Fire safety was the topic of the day, Saturday, May 18, 2013, as more than 120 volunteers walked and talked throughout the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego. Spearheaded by the preparedness department of the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross, and working in conjunction with the office of District 9 City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, 25 teams of enthusiastic citizens joined in the “I’m Ready and I Know It” a neighborhood canvassing event to help prevent home and canyon fires.
Thanks to the support of the Price Charities and the Azalea Park Neighborhood Association, door hangers teaching residents everything from the importance of smoke detectors, to having evacuation plans practiced and in place, educated 1,639 households in City Heights.
“You are doing the important work of saving lives today,” said Red Cross CEO Tony Young, speaking to the participants as he kicked off the event. Surveying the wide age-range of the crowd, he said “It’s hard to get a lot of young people anywhere on a Saturday morning. However, you are here to help in one of our San Diego neighborhoods most prone to house fires.”
Fire prevention canvassing is one of the most effective methods to engage residents and build healthy communities. Face-to-face conversations were held with approximately 600 residents who were impacted by this community-wide effort.
Locally, the Red Cross responds to an average of a disaster every 24 hours; and the biggest disaster threat is fire. Within the last year, the local Red Cross chapter has joined the City Heights Canyons and Communities Alliance (CCA) to support efforts of improving the health and safety of our local neighborhoods and canyons.
“I was blown away by the number of volunteers who showed up to canvass,” said Linda Pennington, president of the Azalea Park Neighborhood Association, whose community career was launched by the threat of canyon fires three decades ago. “I was delighted to have Red Cross organize a fire prevention canvassing event for City Heights.”
Additional support was offered by:
San Diego Canyonlands, Ocean Discovery Institute, City Heights Canyons and Communities Alliance, Mid City Police Department, San Diego Fire Department, Karen Organization, Alliance for African Assistance, Intrax Cultural Exchange and Educational Programs, Fox Canyon Neighborhood Association, the Nile Sisters and the Bridge of Hope.