The Loma Prieta earthquake was major earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area on October 17, 1989, at approximately 5:04 PM. There were 57 fatalities due to the earthquake. Among them are Hugh Skillen's sister, Charlotte.

Dan Vasser was assigned to save Alan Pratt. Due to the coincidence of the timing of the earthquake, Dan tried to save lives. He tried to call various authorities trying to warn about incoming earthquake, but no one took him seriously. He also tried to save the life of Charlotte Skillen (sister of Dan's boss and friend Hugh Skillen), but was interrupted by Livia Beale. When Dan learned that Alan was going to commit suicide in the days following the Loma Prieta earthquake, he took decisive action to rescue him. Mere minutes before the earthquake, Dan pulled Alan from a gambling room in the Marina District, and confronted Alan about his gambling addiction and suicide plan. As the earthquake struck, Dan rescued Alan inside a store, and Alan realized that he had made it through the earthquake alive.