Loma Prieta Earthquake 22 Years Later

October 17th will never be the same of the calendar for people who lived in the Bay Area in 1989.

On the 22nd anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake that killed  63 people, federal and state emergency officials met with Bay Area leaders  this morning to discuss the role of communities in overcoming natural  disasters.

The discussion was part of a commemorative conference at San  Francisco's City Hall this morning, remembering community actions that helped  the city recover after the quake and urging similar cooperative efforts in  future disasters.

"We promised those we lost and their families that we would be  better prepared, so since Loma Prieta, we've made great strides ... we've  built the city better," California Emergency Management Agency Acting  Secretary Mike Dayton said today.

Dayton said the agency is working to send the message to San  Francisco residents that preparedness is key for future earthquakes and other  emergencies.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Administrator Rich  Serino echoed Dayton's words, highlighting the critical role of "neighbors  helping neighbors" in increasing survival rates during emergencies.

"The most important part of the team is survivors and the public  at large," he said. "They have to be involved in taking care of themselves  and taking care of their communities."

Serino and San Francisco Department of Public Health Director  Barbara Garcia said it's also crucial that members of the public, government  and private businesses -- from large supermarkets to small local restaurants  -- work together to help cities recover from catastrophes.

Police and firefighters are also set to commemorate the quake at  an open house event beginning at 3 p.m. today at the San Francisco Fire  Department Museum.

Bay City News

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