Bay Area Leaders To Build Disaster Communications System

September 14, 2007

San Francisco Bay Area leaders have announced plans to develop a system that will allow the region’s public agencies to communicate with each other when an earthquake or other major disaster strikes.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and other public officials made the announcement at a news conference on Treasure Island this week, the six-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Officials said the system would help Bay Area agencies avoid the communication problems that hindered emergency responders during the Sept. 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The Bay Area Public Safety Interoperable Communications Initiative would be the largest multi-city urban collaboration of its kind, covering Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, officials said. It also will connect to Sacramento, to help with the state’s coordination of disaster relief.

The project is expected to cost about $200 million, with most of the funding from grants.

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