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American Red Cross To Host Disaster Preparedness Summit

"With the Red Cross marking a century of service to the Chicago region this year, we are working side by side with our partners to improve the resiliency of our communities..."

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois is hosting a free one-day conference on disaster planning this week for leaders representing more than 75 business, government and community organizations.

The 6th Annual American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Summit is Thursday, Aug. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, Gleacher Center located at 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive in downtown Chicago. Participants can register at or (312) 907-2008.

The conference will focus on mitigation and vulnerability reduction with program topics that include:

  • Natural Disasters and Climate Change
  • Flood and Hazard Mitigation
  • Understanding Risk: Freight Rail Transportation
  • Infectious Diseases: From Measles to Ebola
  • Cyber Security and
  • Emerging Threats.
  • “Our annual disaster planning event continues to advance the dialogue of collaboration and shared learning among leaders from local public and private sectors,” said Fran Edwardson, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “With the Red Cross marking a century of service to the Chicago region this year, we are working side by side with our partners to improve the resiliency of our communities. We need to be ready for disasters of any size, big or small, for the next 100 years.”

    Facilitating these discussions are business, government and nonprofit leaders from:

  • Aon
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • BNSF Railway
  • Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM)
  • CSX Transportation, Inc.
  • DisasterDoc
  • DKI Ventures, LLC
  • FBI Chicago Division
  • FEMA Region V
  • Illinois Commerce Commission
  • Illinois Office of Water Resources
  • Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF)
  • Lake County Storm Water Management
  • Motorola Solutions
  • Verizon, and
  • Zurich of North America.
  • American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois board of directors members Craig Hindman, retired Executive Vice President of ITW, and Katherine Mabe, President, Business to Business of Allstate Insurance Company, are serving as the program emcees.

    The annual summit provides participants, from both public and private sectors, with disaster preparedness planning tools and resources from subject-matter experts on tactics for resiliency and continuity.

    The event is free of charge for participants thanks to the generous support of Signature Sponsors Aon, CSX, Grainger, Motorola Solutions Foundation, and Zurich of North America, with additional support from the United Way.

    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 @RedCross.