BE Safe America Preparedness Campaign Launches Fourth Annual National Readiness Effort
Private, Public Sector Leaders Join Safe America Foundation in Urging Americans to Plan and Practice Readiness in Sept. and Oct.
Washington, DC (Aug. 30, 2012) – Leaders from the private, public, academic and non-profit sector met at the United States Chamber of Commerce today to help kick-off the BE Safe America national emergency preparedness campaign. Established by the Safe America Foundation, a nationally recognized Atlanta-based safety, emergency preparedness and injury prevention non-profit, Be Safe is a multi-year effort to encourage Americans to “pledge” their commitment to plan, practice and participate in readiness activates during a September and October “drill season.”
“Eleven years after the tragic attacks on New York and Washington, DC, seven years after Hurricane Katrina and despite billions of dollars spent by federal, state and local governments, 85 percent of Americans still do not feel prepared for a catastrophe,” said Safe America CEO, Len Pagano. “BE Safe is designed to increase public grassroots readiness and help every American ‘practice’ dealing with a major disaster. The initiative’s ultimate goal...to create an America that is prepared, not scared when it comes to dealing with natural and man-made disasters.”
The kick-off was hosted by the Chamber Executive Vice President Al Martinez-Fonts and included reports and breakout sessions on:
- planning and conducting preparedness drills – for organizations, communities, or families;
- building a national leadership team that will ‘spread the message’ of being prepared;
- a new Federal Signal study showing Americans’ reluctance to ‘be prepared’ – and what can be done to change this; and
- presentations by partner organizations on their “drill season” plans.
BE Safe began in 2009, with a goal of having everyday Americans practice how they would respond during an emergency. Since the campaign’s inception, more than 2.2 million people have pledged to conduct some form of family, neighborhood or community-wide drill. In addition to the goal of involving two million or more people in September and October drills, the 2012 BE Safe effort aims to:
- conduct a survey of Fortune 500 preparedness leaders to assess private sector emergency preparedness;
- engage First Spouses in the United States and Caribbean to hold texting drills at widely attended sporting and other events in their state or region;
- promote a new emergency "textiquette," i.e. the proper behavior one should use when texting in an emergency or disaster; and
- advance youth preparedness through the Safest Kid in America contest.
More than 20 organizations, representing over six million people, are involved in supporting Safe America’s preparedness efforts. These include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), the National Association of Emergency Managers (NEMA), the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC), the PTA, the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL),the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) and the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO).
Also collaborating in the program for 2012 is the National African American Drug Policy Coalition (NAADPC), a group of over 1 million volunteers. Honorable Judge Arthur L. Burnett, Sr., who chairs the Coalition, has also committed his organization’s support participate in 2012.
Funding has been provided by the UPS Foundation, Motorola Solutions, Federal Signal, Motorola Mobility, Verizon Wireless and the NORC at the University of Chicago. Vetjobs.com served as lunch host for the kick-off, during which the company’s CEO Ted Daywalt was recognized for his role on the Safe America Foundation’s National Steering Committee.
About the Safe America Foundation
The Safe America Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit licensed by the state of Georgia. Chartered in 1994, the Marietta, Georgia based foundation partners with corporate, governmental, public and private sector organizations, and other nonprofits to improve the safety awareness and preparedness of Americans nationwide.