Intense Weather Stress-Tested SF’s Emergency Response
Rains this winter and early spring ended the drought in the Bay Area and brought a kind of weather whiplash that put San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management to the test.
Early in the storm cycle, the department faced challenges communicating with the public, especially with people experiencing homelessness. Internal confusion over the forecast delayed the opening of its Emergency Operations Center until a major storm was under way. In at least one instance, flood barriers were deployed too late to prevent homes and businesses from being inundated.
Despite those missteps, the city rallied a coordinated response from its Emergency Operations Center, where multiple city agencies, along with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. representatives, gathered to discuss and act on emerging issues in real time.