More than 1,500 people streamed out of Civic Center buildings as emergency vehicles descended on the plaza Friday morning.

A multi-agency work group aimed at disaster preparedness held its second joint evacuation exercise today, called “Civic Response 2011.” Alarms sounded at 10:30 this morning in several local and state buildings, including San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, the Public Utilities Commission and Hastings College of the Law.

Michael Trevino, spokesman for the exercise said this year, they tried to change it up a bit by keeping area roads open.

“In the event of an actual emergency you probably wouldn’t have the streets already closed for people to come across,” said Trevino. “We introduced that wrinkle today.”

City Hall employees didn’t seem to mind the unexpected break. But the drill did disrupt a few weddings.

No sooner had Lindsay Crittenden said, “I do,” when the alarm sounded.

“And I started laughing,” said Crittenden, “because it started going ‘wooh wooh’”

Edith Jaime and her fiancé Jacinto weren’t quite as lucky. They had to settle for a ceremony on the sidewalk in front of City Hall. But Edith said the change of venue didn’t dampen the occasion.

“It was fine for me, it was more fun, said Edith. “I thought it was not so special, but once you’re in it, it was nice.”

In less than an hour, employees were back at work.

  • Let’s talk about before and after a disaster, perhaps share your opinion. Here’s mine: what equity unless both sides are equally informed? Crucial information and rights are essential. Someday the new face of insurance will see to it that policyholders are genuinely informed. Meanwhile we’ll make do in the here and now.


Mina Kim

Mina Kim is KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators.

Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland.

Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.

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