By Kristin Hogan, SF DEM
Last week the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) opened Safe Enough to Stay, an exhibit for the public that teaches us what steps we should take to make San Francisco a Resilient City. Within the exhibit is a recreation of a San Francisco apartment, which allows visitors to experience what living in a retrofitted home after a major earthquake might be like, along with recommendations to make our homes safe enough to stay. The exhibit is in support of the SPUR report, Safe Enough to Stay.
Several of us at DEM went to the opening and had a similar experience: seeing a San Francisco-esque apartment replica with damages an earthquake would likely cause really drove home (forgive the pun) the core message of the exhibit, that staying at home after an earthquake really is doable.
“People would far prefer sleeping in their own beds as opposed to living in a shelter” said Laurence Kornfield, Special Assistant to the San Francisco City Administrator in the San Francisco Earthquake Safety Implementation Program. “Not to mention, most of us have a big concern about the security of our homes should we leave, so if the building is not leaning or obviously structurally damaged, most homes are safe enough to stay.”
DEM is a leading agency in recovery planning for San Francisco and knows a vital factor in our ability to recover is that San Francisco residents are able to stay in their homes. And as SPUR stated in the report, Safe Enough to Stay, the city has a limited number of emergency-shelter beds, and its ability to provide interim housing is constrained by low vacancy rates and minimal vacant land. This means San Francisco is at risk of losing its most important asset: its people.
Thank you SPUR for creating a resonating experience that educates us on how to stay in our homes after an earthquake. The exhibit is free to the public and will run through April 18, 2012.
Stay tuned for more updates and an inside look of the construction of this exhibit.