tv [untitled] December 15, 2011 1:00am-1:30am PST
loma prieta. he and his wife worked hard to make the city of berkeley a national center of disaster resilience. mayor bates will discuss the importance of citizen awareness as loma prieta engaged with the city to address emergency preparedness headon. let's welcome mayor bates to the podium. [applause] >> thank you, paul. thank you very much. it's a pleasure to be at this beautiful building and i was reflecting back and i was at the baseball game 22 years ago. how many of you were at the baseball game? i am the only one. two of us. i was sitting underneath the -- canned really stick park underneath second deck when the earthquake happened. the whole deck was like moving over us. i was thinking, that close from being killed because if it came down it would have been a
disaster. the trick was trying to get back to berkeley. i come on public transportation and a friend of mine had a tv. as you can imagine one of these portable tv's. we realized that it wasn't running and the bridge was down. so it was quite an adventure getting back. what actually happened, i was able to get a bus that was headed down the peninsula and i asked them if they would give me a ride to the airport. i walked to the airport and rented a car and ended up going around san jose to get back. a lot of my friends did not get back for a day or so. it was quite an eye opener to me. i have been an elected public official for a long time. during that time i have been very interested and concerned about disaster and disaster preparedness and how we can
mitigate and plan and demand so when it happens we're prepared. and at berkeley -- i won't give you the whole litany -- but berkeley is one of those communities that is highly educated. we have 22 nobel prize winners from brerkly. the gentleman from fema, we have more people take "the new york times" percent-wise than new york city. we also take "the chronicle" in higher percentage than people? san francisco. i don't know. people in berkeley have been extremely generous. we have one of the highest tax rates in the nation. you know, not just in the state but in the nation, and people have still said it's important for them to deal with disaster preparedness and to make steps -- earthquake our schools. so the citizens of berkeley have actually approved $362 million in bonds to strengthen our schools, all 16 schools have been strengthened or re
paired or reconstructed. the city now has an earthquake-safe emergency command center. they've given us money to be able to -- what i really like, it's a really cool thing, an emergency water supply where they take it down to the bay and drop it in the bay and they can pump water all the way up to the hills if need be. or they can go to the lakes behind the city and tap in there and bring water. so when the earthquake occurs, we don't have any water, well, we will have some water because we're going to be able to do that. we'll be able to use that supply. so that's been good. but the other thing that's happened is that we have recognized for a long time, look at -- as they indicated earlier, 72 hours is what you are going to be on your own. so we have to figure out ways in which we empower those communities and the nonprofit sector to take charge because it's going to be a long time before the city is going to be able to help them. so we have now about 60 caches.
these are emergency stashes we put out in the community that's all over the community and they are in people's garages. they're available to that immediate neighborhood. in addition to having those stashes available things like emergency supplies. you can break in doors and open cars and have plans to cut off utilities, to be able to stop the gas lines so people know exactly how to do that. god help you if i -- i will give you a splint and things like that. but people are thinking along that line. in 2005 berkeley said we need a mitigation plan, a recovery plan. so we're the first city in the nation to actually have that plan and we continue to upgrade that plan because it's important to not just to have it but continue to upgrade it and for people to be able on
the alert. then lastly, i'd like to mention what berkeley has done which i think has been remarkable was that the people in the city council had the wisdom to say to people when a home changes hands or building changes hand, part of the real estate transfer tax can be used to strengthen your building. to use that money that can be available for people to be able to use the money to make the retrofits to tie the building down, to put it in the sheer walls. to do the things that are really required. and as a convery against, they tell me that over 6 -- and as a consequence, they tell me that over 60% have been retrofitted for emergencies and hopefully when the big one comes we'll be in a situation where we'll see that our buildings do survive if they're strengthened enough to survive. i was amazed when i had a beautiful home in the south
part of berkeley. it's on the flats. we had our home earthquake safe in the early 1970's and i talked to this guy and he was saying, you know, a lot of homes are earthquake safe but they really didn't do a very good job. they did it but they thought they were bolting things and make the right kinds of things but in some cases it doesn't -- really wasn't what it was supposed to have been. i said, why don't you come take a look at my house? sure enough, he goes in my house and said, come down here and climb down here and take a look. it's bolted but not bolted very well. you can see the sheer walls are not strong as they should be. in fact, the front of your house, the way it comes out you need to put in a concrete -- a retainer along -- in the basement to tie that end or else you'll lose the front of my house. i ended up spending a lot more money but i feel very confident to the extent, of course, california has earthquake
insurance. i was in the legislature when it passed, and i voted against it. i thought it was too expensive. you can actually put the house back on -- deductible. in north ridge, we know -- when the north ridge earthquake occurred, it was cheaper to put the house back on the foundation than take advantage of the deductible. i canceled my insurance policy and now i'm sitting there hoping i did the right thing but i'm sure i did. we tried to -- we are trying to make sure that people keep vigilant. it's a big problem. i look forward to the panel. there's some dynamite questions. i hope there's enough questions. i don't know if i can answer any of them. but, anyway, i just want to conclude by saying, we're lucky here. we do have an informed public and public that cares about things, cares about making sure we provide the necessary
services, is concerned about the future and concerned about the economic health. when we have that we need to take advantage of that and need to keep people on guard and alert because we know it's not a question of when, you know, if, it's a question of when. with all these issues happening now with climate change and global warming, it can be any number of things so we need to really keep our vigilance up. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, mayor bates. our next is kevin carroll part of the fisherman wharfs community ben fict district. it's a nonprofit that markets fisherman's wharf and work through public planning, bustification programs. the fisherman wharf community benefit program has a peer safe program to prepare for and respond to disasters.
