American Red Cross Los Angeles Region
The Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
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3 Submitted Ideas
- CONNECT ·2015 Grants Challenge
We will connect LA’s most vulnerable communities on a neighbor-to-neighbor and community-to-community level through the power of volunteerism. New neighborhood networks and community coalitions will coalesce around the issue of preparedness for home fires. These efforts will lead to a more inter-connected LA with more resilient and prepared individuals and communities, for any type of disaster large or small, especially in vulnerable, low-income communities.
- CONNECT ·2014 Grants Challenge
To launch an innovative, volunteer-run community engagement project that will create a more resilient Los Angeles.
- 2013 Grants Challenge
PrepareLA is an innovative campaign designed by the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region to engage individuals and communities in taking preparedness action so that they are better equipped to respond to emergencies and disasters. As part of this effort, the Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers, educating residents, raising public awareness, and leveraging community partnerships to help drive resilience throughout Los Angeles County. For decades, the Red Cross has worked to increase emergency preparedness, but despite our efforts, the number of prepared Angelenos remains acutely small: a County of Los Angeles Public Health survey shows that a mere 6 percent of households reported being “completely prepared” for a disaster. At the same time, the number of large disasters in the United States continues to rise, and with Los Angeles being a densely populated urban area prone to wildfires and earthquakes, the necessity of preparing for a major disaster is more evident than ever. In light of this situation, the Red Cross has devised a new way to increase not only preparedness but also resilience in the communities we serve. PrepareLA tackles preparedness and resilience at the individual, organizational, AND community level. This is important for two reasons: 1) social scientists have shown that one of the ways in which people become more motivated to take preparedness actions is to hear about them from many different angles (in the media, at work, at their place of worship, at school, in the grocery store) and when they see other people taking preparedness actions; and 2) together, a community is able to manage challenges that go beyond what any unaffiliated group of individuals can accomplish. The PrepareLA campaign was created on the principle that resilience is driven in large part on the relationships and trust that are built among the various sectors of a community. While PrepareLA includes goals to build capacity in the areas of mass care, human resources, and communications, it places much of its focus on increasing community engagement. It is our goal that each of Los Angeles County’s 272 communities will be prepared for a large-scale disaster. This includes trained volunteers, individuals who are educated on life-saving skills such as CPR and first aid, and emergency plans that have been designed by community members based on their own risk and resource assessments. In order to achieve this, we have created innovative preparedness strategies: The COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR PROGRAM recruits community leaders to serve as liaisons with the Red Cross and promote preparedness in their neighborhoods. These community-centric volunteers, who reside and work in the area, help bridge the gap between community needs and Red Cross services. Our three-year goal is to have each of the 272 Los Angeles communities represented by an Ambassador who will help create awareness and movement toward community preparedness. Community Ambassadors receive training and are provided with materials to assist in their role, including a Community Scorecard. This scorecard is used to track the success of the Ambassadors’ efforts in their communities toward three of our core PrepareLA goals: (1) increasing community engagement through preparedness education and outreach, (2) volunteer recruitment, and (3) strengthening feeding and sheltering capacity. Community Ambassadors meet quarterly as a group to discuss strategies, recent accomplishments and challenges, and how they can work together to leverage and share community resources. The FAITH-BASED PROGRAM aims to connect the Red Cross with faith organizations to introduce PrepareLA and promote services that foster community resilience. We are inviting all faith organizations in the region to become official Red Cross Affiliates that will serve the community through outreach, preparedness, volunteering, and sheltering & feeding partnerships. These collaborations are critical as we know that in the event of a disaster many people naturally turn to the faith community. As part of the campaign, we have hired a Faith-Based Coordinator to serve as the link between the Red Cross and the faith community and develop new relationships and strengthen existing ones. PrepareLA will directly impact Social Connectedness in Los Angeles by providing a platform where residents can come together to volunteer and make a difference in the life of their communities. By encouraging everyone to take preparedness action both at the individual and community levels, PrepareLA inspires us to interact with our neighbors and be active participants of society. The importance of this initiative has already caught the attention of several other Red Cross regions in Southern California and prompted them to join our efforts, and PrepareLA is now part of a larger PrepareSoCal campaign.