Today is the 22nd anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake (click on this for some photographic reminders of the disaster), so I was going to sit down and write a post about having an earthquake kit in place, but I did that recently and I don’t want to get repetitious.
Instead, I will tell you about a program to keep San Franciscans in their everyday lives — not just when there’s a natural disaster. Representatives from San Francisco SAFE (Safety Awareness for Everyone) spoke at my neighborhood group’s meeting last week, and I came away from the presentation with a healthy respect for the work they do. Their mission:
San Francisco SAFE, Inc. (Safety Awareness for Everyone) is a non-profit organization that guides residents, business owners, and community members to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. SAFE provides education and support regarding public safety and assists community members in identifying and resolving issues of crime and violence. SAFE partners with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to provide crime prevention education and organizing support for communities and Neighborhood Watch groups. We engage and empower community members to take an active role in problem-solving and working together to create safe, vibrant neighborhoods. We believe that everyone in San Francisco has the right to be safe.
One of their most important recommendations is to form Neighborhood Watch groups. We have a tendency in a big city like San Francisco to live in our own worlds, not interacting much with our neighbors. But when everyone on a block meets, gets to know each other, and commits to keeping an eye on the vicinity, it’s likely that crime will drop — and you might make some new friends in the process. Interested in forming a neighborhood watch group in your area? Check out the brochure that SAFE produced to explain the get-going process. Or you might already be in a neighborhood watch area and not even know it — check the map.
Now that that’s out of the way, go make sure your earthquake kit is stocked, and at 5:04 PM this evening, remember Loma Prieta.