Lifelines performed an important role in emergency response and restoring the community after the 17 January 1994 Northridge earthquake. Telecommunications, radio, and electronic media played a valuable role in directing emergency response for essential services, directing the repairing of damaged lifelines and informing the public of vital information. Water supply was necessary where available for public fire protection. Highways and roads were used to move rescue, repair, fire, and medical teams and their supplies and equipment to the damaged areas. Although the Northridge earthquake was severe, the lifeline disruption represented a relatively small percentage of inconvenience to the total population served within the total earthquake impact area. The 1994 Northridge event showed improvement in the seismic performance of lifeline facilities and equipment installed and built, under modern seismic codes, since the 1971 San Fernando earthquake.

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