More Preparation for Earthquake Needed
While preparations for an earthquake in the eight-county San Francisco Bay area have progressed, "much work remains," as some hospital and other buildings are still in danger of collapse, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development in 2001 reported that 975 of the state's 2,507 hospitals could collapse during a major earthquake. Under state law, hospitals must retrofit or replace at-risk buildings by 2008 to meet seismic safety standards, but many hospitals have qualified for a five-year extension.
Some hospitals have closed because they cannot afford to comply with the mandate, while other hospitals are trying to raise funds through voter-approved bond measures.
In addition, a network of local groups and government agencies, called the Collaborative Agency Disaster Relief Effort, will host a conference on Wednesday to discuss dealing with vulnerable populations including the elderly, people with disabilities, children, immigrants and people who do not speak English during an earthquake or other disaster (Wronge, San Jose Mercury News, 4/6).