Creating Resiliency in Vulnerable Communities
Working in Southern California's Most Vulnerable Communities
As the nation’s premier humanitarian disaster response organization, it is expected that when a disaster strikes, the Red Cross will respond. Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting people’s immediate needs for safety and emotional support, and then expediting their return to normal daily activities. We respond to physical needs by opening shelters, delivering meals and providing basic first aid and emergency relief items. We also respond to emotional needs through family tracing and other emotional support services.
What is a Vulnerable Community?
“‘Vulnerability’ is the degree to which a population, individual or organization is unable to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impacts of disasters.”
Environmental Health in Emergencies and Disasters: A Practical Guide. (WHO, 2002)
Disaster Preparedness is a Community Effort
Since disasters impact entire communities, effective disaster preparedness requires an investment from everyone. Individuals, households, schools, businesses and local governments must be empowered to help create safe communities. Effective disaster preparedness planning protects property and other resources, speeds recovery, reduces physical and emotional distress and saves lives.
Red Cross Builds and Supports Preparedness
The American Red Cross empowers ordinary people to do extraordinary things in the face of emergencies – whether it is saving a life by learning CPR, helping other during a disaster, or providing a donation that assists people wherever it is needed. There is no other organization providing the depth of services that we provide to our local community, across the country and around the world.
The American Red Cross is not a government agency. It is an independent non-profit organization that relies on the generosity and willingness of people and businesses to help others in need.
For 130 years, the American Red Cross has been known for its stability to mobilize resources – financial, human and material – in times of disaster. We have been there through every imaginable crisis, large and small, ensuring that people receive the comfort, care and assistance needed to recover and rebuild. We know from experience that lives will be saved and devastation reduced with advanced planning. Earthquakes are inevitable, but the severity of the damage is not.
Preparedness planning impacts our ability to survive, as well as our ability to recover and thrive in the aftermath of a catastrophic event.