Local News

S.F. Mayor Breed seeks to strengthen city’s skyscrapers ahead of next big quake

By February 1, 2019 No Comments

In preparation for the Bay Area’s next big earthquake, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Jan. 24 she’s issuing an executive directive to strengthen the city’s tallest buildings.

Breed’s directive instructs city departments to come up with a plan for regulating geotechnical and engineering issues, defining emergency response and safety inspection roles, and establishing a Disaster Recovery Task Force, which includes a comprehensive recovery plan for the Financial District and surrounding area by the end of 2019.

“We know that the next major earthquake will hit at any time and every day we should be working to prepare for it,” Breed said in a statement.

“While the city has taken a number of steps over the years to make our city more resilient, I want to ensure that our most densely occupied areas are as prepared as possible and that our departments, businesses, community groups and residents are ready to respond.

“This means doing the work to make our buildings safer now, but also creating a comprehensive plan so that San Francisco can immediately get to work helping our residents, businesses, and neighborhoods recover after the earthquake stops,” she said.

According to Breed’s office, there is a 72 percent chance the city could experience an earthquake with a 6.7-magnitude or greater before 2043.

In order to get the ball rolling, the city has already convened a panel, made up of City Administrator Naomi Kelly and directors of several city departments like the Building Inspection and Emergency Management departments, to work with the nonprofit Applied Technology Council to study the city’s skyscrapers and make recommendations on preparedness. The panel has produced a Tall Building Safety Strategy.

“Every San Franciscan has a role to play in improving earthquake safety. Now that experts have provided their recommendations, we will work to build community consensus about the next steps,” Kelly said in a statement. “We are a resilient city that must remain well-prepared for the very real threat of the next earthquake.”

Story originally published by Bay City News.