If you’re like most San Franciscans, you know that one day a big earthquake will hit The City and the normal pace of life will be thrown into chaos. And if you’re like most San Franciscans, you haven’t done much to prepare for that day.
Fortunately, San Francisco is taking steps to help meet one of the most basic needs — clean, safe drinking water — for as long as possible after the Big One. This week officials unveiled a plan to use 67 of The City’s fire hydrants as designated taps for emergency drinking water supplies. San Francisco also has seismically strengthened many of its reservoirs and is purchasing water trucks, piping, and 2,000-gallon water bladders. There is enough water currently stored to last The City a week, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
Blue water drops will be painted on the drinking-water hydrants, but many of The City’s hydrants use untreated water for fighting fires.
The City’s foresight in preparing for emergency water distribution is commendable, but perhaps the most important thing to remember is that despite these measures, it’s still prudent for residents to keep a few days’ worth of water themselves.
It’s an easy step to take, and its impact is compounded if it’s treated as the first step toward making a complete three-day supply kit for use in any emergency.