the organization has partnered with the san francisco fire department to host a neighborhood emergency response team trainings that resulted more than 400 community members being certified. kevin will look back how the loma prieta earthquake affected the important commercial and residential area around the fisherman wharf's area to form the community benefit district serving the neighborhood to this date. >> good morning. 22 years ago i was working in hayward, california, and i thought i was prepared. when the earthquake hit, growing up in california i learned to dive under my desk, which i did, and walker in the parking lot and didn't know what to do next when people were telling us what happened and we were trying to figure out what to do. i had $1.25 in my pocket and i had about a gallon of gas in my car and i sat for seven hours
at the san mateo bridge before i realized it wasn't going to happen and i turned around to find a place to stay that night. i am talking about a business district and the work we do to prepare because so many of us will be at our place of work when disaster strikes. the fisherman wharf's community in 1989, i wasn't working on the wharf but i talked to some of the people that were. again, people ran out in the streets. they didn't necessarily take the most -- the best safety precautions as far as what was happening. and we have a unique situation like many of the areas within san francisco at any given time we get tens of thousands of visitors who may have no combrd how to handle an earthquake situation or other disasters and it's up to us as a district to be prepared. one of the things people told me is they did come together, like many communities, and find a way to make things happen. when you think of fisherman's wharf, you have the boats, you have restaurants, you have hotels.
you basically have a lot of the things that you would need, but the communication between the areas was something that was identified that needed to be helped upon. the fisherman wharf's community benefit district, for those that doesn't know, it's a business improvement district. it's called a community benefit district. it's a self-assessment that's voted in for a district to work on what we have been talking about, public safety, public realm, marketing of the wharf and anything that's important. when the district was formed it was realized we needed to do more for disaster preparedness. we started a peer safe program. and people across the district came together that was interested in the topic. it was key. channeling into the people that personally is interested within the corporations and within the district to really help build the organization itself. we have representatives from the hotel industry, the shipping industry, the fishermen themselves, the actual restaurants and then the
major properties. when you think of the square, pier 39, people visiting when things might happen. the organization -- the pier safe committee meets every month. they have pulled people for a lot of reasons but especially with disaster preparedness and that's been helping us out as part of it. communication was key. we started a fishnet radio program every tuesday when you hear the sirens go off at noon, 20 of our properties across the wharf do a radio check with our organization to make sure that they're checking in and we report on that monthly to find out who is and who isn't checking in. it serves as a great reminder. things obviously change and people switch within organizations so if we see that an organization is not checking in we double back with them to find out what's going on and make sure we can have them as part of it. the emergency preparedness group also works on a drill every year, and we just had our drill this last friday in
partnership with the san francisco fire department, the department of emergency management, first 72 hours. we had a drill so the community members that live near the wharf as well as the businesses and employees could come by and learn more about what they can do both personally and professional to prepare. i have to say the nert, and i see shelly sitting up here and aircrafta, the actual -- aircrafta the actual nert is part of it. if you think of a hotel as a small city in and of itself, if you have have an emergency response team and find people to be prepared has helped us. as has been mentioned, we have trained in partnership with the fire department, our hotels have hosted the trainings that have resulted in over 400 people being trained. we do feel like there's still things we need to work on. one -- communications, while they've improved, we still need to do more. i think that's the key message i'd like to leave is that i don't think there's ever a
point we'll be completely prepared. we're always going to have new people come into the district. we are always going to have visitors. how can we stay on top of it, using social media, p.d.a.'s? one of the things we did is pull together all the different property owners, all the security teams within the properties and where he published a list for all of our employees and for all of our businesses. it's a business card that actually opens up and it has all the different organizations to contact and then on the back we actually added emergency earthquake information, fire, what to happen if things happen within your district. so i'd just like to say that for us we think it's something that is obviously changing. i think we can always do more, but i think we have a good, strong groundwork to continue to work forward. at least we are talking to each other all year long so it's not like we are meeting for the first time after a disaster. thank you. [applause]
