SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco’s NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams) team came out to help residents prepare for the next big earthquake on Saturday, October 15.

For about two hours, the team held drills on what to do during a natural disaster. Some of the instruction included treating patients for minor and serious injuries. These skills included how to control airways, breathing, shock, and how to remove heavy objects in the way of people. This was the first in-person class since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. They held the class at St. Ignatius School campus in the city’s Outer Sunset district. 

Brandon Tom, who is the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team Program Coordinator, spoke with The San Francisco News in an interview. He said that this was the first city wide drill which drew in 128 people when 151 RSVP’d for the classes. “For our standards 300 or 400 would have been expected but post pandemic things have changed,” said Tom.

NERT was established in 1989 after the Prieta earthquake hit the area. The earthquake was registered as a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. NERT certification is free and is open to anyone who would like to learn and help out. They have helped about 25,000 people in the city of San Francisco since their inception.

“San Francisco is made up of many neighborhoods. We are training San Francisco residents to be one ready community when it counts. Together we can create a lifeline between your family and neighbors, and the City’s emergency responders,” according to the organization’s website.

According to USGS, the best guess is that 1906-type earthquakes occur at intervals of about 200 years. The earthquake that hit San Francisco in 1906 is the most powerful in Northern California’s recorded history. 

Canyon News reached out to the NERT team for more information, but did not hear back before print. 

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