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Preparedness and Response Event

ARLINGTON, VA – APRIL 22, 2015 — The American Red Cross in the National Capital Region and The United Way of the National Capital Area hosted a preparedness and response forum with keynote speaker Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, W. Craig Fugate at George Mason University. The event helped raise awareness and increase collaboration among DC, Maryland and Virginia community leaders to prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters.

The forum included a panel discussion with Jack Brown, Director, Arlington County Office of Emergency Management; Sandra Hawthorn, Director Emergency Actions, US Office of Personnel Management; Rob Stewart, Advanced Technology and New Business, Pepco and Paul Carden, Regional Disaster Officer, American Red Cross. The discussion included specifics on emergency preparedness, the role of local community networks, personal, organizational and community preparedness and response as well as risk mapping.

Participants also took part in a large-scale interactive disaster scenario – a Category 5 Hurricane hitting the Atlantic Coast that was facilitated through social media and will result in a community action plan. Event sponsors included Pepco, Comcast NBCUniversal and Constant Contact.

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.

About United Way of the National Capital Area:

Focusing on the critical areas of education, financial stability and health, United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) and its nonprofit members not only provide immediate relief of social problems affecting the community, but also work to alleviate the underlying causes of these issues. Serving the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties for nearly 40 years, United Way NCA works to inspire acts of caring, deliver hope and improve lives. For more information, visit