>> thanks, kevin. our last speaker is charles eddy who has more than 25 years of public agencies and consulting experience in planning and redevelopment at u.c. santa cruz and the cities of santa cruz and watsonville. i very much admire charlie's extensive experience in land use planning and development. after the loma prieta earthquake, charlie was a project manager of the santa cruz downtown recovery plan and he also played a key role in helping watsonville in addressing recovery issues. he's lectured and consulted internationally. most recently in new zealand after the earthquake and written extensively about planning and disaster management. charlie will discuss the extraordinary efforts that will taken to rebuild and restore the business community in santa cruz after the earthquake. and, charlie. [applause]
>> well, i guess in keeping with the confessionals on where were you on october 17, 1989, i have to confess, i was at home. i left work a little early that day. you can guess why. so my wife and i were there and the earthquake hit and we got up and stood under the hallway, archway and, you know, i remember it shook for that 17, 14 seconds, whatever it was. and we were actually in pretty good shape. our house is up on a ledge. hard rock. so the waves pass right through. everything rocked and rolled but it was pretty ok. my wife's frame of references was the 1972 north ridge earthquake so in that earthquake, and this should have been a warning to me fuelly, her house collapsed on her family.
and they were ok but, you know, it was a new house, relatively new house. so, anyway, we walked -- the shaking stopped and we looked around. pretty good. and kim said to me, you know, that wasn't too bad. and then we walked outside and we're up on a marine terrace and overlooking the city and the bay and we looked down there and there's this cloud of yellow dust rising up from the downtown in santa cruz and at that point we both realized that santa cruz had changed forever and we were in for some amazingly difficult adventure, which is basically what it is. so, you know, hearing people talk now 22 years later, it's amazing to me how much things have changed. you hear fema talking about community-based recovery. you see the fire and police people with all the training. you know, none of this existed
back then. so a lot of things have changed. technology. i mean, think about it. here we are, we go to an event and everybody says, turn your cell phone on to silent. then we do that. then we do our email and everything. you know, they gave me a cell phone in 1989 when they gave me the orange vest that said incident commander. and by the way, at that time probably two weeks before the earthquake i wouldn't have known an incident commander from commander cody in the lost planet airman. that's a reference if you're a certain age. but in any case, they gave me the cell phone. remember what a cell phone was like in 1989? it was a sear's die-hard battery. you have to carry this around, charlie. i was like, oh, yeah. ok. it was pretty cool. i tried it a couple times. after about a day of that my shoulders were hurting and
everything. i said, this is a repetitive stress injury waiting to happen. so i kind of scratched that. i think the point is, though, technology can be really important no matter where we are at whatever age and that's something that's always changing so you have to kind of really utilize that. but at the same time certain things stay the same and we have been talking about partnership, right? and what is a partnership with the leading agency which is the local government and the communalt? -- community? it's people. people connecting with people. it's one thing to talk about something in the abstract and it's another thing to actually figure out how to do it in real time with all sorts of things happening at once. and it's tricky. so what i'm going to do -- first of all, i want to say by reference people ask me what recovery is about, and
basically what i've decided now is it starts as a sprint and it ends as a marathon. only when you're sprinting you don't realize it's a marathon. and that's probably a good thing. so you get worn out too soon. but really the sprint part of it is really the emergency response and the immediate aftermath. i say a couple things about that and community engagement with the business community and then the marathon part is really the long-term recovery and i'll say about that and vision santa cruz. so in santa cruz what happened that cloud of yellow dust was actually about a million square feet of the downtown with a third of it collapsing, essentially, or near collapse and a third of it probably ok and a third of it undetermined. the red, yellow, green business which got to eventually.
