadium and an earthquake hit, having a plan of action could expedite getting those people the help they need — and The City and the Giants want to perfect their plan.

To be better prepared for a disaster or terrorist attack, the San Francisco Giants and The City’s Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security are gearing up for an emergency preparedness exercise Feb. 24 at AT&T Park.

Season-ticket holders are expected to be the first of 2,000 volunteers recruited for participation in the exercise, which will look at ways to provide immediate medical treatment, practice evacuation measures and crowd control while simulating a terrorist attack.

“We’re finding 2,000 volunteers for an emergency drill for AT&T Park, because we have the All-Star Game this year. Major League Baseball is concerned about a terrorist attack, as all sports franchises are,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

The one-day exercise’s $100,000 price tag will be paid for with the help of a grant from The Department of Homeland Security that the Giants applied for nearly two years ago, according to Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter.

Although The City is slated to host the MLB All-Star Game festivities July 6-10 next year, Slaughter said that the exercise is not specifically intended as a precaution for the event.

“Sure, we want to be prepared for the All-Star Game, but also for any other major event. It just makes sense to do it beforehand,” Slaughter said.

Laura Adleman, public information officer for OESHS, says the exercise should not only help with the more than 40,000 people expected to come to the stadium in July, but with overall safety at the ballpark in the future.

“We are using the opportunity to improve our ability for first response [and to better manage] any incident at the ballpark,” Adelman said.

The last two cities to host the All-Star game — Pittsburgh in 2006 and Detroit in 2005 — have also partaken in similar exercises prior to the event, MLB spokeswoman Susan Goodenow said.

“This is encouraging,” Goodenow said. “Baseball season is a positive thing, and we are getting ready and taking precautions to make sure that fans have a positive and exciting experience,”

The last All-Star Game hosted in San Francisco was in 1984, at Candlestick Park. The weeklong festivities are expected to bring The City $50 million in revenue and more than 200,000 people.

eeconomides@examiner.com

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