San Francisco Emergency Plans

As part of its emergency management program, Department of Emergency Management maintains a number of City-wide emergency plans to ensure that the City is ready to respond to a variety of threats and hazards.


These plans are consistent with Standardized Emergency Management System and National Incident Management System and are coordinated with state and federal plans. To ensure that plans are actionable for use during an emergency, key stakeholders from City agencies and non-governmental groups are engaged in the development and exercise of these plans.


Local Plans and Planning Resources

Strategic goals, objectives, and examples of performance indicators to enhance the City’s ability to deter, prevent, respond to, and recover from natural and human-caused disasters. The Strategic Plan also identifies lead and support agencies responsible for the execution of these strategies.

Describes the City’s natural and human-made hazards, identifies actions we can take to reduce their effects, and establishes a process for implementing the plan. An approved plan makes San Francisco eligible for federal hazard and flood mitigation grant funding before and after a Presidentially-declared disaster.

In a catastrophic event such as an earthquake, San Francisco may be faced with the enormous task of managing various types of disaster debris. This plan indicates the steps to plan and prepare for debris collection, removal, processing, and disposal in advance of a disaster.

Emergency Response Plan

All-hazards response and restoration plan describing the coordination, roles and responsibilities of responding agencies and how the City works with state and federal partners during an emergency.

Provides guidance for the effective coordination of citywide transportation response activities and identifies the actions of all involved entities during threatened or actual disaster events within the City and County of San Francisco. 

Provides the citywide capability to receive and transmit priority communications traffic during an imminent or actual emergency event that necessitates expanded coordination of communications systems.

Public Works and Engineering provides guidance for initial size-up, rapid needs, and preliminary disaster safety reports on the areas that are affected, damaged, and destroyed during an emergency event. This information determines the need for and location of emergency access routes, the need for restoration of critical services, and prioritization of clean up and repair efforts.

This applicable to all City and County of San Francisco departments and agencies that have a role in debris management. This scalable for any debris-generating event, but is specifically tailored to support debris management operations for a catastrophic earthquake on the San Andreas or Hayward fault. 

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to the City agencies on 1) the organization and coordination of post-disaster safety and structural assessment, with the goal of maximizing resources by conducting and reporting assessments in an effective and efficient manner, and 2) coordinating the City’s response to a request for mutual aid safety assessment evaluators.  

Provides a coordinated response of firefighting resources for the mitigation of urban fires, structural fire, and any other fire-related event resulting from a natural, man-made, or technological disaster.

Provide core management and administrative functions in support of the City and County of San Francisco Emergency Operations Center and associated departmental and field operations. 

Provide a framework for how the City and County of San Francisco will address the mass care, housing, basic health, and human service needs of persons affected by a disaster event.

Provide practical and technical assistance to City staff and shelter workers with a role in ESF #6 service delivery.

Provides guidance for coordinating resources needed to support planned events, emergency response, and recovery operations.

Provide an organized local capability for effective management of City and County of San Francisco Urban Search and Rescue operations.

Provides for a coordinated response to imminent or actual oil and hazardous materials incidents within the City and County of San Francisco that pose a threat to live, environment, and property.

Provides guidance on the effective conduct of City and County of San Francisco animal care responsibilities prior to, during, and immediately following a significant, large-scale incident.

Provides guidance on local assistance and resources to enable restoration of water systems and utilities in as soon as possible following a large-scale City and County of San Francisco event.

Establishes a framework for Public Information Officers in the Mayor’s Office, in the Emergency Operations Center, and at the scene of the incident(s) to collaborate and perform the functions of emergency public information in the City and County of San Francisco.

Plan addresses cyber incidents that have or could potentially degrade, damage, or destroy information systems in City Departments, Agencies, Offices, and Commissions. High focus will be given to cyber incidents affecting City government critical functions and infrastructure.

The Winter Storm and Flood Plan is an annex to the Emergency Response Plan.  This Plan is focused on the City and County of San Francisco response to hazardous winter weather events.

The primary function of a Continuity of Operations Plan is to help a department/agency identify its essential functions, and build a plan to maintain those core functions following a disruption of service.

Periodically the mayor issues an executive directive that provides department heads guidance on specific steps they should take with their organizations.

Regional Plans

All-hazards framework defining procedures for regional coordination, collaboration, decision-making and resource sharing among emergency response agencies in the Bay Area.

Describes the coordination of regional efforts for the provision of emergency temporary shelter, mass feeding, and other basic human needs to residents and visitors in the Bay Area who require such assistance following a regional emergency or disaster.

Describes how emergency communications systems, strategies, tactics, and procedures supplement day-to-day communications systems to meet communications requirements during regional emergencies and disasters.

Provides an overview of the established Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System and its relationship to the Regional Emergency Operations Center during emergency response to a regional event. 

Provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities of each of the agencies responsible for hazardous materials response and how hazardous materials response resources are managed during the response to a regional event. 

Provides an overview of the established Law Enforcement Mutual Aid System and its relationship to the Regional Emergency Operations Center during emergency response to a regional event. 

Describes the general approach of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and other entities in coordinating the influx of out-of-region and out-of-state resources and commodities that can be expected following a catastrophic incident such as a major earthquake.

Describes how the Regional Emergency Operations Center Medical and Health Branch, the Regional Disaster Medical Health Coordinator, and the Regional Disaster Medical Health Specialist coordinate information and medical and health resources through the Medical Health Mutual Aid System.

Describes operational concepts relating to recovery, identifies components of a recovery organization, and describes general responsibilities of the Office of Emergency Services and other entities for the restoration of communities in the region.

Provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities of each of the agencies responsible for transportation activities, and specific definition and guidance for the Regional Emergency Operations Center in the event of a regional emergency that requires information on, coordination of, or mutual assistance among regional transportation entities.