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American Red Cross Hosting Disaster Preparedness Summit

The American Red Cross is hosting a one-day conference on disaster planning Aug. 21 for leaders representing more than 75 business, government and community organizations so they can be prepared to partner and mobilize when disaster strikes.

The America Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Summit is Wednesday, Aug. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the University of Chicago, Gleacher Center, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive. The fourth annual conference is free of charge thanks to the sponsorship of corporate donors. Participants can register at

This year’s theme Response & Capacity and Capability Building will focus on use of skilled workforces in emergency planning, the role of social media during disasters, and sharing resources between public and private entities to recover faster from the unexpected.

Andrew Velasquez, Administrator for Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region V, which serves the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, is the keynote speaker. Other experts in preparedness and response, safety and security, and emergency management will lead and participate in panel and group discussions.

“When disaster strikes, it’s critical that the government, business, and nonprofit communities work together to make sure people and infrastructures are safe,” said Motorola Solutions Foundation Director Matt Blakely. “Motorola Solutions Foundation is proud to partner with the American Red Cross; they and Motorola Solutions are often working side by side during disasters - supporting first responders and making sure people are safe and well informed.”

The summit provides participants, from both public and private sectors, with disaster preparedness planning tools and resources to keep crucial operations running and to coordinate planning efforts before, during and immediately following a disaster.

Support from generous sponsors including Signature Sponsor Motorola Solutions Foundation; Presenting Sponsors Aon and CSX; and Program Sponsor W.W. Grainger, Inc. in addition to the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago made this event possible.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @ChicagoRedCross.