The majority of Fire Department buildings sustained only minor damage during the earthquake, and none collapsed or were condemned. All facilities were fit for use immediately after the earthquake. Fire Department facilities have been undergoing seismic upgrading since the 1950's and the survivability of these structures can be credited to many years of earthquake planning.
The October 1989 earthquake did, however, expose weaknesses in planning for the long- term use of these structures following a major disaster.
1. There are no formal procedures in the San Francisco Fire Department Disaster Operations Plan to determine when a fire station can or should be reoccupied following an earthquake.
2. There is no formal agreement between the San Francisco Fire Department and the Department of Public Works for priority inspection of Fire Department facilities after an earthquake.
3. Some stations still have no generators for long-term operations during disasters.
4. There are no supplies for supporting personnel during long-term disasters. There is no food, water, or Search and Rescue equipment within the stations to support major operations.
5. A plan to notify on-duty personnel of family status following an earthquake should be formalized.
1. The existing earthquake repair and retrofitting projects in progress, should be continued and accelerated where necessary.
2. The program of installing generators at all Fire Department facilities should be accelerated.
3. Generators should be tested under load conditions at least one time per week, and the results entered in the Journal.
4. A plan for home and worksite preparedness should be developed for San Francisco Fire Department personnel.
5. Plans should be developed to provide disaster supplies to all Fire Department facilities for the support of personnel during long-term emergencies
6. An agreement with the Department of Public Works should be drawn up for immediate inspection of fire stations after an earthquake.
7. Stations should be prepared to operate in accordance with the City and County of
San Francisco Emergency Plan which calls for many stations to become neighborhood
centers during major disasters.