EMERYVILLE, Calif., August 20, 2013 – AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah and the American Red Cross have joined forces to create a new community program – “Ready, Set, Respond!” The trainings will teach individuals how to prepare for and respond to an emergency or disaster.

AAA today announced it will donate $650,000 to sponsor the “Ready, Set, Respond!” training workshops that teach everyday citizens the basics of emergency and disaster response, preparedness education, community resilience and how to support first responders. When disasters strike, first responders go to the areas of greatest need. Unfortunately, they can’t be everywhere at once. During these moments, it’s vital that everyday citizens make up the difference. Participants will attend a free 90-minute Red Cross training session that will prepare them to respond and assist in a volunteer-based force when disaster strikes within their communities. AAA will host trainings in their branch offices throughout Northern California, Nevada and Utah.

“AAA is a proud partner with the American Red Cross. We are dedicated to the safety of our communities and their ability to respond in any type of disaster,” said Paul Gaffney, President and CEO of AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah. “This program is unique as we are not only reaching out to our employees, but also to our AAA Members, giving them an opportunity to learn personal readiness skills that could save lives.”

AAA’s Ready, Set, and Respond! program is focused on increasing the number of citizens who can be mobilized into volunteer groups to respond during emergencies. The Red Cross training workshops will prepare participants to serve as Red Cross disaster-response volunteers for disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, or floods. Participants will know what to expect when a major catastrophe occurs and will be trained on how to report for deployment and where to receive real-time information. Once the training is completed, participants will be ready to support vital Red Cross relief efforts when needed.

"We are proud to be working with AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah to empower everyday people to make their communities safer and more resilient.” said Mark Cloutier, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter and Gateway to the Golden State Region. “The more prepared our communities are, the faster they will respond to and recover from an emergency or disaster.”

About American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter

As a community-based, humanitarian organization, the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter provides relief to those affected by disasters and empowers individuals in our community to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. By helping people in the Bay Area learn how to take care of their families and neighbors, the Red Cross strengthens the community and makes it ready for all types of disasters, including fires, earthquakes, wildfires and other emergencies. Call 1-888-4-HELP-BAY (1-888-443-5722) or visit to learn more.

About AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah

AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to over 4.1 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.