In 2011, the Red Cross Los Angeles Region launched the PrepareSoCal Campaign with the goals of creating a stronger, more prepared and empowered Los Angeles. This initiative focused on helping individuals and families prepare for and respond to a catastrophic earthquake. Thanks to our generous donors, during the last four years, the L.A. Region expanded its capacity to teach community preparedness, recruited and trained more disaster volunteers, secured feeding and sheltering agreements, and improved logistics and communications systems.
Building on the Campaign’s momentum, the Red Cross has now launched PrepareSoCal 2.0 with a focus on building resilience in local communities that are most vulnerable to the impact of all types of disasters, especially home fires.
General disaster preparedness outreach efforts for all age groups in all communities will continue, but a major emphasis for PrepareSoCal 2.0 is to reduce the number of home fire-related deaths and injuries by 25 percent by 2020. As part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, volunteers and community partners are working together to install life-saving smoke alarms and teach preparedness skills at households in vulnerable communities across the Southland.
An estimated 20 percent of the Campaign’s volunteers are students from local high schools and youth organizations.
Timothy Hokanson, a junior at McBride High School in Long Beach and president of the school’s Red Cross Youth Club, has participated in several canvassing events. “Participating makes an impact on the youth volunteers because they can walk away knowing that they have just potentially saved a life.” said Hokanson. “At my very first Home Fire Campaign canvassing in Paramount, each volunteer potentially saved seven lives, which just amazes me.”
As of Nov. 2015, Red Cross volunteers have gone door-to-door in 21 Southland communities and installed more than 2,785 smoke alarms, potentially saving thousands of lives.
(l to r) Red Cross Youth Club volunteers from McBride High School in Long Beach Josephine Nuno, Conner Anderson, Timothy Hokanson, Michael Cleland and Matthew Martinez participate in the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.