Disaster Preparedness in Los Angeles and Southern California
It’s not a matter of if, but when the “Big One” will strike. Seismologists agree that a catastrophic earthquake of magnitude 7.8 or higher will strike Southern California. With this in mind, the Los Angeles Region launched PrepareSoCal in 2011 – one of the first full-scale Red Cross preparedness programs in the country. Additionally, evidence from prior earthquakes show that the more prepared a community is, the quicker it will bounce back. Knowing this, our goal was to assist individuals and families help themselves and each other prepare for and respond to a catastrophic earthquake.
Thanks to our generous donors, the campaign met its four goals: strengthen our disaster response capacity; recruit and train more disaster volunteers; forge community partnerships and teach preparedness; and improve logistics and communications systems. In doing so, we successfully launched ground-breaking community and business preparedness initiatives, as well as our Community Ambassador and Faith-Based Programs. We also secured many more agreements with organizations to feed and shelter our residents when disasters strike.
While we are still hard at work promoting earthquake preparedness, we have now launched a second phase of PrepareSoCal, which began in 2015. This aspect of the campaign focuses on saving lives by preparing communities that are most vulnerable to all types of disasters, including home fires. In tandem with the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, our goal in this second phase of PrepareSoCal is to reduce the number of home fire-related deaths and injuries by 25% over the next four years. Moreover, with our community partners and volunteers, the Red Cross is installing life-saving smoke alarms and teaching preparedness skills to people in households that are the most vulnerable to home fires across the region. We place a special emphasis on helping residents in our most vulnerable communities.