SF Community Agencies Responding to Disaster


SF CARD – San Francisco Community Agencies Responding to Disaster – connects nonprofit, faith-based and private organizations with the network and knowledge they need to continue providing critical services after a disaster. We help organizations prepare for emergencies as small as a one-alarm fire and as large as a massive disaster wreaking havoc across the region. SF CARD’s function is threefold: Preparedness, Response and Recovery.

Our Mission

To ensure that nonprofit and faith-based organizations serving the greater San Francisco Bay Area’s vulnerable populations are prepared for a disaster; to play a central role in the coordination of these organizations in their disaster preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.

Our History

The idea for SF CARD sprang from the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Local nonprofit and faith-based organizations’ immediate response and leadership in the recovery phase of the disaster made their importance evident to local response agencies.

In 1994, SF CARD formally began its coordination initiatives to support local agencies and the vulnerable populations they serve.

For more than 22 years, SF CARD has been a leader in providing emergency management programs and services to the nonprofit sector and the faith-based community. In recent years, SF CARD has expanded its services beyond San Francisco to several Bay Area counties.

Today, SF CARD is one of the most respected and well-established intermediary agencies dedicated to organizational disaster resilience, and an essential link between those agencies and public sector first responders. The San Francisco Foundation hired SF CARD to provide technical assistance and training services to 45 agencies in five Bay Area counties: San Francisco,  Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo.

SF CARD is also keeping an eye on the future. With climate change, for instance, communities need to be concerned about the impact of rising temperatures on vulnerable populations. The Walter and Elise Haas Fund has enlisted SF CARD over the years to help local congregations prepare heat wave response plans for their senior parishioners.

Our Milestones

  • Worked with more than 400 nonprofit and faith-based organizations throughout the Bay Area.

  • One of only seven organizations in the United States awarded a CDC Foundation Grant in 2013.

  • Honored with the Business Recovery Managers Association (BRMA) Award for Excellence for Community Disaster Preparedness in 2011 for coordinating a multi-sector response and recovery network.

  • Administer the San Francisco VOAD Program (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and membership on NorCal VOAD.

  • Membership on San Francisco Mayor’s Disaster Council and San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disability Disaster Committee.

  • Membership on Earthquake Country Alliance and local and state Citizen Corps Councils.

  • Works directly with San Francisco Department of Emergency Management to respond to local and regional disasters.

  • Worked with California Volunteers on continued development of disaster-resilient standards for nonprofits.

  • Deployed staff to national disasters such as Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana in 2008 and Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast U.S. in 2012.



SF CARD helps many different types of organizations become better prepared so they can respond to any disaster and continue to provide services to your clients.

  • Disaster Resilient Organization (Nonprofit) Services – SF CARD helps nonprofit, direct-service agencies train and plan for continuity of operations in an emergency.

  • Congregational Emergency Preparedness Services – SF CARD helps congregations of all faiths train and plan for continuity of operations in an emergency.

  • Private For-Profit Organizations and Businesses – SF CARD works with C-level leadership to train businesses and organizations through “lunch and learns,” and helps to create and review businesses continuity plans (BCPs).



SF CARD responds to the San Francisco Emergency Operations Center during declared emergencies to act as community liaison to nonprofit and faith-based organizations.

SF CARD also works with the Human Services Agency Care and Shelter Department Operations Center to coordinate response activities concerning feeding, sheltering and ensuring vulnerable populations are considered.

San Francisco community organizations selected SF CARD to serve as the administrator for the San Francisco VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) program.



SF CARD works with long-term recovery organizations to coordinate local nonprofit and faith-based organizations’ efforts to help people rebuild their lives after a disaster.

SF CARD is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization