Monthly Archives: December 2012

San Francisco’s Business Recovery Managers Recognize DEM

Earlier this month, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM) was named the recipient of the BRMA 2013 Annual Award of Excellence.  The Business Recovery Managers Association (BRMA) is Northern California’s largest association of business continuity and recovery professionals.  At the organization’s annual year-end lunch, DEM was honored with the award in recognition for its “tireless work toward protecting the residents and guests of San Francisco, and for their outstanding work in continuing to enhance Public/Private Sector partnerships.”

BRMAaward&cake

Aside from the ongoing efforts to respond to everyday emergencies across the city, 2012 was a busy year for San Francisco’s emergency managers and first responders with a slate of citywide special events that challenged the city’s resources and tested its capabilities.  The year started with the San Francisco 49ers playoff bid, and continued throughout 2012 with perennial events like Bay-to-Breakers, San Francisco Fleet Week, and 4th of July celebrations; and culminated with the Giant’s World Series victory and parade. In 2012, the city also celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge and hosted the America’s Cup races, which will continue through September of next year.  These events were a success due to the cooperative efforts of the city’s family of agencies, DEM, and private sector partners.  Representatives from DEM also joined a team of California emergency managers to assist in the response and initial recovery to superstorm Sandy.

BRMA’s recognition of DEM signifies the importance of the partnership that has been built with San Francisco’s business sector.  Since 2008, DEM has focused on private sector partnerships to connect the preparedness and response efforts with the resources, capabilities, and situational awareness of our local business community.  In 2012, that included integrating trained volunteers from the business community in the Community Branch of the Emergency Operations Center during planned events (such as Bay to Breakers, the Pride Parade, and Fleet Week). The private sector is also integrated into the exercises that were held in preparation for the America’s Cup races.

DEM Deputy Director, Rob Dudgeon accepted the award on behalf of DEM.  He expressed gratitude on behalf of DEM’s Executive Director Anne Kronenberg, and the entire department.  He reminded those assembled of the importance of how this partnership advances the Whole Community approach to emergency management and DEM’s unceasing commitment to establish and nurture cross-sector partnerships that benefit our San Francisco community.  DEM  is honored to join the ranks among the prior BRMA Award of Excellence recipients including SF CARD, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), and Levi Strauss and Company.

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It Must Be Tuesday @Noon

Most people who live and/or work in San Francisco have heard the City’s Outdoor Public Warning System.  Although most are familiar with the sirens—and perhaps even check their watches by it—the point of the system is to alert the public to an emergency and is one of several tools DEM uses to disseminate alerts and warnings.

The test message and siren tone you hear every week are just one way for us to make sure the system is in good working order.  The sirens are run by radio technology, and like any technology, routine maintenance is required.  During the next several weeks, the sirens will be undergoing said scheduled maintenance.   (But the weekly test will still happen as usual.)

We wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that while the sirens are one of the most well-known forms of emergency notification, we also have many other tools to disseminate alerts.  If you haven’t already tapped into them, now is a great time to opt in.

Other Means of Receiving Emergency Alerts

Anyone who lives and works in San Francisco is highly encouraged to sign up for the City’s text and email based alert system, AlertSF.  We use AlertSF to communicate life-safety and other emergency information.  We will also tweet any incidents of citywide significance via @sf_emergency.  Tuning into the news on radio (such as KCBS 740 AM or 106.9 FM) and TV also is a good way to get information about an emergency.

At the heart of the matter: we encourage you to check as many information sources as possible.

One of San Francisco's Outdoor Warning System Sirens.  Photo courtesy of  www.urbavorepodcast.wordpress.com

One of San Francisco’s Outdoor  Public Warning System Sirens. Photo courtesy of http://www.urbavorepodcast.wordpress.com