LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 — The Red Cross Los Angeles Region was proud to participate with the Santa Monica Airport Association and the Disaster Air Response Team in a joint multi-airport disaster preparedness exercise. A group of SMO DART volunteer pilots assisted with flying in critical supplies from Whiteman, Van Nuys, Brackett, Compton and Torrance airports.
“When a major earthquake or other catastrophe takes place, highways and major transportation arteries may not be an option to move and transport much needed Red Cross supplies,” said Julie Thomas, Red Cross Executive Director of the Santa Monica Bay Chapter. “Volunteer pilots will be able to help get these critical items to isolated areas in a much more effective manner.”
The event was aimed at delivering critical supplies to the Santa Monica Airport (SMO) during times of disaster. These types of operations allow staff and volunteers to practice mobilizing pilots, aircrafts and supplies during times of major disaster when air transport is a more viable solution.
This exercise transported simulated payloads of two tons, or four thousand pounds. The same airplanes flying an easily achievable five missions a day could transport ten tons of supplies and personnel. SMO DART has a ground and flight infrastructure to easily support forty airplanes a day, so making a total Red Cross “air bridge” capability of forty tons, or eighty thousand pounds of supplies per day to serve the City of Santa Monica and surrounding cities.
This was a practical demonstration of the City of Santa Monica, “All Hazards Mitigation Plan” which lists SMO as “Critical Infrastructure” in a disaster.
To learn more about the American Red Cross preparedness tips, visit preparesocal.org.
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_redcrossla.org_or cruzrojaLA.org, or visit us on Twitter at_@RedCrossLA.