Emergency Preparedness And Response: Lessons From The Loma Prieta Earthquake

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Disaster Research Center
One of the most costly and damaging disasters in U.S. history, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake was the largest earthquake to strike California since 1952 and the most devastating to hit the San Francisco Bay Area since 1906. From the earliest hours following impact, as initial reconnaissance efforts got under way, it was evident that Loma Prieta would become an important case study for the various disciplines concerned with earthquake hazard reduction. Because Loma Prieta presented such an obvious opportunity to learn more about the earthquake hazard, an unprecedented number of studies were undertaken in the earth sciences, engineering, and the social science. At this point, a little more that three years after the event, an enormous amount of data have been collected and a lot has been learned on a wide range of topics. This paper focuses on the lessons for emergency preparedness and response that have resulted from that research. After presenting a brief overview of research on Loma Prieta, the paper considers research findings and practical implications related to the actions of individuals, households, and the public at large; groups and organizations, and government agencies and the intergovernmental system.
Emergency Preparedness, Loma Prieta Earthquake