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American Red Cross Pocono Chapter to Receive FEMA 2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Award at White House

Northeast Pennsylvania (September 23, 2013) – Last year, the American Red Cross Pocono Chapter received the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Award for their “Kids Home Alone Emergency Preparedness Workshops.” On September 23 and 24, 2013, Pocono Chapter Executive Director Jim Rienhardt and Preparedness and Resiliency Manager Gail Toscano will travel to Washington, DC, where Craig Fugate, Administrator of FEMA, will present them with this prestigious award for the category “Awareness to Action” in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of The White House.

This National award recognizes the innovative practices and achievements of individuals, Citizen Corps Councils and non-profit, faith-based and private sector organizations working throughout the nation to make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared to manage any disaster or emergency event.

The Kids Home Alone Preparedness Workshop was presented to 500 fifth-grade students from the East Stroudsburg School District. Students rotated through eight interactive preparedness “stations” to learn skills for handling emergencies. Stations included: Home Alone and Emergency Preparedness; First-Aid, Pet First-Aid, Home Fire, Lightening and Thunderstorm, Flood and Hurricane; Tornado; and Red Cross Station. Students also learned about different disaster risks, how to prepare family plans, build emergency kits and what to do when emergencies occur. The program included hands-on activities, video lessons, experiments, games, educational displays and personal interaction with Red Cross workers and a local Monroe County 911 Call Center representative. More than 90 percent of students said they would recommend this program to other students.

Rienhardt said, “The American Red Cross of the Poconos is proud to have received the 2012 National FEMA Awareness To Action Award! The 500 fifth graders who participated in these preparedness workshops now have the supplies, materials, equipment and knowledge of how to appropriately respond to emergencies.”

Toscano added, “Many thanks to all of our dedicated Red Cross volunteers who continue to present these workshops to our children, helping them to become better prepared during times of disaster.”

Northeast PA Region Red Cross chapters and contact information:

Janet Curtis

Executive Director

Berks, Schuylkill

Office: (610) 375-4383, ext. 121

Cell: (570) 789-3659

Sherry Nealon-Williams

Interim Executive Director

Bradford-Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties

Office: (570) 207-0111

Cell: (570) 417-5608

Rita Inklovich

Executive Director

Danville Area, Bloomsburg, Greater Berwick

Office: (570) 784-1395

Cell: (570) 594-3217

Jim Rienhardt

Executive Director

Poconos, Wayne Pike

Office: (570) 476-3800

Cell: (570) 234-9444

Sherry Nealon-Williams

Executive Director

Lackawanna, Wyoming Valley, Hazleton

Office: (570) 823-7161, ext. 325

Cell: (570) 417-5608

Peter M. Brown

Regional CEO

Greater Lehigh Valley

Office: (610) 865-4400, ext. 236

Cell: (610) 533-0500

About the American Red Cross:

You can help people affected by disasters like floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS, (1-800-733-2767). Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross, Northeast Pennsylvania Region, 2200 Avenue A, Bethlehem, PA 18017, or any one of the local Red Cross chapters.

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.