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Loma Prieta Anniversary: What All Funders Need to Know

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Where were you October 17, 1989? 

Were you here in the Bay Area experiencing the biggest earthquake since the great quake of 1906? Were you living somewhere far away, but watching the images of the collapsed Nimitz freeway on the nightly news?

Today marks the anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. A 7.1 earthquake. That's the force of an atomic bomb. 

As you can imagine--if you didn't live through it--the Loma Prieta earthquake devastated the San Francisco Bay Area. Public transit wasn't working. The Marina District was in shambles. Citizens were walking home from work and the World Series baseball game that had been interrupted by the quake. A section of the Bay Bridge fell onto the lower deck and the Nimitz freeway collapsed.

Twenty five years after the Loma Prieta earthquake most citizens of the Bay Area know they should have an earthquake preparedness kit. A lot of us do. Being prepared offers some peace of mind because it means we're ready to encounter the challenges that will arise--whether that be contacting our family members or having enough food and medicine on hand.

But how are grantmakers preparing? 

If your grantees and the communities they serve are hit hard, how can grantmakers be ready to quickly respond? And more to the point, how can grantmakers help their grantees be prepared before disaster strikes?

But we don't fund disaster preparedness.

Think of it this way, it's less about your funding focus and more about recognizing that here in the Bay Area earthquakes are a part of life. Plus, disasters don't care about your funding focus. They'll happen either way. 

So I invite you to join NCG on October 30th for our program 25 Years After Loma Prieta and Days After Napa. Come explore the role of Philanthropy in preparing, responding and mitigating disasters.