The City of South San Francisco Activates Emergency Operations Center for Bay Area-Wide Training Exercise

South San Francisco, CA   September 20, 2016  Press Release

Hundreds of Bay Area professionals take part in disaster preparedness exercise

SSF OES at Fire Station 61

SSF OES at Fire Station 61

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sep. 20, 2016 – Flood, fire, earthquake; it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. September is recognized as National Preparedness Month and serves as an important reminder to prepare as much as possible for unforeseen emergency situations. Last week, City of South San Francisco staff, members of the South San Francisco Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and key members of regional emergency services personnel activated the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for a Bay Area-wide training exercise.

“We hold training exercises on a quarterly basis in an effort to fine-tune our emergency systems and processes,” affirms Disaster Preparedness Manager Ken Anderson Sr. “It’s important for residents to know that this is something that we don’t take lightly. We are constantly conducting training exercises behind the scenes to strengthen our preparedness and improve coordination within our agency and among our regional partners.”

Last week’s four-hour earthquake exercise, part of Urban Shield, involved hundreds of people working together across the Bay Area to simulate disaster preparedness. The no-fault learning environment allowed personnel to react to information and situations as presented as if the simulated incident were real, building teamwork and a better understanding of roles and responsibilities in the EOC. At the height of the exercise, an actual Commodities Point of Distribution (C-POD) was activated, which acts as a first line of relief to survivors, are designed for large scale catastrophic incidents, and typically operate for three to seven days after an event while retail establishments work to recover. During this exercise, the C-POD was set up to distribute bottled water, just as in an actual emergency. Systems and processes were continually assessed and evaluated by City staff for the duration and post-exercise.

At the conclusion of the exercise, outside evaluators gave the City positive and constructive feedback.

Anderson says that last week’s exercise was timely given September’s National Preparedness Month and encourages residents to not wait to make a plan. Find more information about National Preparedness Month, including tips from the South San Francisco Fire Department in the latest City newsletter.

Local Resources:

San Mateo County Alert System: SMC ALERT. Stay informed! Go to and sign up to receive alerts on your cell phone and via email. You will be notified quickly of tsunamis, floods, fires, road closures, planned events with traffic disruptions, etc.

EngageSSF. Our mobile phone app, Engage SSF, is a great tool to report non-emergency issues to facilitate emergency preparations in your area. More information on Engage SSF can be found on our website:

SSF Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). If you are interested in joining the SSF Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), please contact:

Ken Anderson Sr., Disaster Preparedness Manager
City of South San Francisco Fire Department
(650) 829-4337

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