but what was the right thing to do? at the moment the right thing to do is what police and fire did which was to get everybody out of there and do search and rescue and so that worked really well because they had actually rehearsed that in august and that's what fire and police did and that's what emergency response was. nobody really knew that much about recovery or thought about it. but the first thing that happened is everybody leaves after 24 hours. they're fine with that. then after 48 hours people kind of dust themselves off and get up and say, you know, i got some medicine in my apartment unit downtown or i'm a business and i've got all my records that i need to get. or what am i going to do? all of a sudden at one time multiple needs emerge, and these come into conflict with the fundamental value of keeping everybody safe. so the earthquake was on tuesday, and it wasn't until
friday that the world figured out that loma prieta was not next to san francisco and oakland, that it was down near santa cruz and watsonville and the president of the united states shows up and the first thing that happened is they walk him down the middle of pacific avenue in this area that everybody had been forbidden to go in for the last four days and the business people are kind of going, now, wait a minute. this is the most guarded person in the world and he's going right where you say we can't go. and there are secret service guys up on the roofs of the buildings and all that stuff. so that created a little bit of a problem because, you know, recovery's not singular. recovery is pleural. -- recovery is plural. recovery is thousands of people, individuals, families, groups, organizations, businesses, communities,
regions, each organism in its own way having decisions to make and needing to be empowered to make those decisions and to do the things that they need to do to recover. and, you know, as a public agency you can be in the way of that or you can support it. and it's way better to support it. because what happened in santa cruz is everybody in city hall and the e.o.c. was stumped what to do next. their first thought was, ok, we can't let anybody in until we demolish all the buildings. well, that was a big nonstarter for the business community because their livelihoods depended on getting access to those buildings. so the long story short is after about a week of kind of floundering with what to do, the city kind of reinvented itself and that's when i got plunked in as incident commander and that really i think illustrated two things. one is that you have to
reinvent your organization. even if you're well planned you have to reinvent things because you don't know who's going to be available, you don't know who's going to be stuck on the bridge, you don't know who's going to show up and you really don't know how people individually are going to react. so that was one thing, and the second thing is recognition of part of the mayor and the leadership of the city that they needed to partner with the business community and the downtown. i just happened to be the guy because i had been working a lot with the business community on downtown economic issues in the general plan. i'm a city planner, right, so what do i know about command and control? so anyway what we had to do is basically five things. the first thing is we had to establish trust because there was an adversarial thing going on and it wasn't pretty. and one of the reasons, one of the big reasons people distrust
city hall is they don't feel like they're getting the straight story or they feel like they're being paternalized and people don't like that, particularly small businesses and entrepreneurs. and i can't tell you how many times i heard it from higher ups when i was doing this, loose lips sink ships and that was sort of the thing i heard a lot. and you know i thought about that. i thought, that's really important in world war ii in the north atlantic when you got, you know, german u boats trying to torpedo you. does that really apply here? i kind of reversed that whole notion of holding your cards close and the first thing i did, try to do anyway was get every bit of information i could and then convey it out to people so they could make their own decisions so they felt empowered. and part of that, the second thing is to really understand the big picture.
you get swallowed up in the details after a disaster. believe me, it's just millions of details. somehow you got to stand back from that and figure out the bones of the situation, the big picture, so i was trying to do that as well and that was kind of taking the information. but what happened by sharing information is it was almost immediate transformation to relationship because then suddenly people are saying, oh, ok. this is hard. this is difficult. you know, i said, this is what we know. this is what we don't know. you know, they look at me and say, that pathetic guy, we need to try to help him out. that is what happened essentially, and then we became partners. so we didn't have to spend any time, you know, nert being mad at city hall and people saying, why don't those people like us?
i say bunker mentality is the number one enemy of the e.o.c.'s so the way you can avoid that and open it up -- so the third thing we did is we established a network of communication using the business community and the leadership structure, the chamber of commerce, the downtown association to purble the information back out and also to get feedback in. so we understood what were the big things that people needed. then, we had to build an ad hoc organization and another thing about disasters is they're bigger by definition something you can manage. it's not manageable. that's why it's a disaster, right? if it was manageable, it wouldn't be a disaster, it would be an incident, right? so we had about 15 or 20 people that i brought out of city hall, just picked people i kind of thought would be good at thinking on their feet and didn't need to read a book to now what the rules were. so we brought them and then we
used hundreds of volunteers to support that. and the big project was trying to find a way to get policies and process in place to allow the downtown businesses to start their own recovery which meant faking acceptable risks which meant -- taking acceptable risks which meant, what are acceptable risks? the things that are dicey to trying to figure out and the fire chief tells me fire people will not go in those buildings. by the way, if there is a fire there and leaking gas underneath the street it's going to blow up. you know, comforting things like that. so i asked him to be in charge of finding out what he could about the gas mains underneath the street and i'm still waiting for that report, by the way. [laughter] so the fourth thing was the network and the volunteers and the organization.
the fifth thing was really to get to the substance. you know, what plans did we have to make for individual businesses to have some access in acceptable ways based on engineering that was sort of ongoing, and then we had some bigger plans going on. and the whole project then became one of -- you remember october 17, and then what was the day after thanksgiving? we didn't know it was black friday in those days. it was just thanksgiving. we knew we had the downtown open in some fashion or form. and so then the enterprise shifted to getting these pavilions set up and all the volunteers and structures, leases and use city parking lots and the pavilions. it was an impossible thing that just couldn't have happened except organically with everybody doing stuff. as much as we can empower them, keeping in mind we ha
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