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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

FEMA 2012 Community Preparedness Awards - California

2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Announcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the multi-state recipients of the 2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. These Awards recognize the innovative practices and achievements of individuals, Citizen Corps Councils, and non-profit, faith-based, and private sector organizations working throughout the nation to make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to manage any disaster or emergency event.

FEMA received applications from 38 States, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, representing program activities taking place during the period of January 1, 2011 and June 1, 2012. Each application reflected a wide array of activities, partnerships, and achievements, and demonstrated how much can be accomplished when the potential of Whole Community is harnessed. Other winners participated in emergency community planning and established creative methods to address the needs of their communities.

All winners will be invited, as FEMA’s honored guests, to a community roundtable event in Washington, D.C.

FEMA awarded the following California applicants:

Captain Michael J. Parker Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Community Preparedness Heroes
Michael Parker (CA)

When Captain Michael J. Parker assumed command of the Headquarters Bureau for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, he set out to improve his department’s communication with the community. He identified several partners to help improve and focus the Department’s messaging, and introduced the department to new platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

In 2012 the Los Angeles County area was being terrorized by a serial arsonist. In response Joint Information System named “Arson Watch LA” was established that used agency websites, Facebook, Twitter, Nixle, and YouTube. Within 36 hours, Arson Watch LA had over 1000 fans on Facebook and 1500 followers on Twitter, with an extended reach of 29,000 people. On Sunday, January 1, 2012, Arson Watch LA released security footage of the suspect to all social network sites and agency websites. By 10 p.m., tips began to pour into the tip line regarding information pertaining to the video. By 3 a.m. the suspect was captured in West Hollywood.

Preparing the Whole Community
American Red Cross Gateway to the Golden State (CA)

The American Red Cross Gateway to the Golden State Region Chapter mobilizes volunteers and leverages community partnerships to increase the resilience of low-income, immigrant, and underserved neighborhoods. Through six pilot Ready Neighborhood programs in local communities they have trained more than 16,000 individuals in lifesaving skills, including disaster preparedness, CPR, and basic first aid. In addition, they have developed a cadre of over 200 bilingual volunteers who work to prepare individuals whose first language is Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Tongan. They have also established a variety of networks through partnerships with more than 200 government agencies, community organizations, schools, and businesses, all working together to increase the preparedness and resilience of their communities.

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness
Chinatown Community Development Center (CA)

San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the country, and Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels are the dominant form of housing for more than 500 low-income, immigrant families. The occupants of these SROs, many of whom are seniors who speak only Chinese, are among the hardest to reach and most at-risk populations in the city. In order to help these residents to be better prepared for disasters, Chinatown’s Community Development Center (CDC) developed a Youth for Single-Room Occupancy (YSRO) Program. In this program, young adults are trained and certified in emergency response and disaster preparedness, lead fire prevention and earthquake preparedness outreach efforts, and provide training to senior SRO residents. Participants in the YSRO program have also published a safety handbook, developed a slide presentation, and created bilingual educational materials currently used by the San Francisco Fire Department.

Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives
CERT Program and Volunteers, City of Newport Beach (CA)

The City of Newport Beach has 156 neighborhoods and more than 1000 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers, giving Newport Beach the highest per-capita CERT volunteer-to-resident ratio in all of California. These volunteers develop disaster preparedness and response programs for their communities, and provide training to their neighbors to educate Newport Beach’s more than 88,000 residents about natural and manmade hazards.

Promising Partnerships
  • San Francisco Interfaith Council (CA)
Innovative Use of Technology

  • Ready Georgia Mobile App (GA)

Twitter links

****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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