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1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance

Activities & Events

Fire Station Assessment

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Northern California Chapter

The San Francisco Bay Area has roughly 400 fire stations serving approximately 7 million people in 9 counties.

In a major seismic event, how many fire stations would be hindered in their response time due to building damage that prevents fire trucks from getting out quickly or failures in emergency power and/or communications systems?

If some fire stations are delayed, are there others in the vicinity available to cover for them? EERI-NCís Fire Station Assessment seeks to answer these questions by evaluating both the seismic hazards, such as ground shaking, liquefaction, and earthquake-induced landslides, and, building vulnerabilities, such as structural and non-structural.

Data collected for each station includes: latitude/longitude coordinates (locations), structure type, building age, apparatus door construction, retrofit information, as applicable. EERI-NC volunteers will work with Bay Area Fire Departments/Districts to complete inventory forms, supplemented with station visits if necessary.

The results of the study will be used to:

(a) characterize the magnitude of the challenges each fire station faces (if identified)

(b) publicize the earthquake safety of Bay Area fire stations

(c) promote efforts to upgrade facilities and argue for funding of such

(d) provide a baseline data set that may be used in decisions regarding funding priorities with respect to other sectors of our built environment

More information »


Steering committee will development list of tasks and schedule. Data collection to begin this summer, with area wide "drive-by" site visits in early September. Paper describing process and preliminary results to be completed by October 2005. Study to be completed by April 2006.


San Francisco Bay Area


The region's population grew some eight-fold in the past century. So, too, has the overall risk as well as the fire-fighting capacity but at what rates? The general status of fire station vulnerability is not known, nor do we know how their vulnerability compares to other critical facilities such as hospitals. Fires following earthquakes pose serious threats to the region making this project is an important resource to help the public translate lessons while memorializing the 1906 Earthquake into awareness and action addressing the region's present risks.


Those interested in fire station preparedness/emergency response

Volunteer Opportunities

Our grass roots effort will seek and greatly appreciate engineers and architects willing to assist in the data collection, particularly in their own communities - it's a good opportunity to get to know and help your local firefighters.


Marguerite Bello, (415) 908-0555

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