San Francisco launches new website for emergency planning on anniversary of Loma Prieta earthquake

San Francisco launched a new website Thursday that aims to inform residents about what they can do to prepare for an emergency, including large natural disasters such as an earthquake.

The site, SF72.org, debuted on the 24th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, a 6.9-magnitude temblor that was centered 56 miles south of San Francisco but still caused widespread damage in The City.

San Francisco’s new website will replace its 72hour.org site, which was launched in 2001 to help residents learn about how to prepare for the critical first days after a major disaster, when services aside from lifesaving ones may be unavailable.

Officials with the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management said the old site did a good job in reaching people who wanted to prepare for disasters, but the new site contains more engaging material to reach new audiences.

Thursday also marked the annual Great California Shakeout, a statewide drill that is held the third Thursday of each October.

Supervisor Katy Tang and Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White joined law enforcement as well as city and school officials at Sunset Elementary School for an earthquake drill.

Before Tang and Hayes-White ducked under a desk next to fifth-grade students, they both relayed messages about the Loma Prieta quake and the need to be prepared, including Tang’s personal story about being a 7-year-old elementary school student at the time.

After the drill, students filed out of the classroom and into the schoolyard, where they were commended for their efficiency.

Tang urged students to talk to their parents about having emergency supplies, such as an earthquake kit, ready at home.

Ten-year-old student Raymond said after the drill that he feels prepared for an earthquake. He said his parents have told him stories about where they were on that shaky day in 1989.

Raymon said he has water and food set aside at his house in case disaster strikes.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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