Disaster Preparedness

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Nationwide, the American Red Cross responds to an emergency every eight minutes and, locally, the Red Cross responds to one nearly every 24 hours. Most of those emergencies are home fires, but the Red Cross is prepared to respond to any disaster of any size, thanks to our volunteers and donors.

Click here to learn about how the American Red Cross helps in the event of a disaster, including opening shelters, distributing food and emergency supplies, providing health and mental health services and more.

Disaster Operations Center serving San Diego and Imperial Counties and American Samoa

The Disaster Operations Center is a state-of-the-art communication and response coordination center where, in the case of an emergency, Red Cross leaders can coordinate and direct disaster response activities, including opening shelters, delivering food to victims and first responders, assigning trained disaster volunteers to shelters and providing other critical Red Cross services to disaster affected areas.

Completed in Feb. 2012, the disaster operations center features technology that enables seamless communication and collaboration on decisions for real-time incident planning, service delivery and assessment. During large-scale disasters, these capabilities are integrated with other emergency/disaster operations centers, including government and private sector organizations. The disaster operations center also provides space for advanced disaster simulations and training exercises.

Southern California has a high propensity for no-notice events (earthquakes and wildfires, in particular) and this disaster operations center significantly improves our response time management capabilities. The total cost for completing the disaster operations center and the workstations and technology within the room was approximately $700,000 and funded primarily through donations with a portion of funding coming from the Recovery Planning & Assistance fund, as well as other grants designated for community preparedness.

Along with the Red Cross being prepared for emergencies and disasters, we need you to make sure you are as prepared as you possibly can be for potential disasters and other emergencies. Please get prepared before disaster strikes.

Preparedness Programs

Prepare San Diego Logo

Prepare San Diego

The American Red Cross makes it easy for you to prepare your family. Get prepared before disaster strikes. For more information, please visit www.PrepareSanDiego.org or www.PrepareImperialValley.org to find downloadable checklists and preparedness information.

Get Prepared Class

Community Disaster Education

Local Red Cross staff and volunteers can present disaster preparedness information to community groups, covering topics such as how to create an emergency plan, how to build an emergency kit and more. To request a Community Disaster Education presentation, please contact Melissa Altman at melissa.altman@redcross.org.

Workplace Training

Prepare Your Business with Ready Rating

Ready Rating is a free online program offered by the Red Cross that helps businesses, schools and organizations become prepared for disasters and other emergencies. All in one place, Ready Rating members have access to one-of-a-kind tools, resources and information for evaluating and improving their ability to withstand disaster, maintaining operations, and protecting lives and property. Whether you're taking your first steps or have a fully-functioning emergency management program, the Ready Rating program can help you achieve a higher level of preparedness. Please visit www.readyrating.org for more information.

Youth Preparedness

Youth Preparedness

Disasters strike quickly and without warning. They can be traumatic for children and teens, if they don't know what to do. The Red Cross offers specialized disaster education materials for children, students and youth groups. The Red Cross offers the Pillowcase Project, intended for youth ages 8-11 (3rd-5th grade) covering preparedness and coping skills to share with family. For more information on youth preparedness programs, please contact Melissa Altman at melissa.altman@redcross.org.

Sonoma Nurse

Senior Preparedness

The American Red Cross recommends that senior citizens create a personal support network made up of several individuals who will check in on you in an emergency, to ensure your wellness and to give assistance if needed. Our Disaster Preparedness for Seniors presentations focus on the unique challenges seniors may face in a disaster. An online resource is the Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors booklet.

We also recommend that seniors participate in the Vial of Life Project, through which seniors can provide and store important medical history information on their refrigerators so that first responders know where to find it during an emergency.