The American Red Cross of Santa Monica has embarked on an aggressive plan to ensure that Santa Monica is prepared to respond to a disaster – whether it be a home or apartment fire, terrorist event or a devastating earthquake.
A three-year, $1,000,000 campaign is being launched to insure that funds are available to maintain Red Cross preparedness, response and community safety.
The public is being asked to make a pledge to the chapter’s Community Disaster Preparedness and Response Fund. “Providing timely, effective and compassionate response to the victims of a disaster requires the right plan, the right resources and the right people — and that takes money,” explains Ann Greenspun, chair of the Santa Monica Red Cross Board of Directors.
According to chapter executive director John Pacheco, “All disasters are local disasters. During Hurricane Katrina, we learned that each community must be prepared to initiate its own disaster response. Waiting until a disaster occurs to develop plans or depending on the State or Federal government to step in will result in catastrophe for victims. That’s why we need to make improvements so we can adequately meet the needs and expectations of Santa Monicans.”
With the fundraising effort, the chapter hopes to acquire an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) to support mobile feeding and sheltering operations around the City, plus acquire additional emergency supplies and equipment for a catastrophic level disaster, including cots, blankets and comfort items. The Santa Monica chapter plans to acquire the newest technologies to increase its ability to provide financial relief and other services to disaster victims as well as enhance volunteer recruitment, training and deployment.
“Funds raised would also be used to improve disaster management and leadership expertise by more focused volunteer recruitment, training and deployment systems,” states Greenspun. “We are asking the public to please consider becoming a ’partner in preparedness’ to assure that help is here – when it’s needed most.”
To find out how you can help or donate to the Community Disaster Preparedness and Response Fund, call the Santa Monica Red Cross at 310.394.3773 during weekday business hours or go to www.redcrossofsantamonica.com. Donations or “sponsorships” of any size are needed and deeply appreciated.