Regional resiliency initiative focuses on individual, community and business preparedness efforts
SAN DIEGO – September 19, 2019 – September is National Preparedness Month and the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties marks another year of the Prepare San Diego regional resiliency initiative with a focus on individuals, communities and businesses.
“In the case of a large-scale disaster, it could take up to 72 hours for help to arrive, so being prepared to take care of yourself and your family is a must. We’re asking people to have a disaster kit, make a plan, and stay informed before and during a disaster,” said Sean Mahoney, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties. “Beyond taking care of ourselves, we want to make sure that our communities and businesses are prepared to withstand a disaster or emergency.”
Individuals can find several resources on the PrepareSanDiego.org website, which has step-by-step preparedness information 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. Even though getting prepared can seem overwhelming, it is made easier by breaking preparedness tasks down into smaller, more manageable activities like the ones posted daily on the local Red Cross social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) for 30 Days of Preparedness in National Preparedness Month.
Through ongoing Sound the Alarm smoke alarm installation events, the Red Cross installs free smoke alarms in homes and reviews escape plans with residents to prevent home fire deaths and injuries. Nationwide, at least 627 lives have been saved by smoke alarms installed by the American Red Cross, including five lives in San Diego. Last fiscal year, the local Red Cross installed 8,000 free smoke alarms in 2,802 homes in San Diego County.
Community disaster education presentations, particularly for youth, seniors and high-risk communities, are an integral component of the Prepare San Diego efforts. In the past fiscal year, more than 1,100 San Diego County kids in third through fifth grade took part in a Pillowcase Project presentation to learn disaster preparedness and coping skills. Nearly 50 community disaster educations presentations were delivered to San Diego County residents and additional presentations were given to senior communities.
Prepare San Diego is supported by San Diego Gas & Electric, which also provided the funding for disaster preparedness kits to be given to more than 100 seniors who attended one of two senior preparedness presentations in July.
“We are proud to support the Red Cross and initiatives like Prepare San Diego, which are vital to making the communities we collectively serve safer and better prepared,” said Dave Geier, local Red Cross board member and Senior Vice President of Electric Operations for San Diego Gas & Electric. “We encourage every San Diegan to take steps now to get prepared and become more resilient.”
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. Each spring, the Red Cross and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce present the annual Disaster Preparedness Academy, which covers important business resiliency topics like emergency preparedness, cybersecurity and developing continuity plans.
The local Red Cross also maintains a 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 disaster-affected areas. Following a disaster, the Red Cross is there to help with immediate needs like shelter, food, comfort and more.
For more information about the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties or to learn how to request a community disaster education presentation for your group, school, business or senior community, please visit preparesandiego.org.
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 redcross.org/sandiego or connect with us on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter.
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