The Individual and Community Preparedness Division would like to thank all of the individuals, families and organizations who helped make 2015 a great year for preparedness! You demonstrated your commitment to preparing your homes, communities, and the nation for disasters in many ways, including your continued participation with Community Emergency Response Teams, youth preparedness, and registered America's PrepareAthon! events .
In 2015, people across the country planned events for America's PrepareAthon! bringing together schools, businesses, local government, faith leaders, hospitals, employees, individuals, families, and others to participate in preparedness drills and activities. Some of these experiences are featured in the new “stories” section on the campaign's website, highlighting the incredible work happening around the country.
In one story, Visa , the global payments technology company, prepared its staff for emergencies – both at home and work. Visa conducted a two-day event that allowed staff to meet with local and national emergency preparedness organizations, build their own family and pet emergency plans, and join the financial company's own emergency response team. They were able to sign up more than 100 employees for the team!
In another story, Smyrna, TN became the first town in the state to participate in activities with America's PrepareAthon!. In partnership with Smyrna, GA – more than 1,000 community members participated in a tornado safety drill in 2015. The town also held its first emergency preparedness expo with with more than 30 sponsoring organizations – the Rutherford County's Sheriff's Office, Health Department, and Emergency Management Agency, Smryna Police and Fire Department, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
We also appreciate your record-setting participation and engagement in various preparedness webinars throughout 2015. With 18 webinars , we reached more than 8,500 people with preparedness messages. Thank you to the speakers and participants who attended some of our biggest webinars, such as:
- “Resources to Help Houses of Worship Prepare for Emergencies” with 1,149 participants;
- “Community Discussion: Preparing Individuals Disproportionately Impacted by Disasters” with 596 participants; and
- “Local Partnerships between the American Red Cross and CERT” with 462 participants.
We would also like to thank the winners of the 2015 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards for your outstanding contributions toward making communities safer, better prepared, and more resilient.
We encourage you to continue preparing your homes, businesses, organizations, and houses of worship for another eventful year. We look forward to hearing and sharing your preparedness success stories.
Thank you, and we wish everyone a safe and happy New Year!