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Red Cross Receives FEMA Recognition for Preparedness Efforts

Washington,Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 — The American Red Cross has received five Individual and Community Preparedness Honorable Mentions from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in recognition of its efforts to make communities safer, stronger and better-prepared for disasters and emergencies.

“These programs are not just about what may happen someday. Each of these programs is making a difference in people’s lives today, even before disaster strikes—building resilience, building community, building confidence. And when a disaster does happen, we will see them pay even more dividends.” said Russ Paulsen, Executive Director of Community Preparedness Programs at the American Red Cross.

Red Cross chapter honorees include: Greater St. Louis (Missouri), Mile High Region (Colorado) and Bay Area (California). Karlynn Workman AmeriCorps volunteer of the Oregon chapter received an individual honorable mention in the Community Preparedness Heroes category. The Red Cross and Hope worldwide partnership was honored in the Whole Community Preparedness category for their Protecting Our Neighbors program.

Chapter Awards

The Greater St. Louis Chapter partnered with the St. Louis City Office of the Disabled on the All Ready Campaign to improve personal preparedness for disabled residents across the region. The campaign focused on motivating people with disabilities to get prepared, training over 100 people to teach preparedness education sessions and convening a summit with more than 75 organizations and 150 community leaders.

The Mile High Region partnered with the local fire department, firefighters museum, and the Denver Public SchoolsOffice of Risk Management for their Simply Safe Program. Program results included teaching more than 33,500 elementary school students and their families’ critical fire, natural-hazard, and household safety information. This partnership increased readiness at home: 65% of the students who underwent preparedness and fire safety training talked to someone at home about what they learned and 50% also completed a family disaster plan.

The Bay Area Chapter’s Youth for Chinese Elderly Program trained 550 bilingual youth, who in turn educated more than 16,000 monolingual Chinese immigrants in lifesaving skills such as disaster preparedness, Citizen-CPR, and Basic First Aid. The trainers also educated more than 2,000 monolingual Chinese seniors and helped more than 1,000 immigrant Chinese youth adapt to their new lives in the Bay Area.

Individual Award

In conjunction with the Oregon Chapter and the Portland-area Red Cross Club, Karlynn Workman implemented the Preparedness Pals Resilience Project, which reached more than 4,000 elementary school students. Students completed six challenges leading to family preparedness through “Preparedness Pals,” a group of puppet-animal characters each representing a specific aspect of disaster preparedness.

Partnership Award

The Red Cross, in partnership with HOPE worldwide created the Protecting Our Neighbors program, a nationwide fire prevention and preparedness program. Since January 2012, 16,000 volunteers have provided 349,000 households with information about fire safety and prevention on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance. HOPE worldwide works with more than 37,000 volunteers in the United States to help communities with disaster preparedness and relief, education, children, workforce development and community outreach.

Contact: Public Affairs Desk, Telephone: (202) 303-5551, FOR MEDIA ONLY

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, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.