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Local Red Cross Announces Prepare San Diego Update

American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties Announced the Prepare San Diego Program Update with New Focus on Communities and Businesses 

Individuals completed one million preparedness actions during the original four-year initiative 

SAN DIEGO – October 19, 2017 – The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties marked the close of the original four-year Prepare San Diego regional resiliency initiative and announced the revised program which will continue to help prepare the San Diego region for human emergencies and disasters. 

“We are proud of the fact that over one million preparedness actions were recorded throughout the original four-year Prepare San Diego initiative, but we can’t stop there” said Dave Geier, local Red Cross Board Chair and Senior Vice President of Electric Operations, San Diego Gas & Electric. “We want all San Diego County residents to be ‘Red Cross Ready’ – get a kit, make a plan and be informed. In addition, we urge community organizations and businesses to get prepared, too.” 

The new website has step-by-step preparedness information for individuals with downloadable checklists to build homemade emergency kits and links to buy ready-made kits. There are easily accessed guidelines for making a family disaster plan and information on how to be prepared for and respond to potential emergencies that could happen in this region. The local Red Cross will work to prepare communities through on-going Sound the Alarm smoke alarm installation events where free smoke alarms are installed in homes and escape plans are reviewed with residents in an effort to prevent home fire deaths and injuries. Nationwide, 268 lives have been saved by smoke alarms installed by the American Red Cross and a total of more than 5,500 smoke alarms will be installed throughout the local region this fiscal year. Disaster education presentations, particularly for youth, seniors and high-risk communities, are an integral component of the Prepare San Diego efforts. 

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 40% of businesses fail following a disaster. The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties created the Business Leadership Council to bring together a group of dynamic business leaders to create a sustainable network that encourages preparedness, carries out response and recovery, and strives for resilience in the face of disaster. Businesses of all sizes can join the Ready Rating program to access a free resource center to improve their emergency preparedness. 

“Local businesses have an opportunity to take the lead on preparedness for their own operations and to encourage personal preparedness among employees along the way,” said Charlene Zettel, Interim Regional CEO of the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties. “Following a disaster, the Red Cross is there to help with immediate needs like shelter, food and comfort, but the ability to return to work is necessary for individuals’ and families’ livelihoods. We need our local businesses to be prepared for potential emergencies so they can re-open after a disaster and allow people to get back to work.” 

As a part of Prepare San Diego, there are several key events scheduled in 2018. A “training tournament” will be held in January 2018 as month of intensive training for local Red Cross volunteers to be even more prepared to respond to a need for sheltering and feeding individuals displaced by an emergency. In March 2018, the Disaster Preparedness Academy covers important business resiliency topics like emergency preparedness, cybersecurity and developing continuity plans. In May 2018, the Shelter of Hope fundraising and awareness-raising campaign will incorporate new preparedness elements. Additional Prepare San Diego events will be announced throughout the year. 

 Prepare San Diego announcement was held in the local Red Cross Disaster Operations Center, a state-of-the-art communications center where Red Cross leaders and volunteers coordinate disaster response activities, including opening shelters and providing other critical Red Cross services to disasteraffected areas. 

For more information about the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties, please visit 

About the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties 

The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties is the most trusted community service organization in education, preparation and response to natural disasters and human emergencies. With the public’s ongoing support, we provide lifesaving preparedness training; disaster relief services; services to deployed military personnel and their families, and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Through Prepare San Diego, a regional resiliency initiative, the Red Cross brings together key community and business leaders from the region to create a sustainable network that encourages preparedness, carries out response and recovery plans, and strives for resiliency in the face of disaster, meeting all aspects of the disaster lifecycle. 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 connect with us on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter. 

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