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FEMA Leadership Honors The Anniversary Of The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

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Release date: 
October 17, 2009
Release Number: 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, leadership from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will join the State of California along with numerous national and local emergency preparedness organizations at events across the impacted region in solemn acknowledgement of the 20th anniversary of the San Francisco Bay Area 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake.

“As we pause to remember this tragic event, we are also reminded of the importance of preparedness, not only for governments and first responders, but also for the public,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “FEMA is only one part of the emergency response team. We saw first hand the importance of that team 20 years ago today, and we will continue working with our partners and the public to ensure that our team is prepared before the next emergency or disaster.”

As a part of the agency’s commemoration FEMA Region IX leadership will be participating in events across the impacted region today. Regional Administrator Nancy Ward will deliver remarks at the Marina Earthquake Monument Groundbreaking Ceremony in the Marina District in San Francisco. Deputy Regional Administrator Karen Armes will also deliver remarks at the Cypress Freeway Memorial Park in Oakland, and Harry Sherwood, a Region IX Branch Chief and Public Assistance Officer during the recovery to the earthquake, will participate in a commemoration ceremony in Santa Cruz.  

The Loma Prieta Earthquake struck at 5:04 pm PDT, October 17, 1989 with a magnitude of 6.9. It was the largest earthquake to occur on the San Andreas Fault since 1906. Many lessons learned from the earthquake led to changes in the way FEMA manages disaster response and recovery.  Most significantly was the emphasis on mitigation and preparedness by governments, businesses, and most importantly individuals. FEMA joins the State of California in encouraging people to take steps to ensure they are prepared should another major earthquake or emergency strike. 

On Thursday, FEMA Region IX staff joined the State and millions of Californians in the biggest earthquake drill in history. The drill underscored the importance of preparedness.

For more information on the simple steps individuals can take now to be prepared, please visit

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
July 19, 2012 - 23:02
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