Monthly Archives: January 2016

DEM’s Fall & Holiday Round-Up

The last quarter of the year is always a very busy one for the Department of Emergency Management (SFDEM). The fall always ushers in San Francisco Fleet Week (SFFW) with its large focus on humanitarian disaster relief. But this year we’ve added two special guests to our line up in addition to our annual fall activities, El Nino and Super Bowl 50 preparations.

With this year’s hot Indian Summer having come to a close and the chilly winter having set in, it’s time to share what we’ve been up to!


San Francisco Fleet Week:

Every year SFDEM participates in San Francisco Fleet Week (SFFW). SFFW has a very large humanitarian disaster component. As usual we participated in setting up and being an exhibitor at the Humanitarian Disaster Village alongside the US Navy’s Blue Angel Airshow.  Additionally we also partnered with SFFW on the design and execution of a military, federal, state, and local disaster exercise.

This year we focused on the ability to unload disaster supplies from the Bay to land via a military Landing Craft Utility vehicle. We were joined by the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. All in all, it was a success!

SFFW Exercise

The Great Shake Out:

In addition to Fleet Week activities, every October we participate in ‘The Great Shake Out,’ which is the largest earthquake drill in the world. This year we were joined by Mayor Ed Lee at Yick Wo Elementary School in Russian Hill. The kids had a great time practicing their “Drop, Cover, & Hold On!” techniques.

Great SHake Out Mayor Wave with Kids

El Nino Public Information Exercises:

Here at SFDEM, one of our biggest roles is to coordinate with our city and public utility partners to get you information ASAP in the event of an emergency or disaster. As we approached this winter we have been refining our plans and practicing via exercises in preparation for a possible El Nino wet winter.

We held the first-ever ‘Public Information El Nino Exercise’ to practice how we would collect, verify, and disseminate life-saving information to the residents of the City and County of San Francisco in the event of a very large and ongoing storm.

Public Info EX 2

Here is our group of participants simulating a real response in our City’s Emergency Operations Center.

Super Bowl 50 ‘Good Day’ & ‘Bad Day’ Exercises:

In preparation for Super Bowl 50 (SB50) we have been working with our military, federal,  state, and regional partners to ensure everyone can visit the San Francisco Bay Area and have a fun and safe time. In total we will have offered four exercises. All of which are table top exercises (TTX) aimed at practicing our response to different situations under the umbrella of two scenarios; a good day at SB50 with minimal problems, and a bad day at SB50 where we faced a possible El Nino storm, and the like.

SB50 Bad Day

SFDEM designed these exercises to engage in a level of gamification, meaning that the severity and circumstances of our situations varied depending on the roll of dice. Both exercises had a spectacular turn out, and proved to be a wonderful opportunity to meet our partners in the field whom we will be working with during a major planned or unplanned event.

In addition, it allowed us to have a press conference where we were able to share with the general public how we are preparing for SB50, and how to connect with us for more information.

SB50 Good Day Presser

We encourage you to connect as well. Do not wait until an emergency occurs to get connected. Please text ‘AlertSF’ to 888-777 to join our distribution list for emergency, life-saving information that is sent via text message.

You can also text ‘SB50’ to 888-777 to receive more general information such as non-emergency information, traffic events, or transportation information regarding SB50 events.

El Nino Preparations:

We have already seen more rain than we have in quite awhile, and these particular rains have not yet been considered El Nino storms. With more wet weather on the way we have been refining our storm plans and working with our partners to give you the most pertinent information on how to prepare before the storm hits, what to do during, and after.

El Nino Presser AK

Above is a photo taken from an El Nino Press Conference, at the podium is our Executive Director, Anne Kronenberg. For more information on El Nino preparations please look to our blog post ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Everything El Nino.’


AlertSF is our emergency notification system. We encourage you to text ‘AlertSF’ to 888-777 to be added to our distribution list. In the event of an emergency you will receive life-saving information via text message. Please do not wait for an El Nino storm to connect with us!

You can also register at if you would like email notifications in addition to text.

We hope you have had a wonderful holiday season, and we wish you a happy new year! See you in 2016!

DEM Xmas Ugly Sweater