Water Supply in regard to Fire Following Earthquake, PEER Report 2011-08


A major earthquake in Los Angeles, San Diego or the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to result in numerous fires. A survey of fire and water agencies (with responses from those serving about one third of urbanized California) found poor understanding of the post-earthquake fire issue, and poor communication between fire and water agencies on this issue. In order to mitigate this problem, it is recommended that meetings should be held within the California fire service and the California water distribution community, to highlight this problem and enlist both communities in an effort to develop state-wide requirements for post-earthquake firefighting water supply target goals, to be achieved by a given date. Possible ways of assuring satisfactory post-earthquake water supply may include development of a standardized California portable water supply system for use in major urban areas , consideration of a saltwater high pressure system for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area (Los Angeles and Orange counties), to be used in conjunction with the PWSS, and development and deployment of neighborhood equipment container caches, for use by NERT, CERT, and other volunteers, to enhance their currently very limited post-disaster firefighting capability.

Graphic Handout: - Fire Following Earthquake: Will water be there for firefighters?

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Charles Scawthorn
Publication date: 
November 1, 2011
Publication type: 
Technical Report
Scawthorn, C. (2011). Water Supply in regard to Fire Following Earthquake, PEER Report 2011-08. Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA.