First day of Fleet Week in San Francisco kicks off with emergency drill

Monday, October 1, 2018
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Forty different private, public and volunteer agencies assembled Monday morning for an emergency drill at San Francisco's Pier 96.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The first day of October also means the first day of San Francisco's Fleet Week. Once again, the Blue Angels will take to the sky, but before the fun, an exercise to help keep us safe.

Forty different private, public and volunteer agencies assembled this morning for an emergency drill at San Francisco's Pier 96.

The group responded to a pretend earthquake. There were two sides to the drill. One assumed communications would be down in the city and different groups would have to truck in communications equipment.

VIDEO: What is San Francisco's Fleet Week?

"These folks are looking at their satellite phones and how do we talk to people and who is in charge and how do we work together as a group," said Jill Raycroft. She is with San Francisco's Department of Emergency Management and is the director of the drill.

The other side of the drill assumes the city's infrastructure is badly damaged and fuel is not available. The Navy and the Marines would bring fuel from San Diego.

"With the Navy, we would have barges off shore and pump it into containers and fuel bladders and then move it to ports of distribution in the city," said Col. Jim Henshien with the US Marine Corps.

VIDEO: Best moments from SF's 2017 Fleet Week air show Friday

This is the only fleet week in the country that builds a drill into the week. But others are paying attention and starting to work toward creating their own.

"They're working on it. We are working with our friends in LA, San Diego and New York. Getting all these folks out to a big pier in San Francisco is unique," said Raycroft.

Authorities say all these agencies, of course, already had a plan in place on paper. But meeting each other takes it to a new level.

"Until you exercise or practice the plan, we have to see if the plan really works. We have heard a lot from this which has been really helpful," Raycroft said.

Take a look at the latest news and best videos from Fleet Week here.

PHOTOS: 2017 Fleet Week air show over San Francisco

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The Parade of Ships and Navy's Blue Angels roared back to dazzle crowds in San Francisco for Fleet Week 2017. (KGO-TV)