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I had just sat down to watch on TV my beloved San Francisco Giants play the Oakland A’s in the 1989 World Series. I suddenly felt a vibration and knew immediately we were experiencing an earthquake. Living in the Bay Area all my life I wasn’t too scared or nervous. As a matter of fact I was trying to calculate the potential Richter number. However, as the shaking got more violent I thought, “Could this be the “Big One?”. When my TV fell to the floor I was convinced that this was the “Big One” that geologists had predicted.

However, after studying the results of the Loma Prieta earthquake, the folks at US Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park concluded that this was NOT the “Big One.” Geologists said that Foster City, due to its advanced engineering, had survived the quake quite well, overcoming a lot of folks’ opinions that our city would fall into the Bay when a big earthquake hit.

One statement that was made by USGS did make me a bit uncomfortable. They said that the real “Big One” could occur sometime in the next 30 years. Back in 1989 a 30-year window didn’t seem to be a big deal. Fast forward from 1989 to today and do the math. The 30 year window will close in the year 2019, or just 7 years from now.

I am not suggesting that the “Big One” will hit us by the end of the decade as earthquake predictions are not yet an exact science. However, this article is just to remind you to be prepared when the next disaster might strike Foster City. One of the best ways for all of us to be prepared in case of any disaster, including earthquakes, is to be educated and trained. To do this I suggest you check out the training offered through the Community Emergency Response Team or CERT program here in Foster City and offered by our Fire Department.

Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet all the emergency calls to take care of victims. There will be communications breakdowns, road blockages and building collapses. In other words, we will need to take care of ourselves and our neighbors and not count on local fire and medical personnel to rush to our aid for some time.

CERT will train you on fire safety, light search and rescue, medical care and communications skills. CERT also has ongoing classes so that you could learn how to take care of your pets in an emergency or what you should have in your emergency kits such as water, food and medicines. Learn how to take care of yourself by checking out when the next CERT class begins. Go to “www.FosterCityCERT.org” for more information.

For comments on this and other items, please contact me at 650-286-3501 or

Council Corner

February 22, 2012

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200