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Cal EMA Partners with the American Red Cross to Boost Emergency Response Management Capabilities

Date: 2013-04-08
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The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the American Red Cross, a move that builds on a continuing effort to boost emergency response capabilities and the availability of critical resources in times of emergency.

"Our private partners play a critical role in emergency response," said Cal EMA Secretary Mark Ghilarducci. "Having organizations such as the American Red Cross who are willing and able to help provide emergency assistance and resources to affected communities in times of need is a benefit to all Californians. These partnerships increase our resources, help us better coordinate and deliver the services our residents will need during times of emergency, and they help our local communities get back on their feet."

The MOU formalizes the American Red Cross' partnership in emergency response, increasing their ability to monitor disaster events and effectively provide necessary resources as a component of the state's Standardized Emergency Management System. The agreement recognizes the American Red Cross' work with Cal EMA and key state agencies such as the California Department of Social Services, lead state agency for care and shelter, as well as other business partners, to ensure resources are efficiently provided through coordination with Cal EMA. The American Red Cross will also have representation at the State Operations Center at Cal EMA Headquarters during emergency activations to allow for direct coordination with Cal EMA and other private business partners.

"Partnerships with Cal EMA and other emergency response organizations create an important framework through which we may deliver the most effective response and recovery services in times of need," said American Red Cross, West Area Director of Disaster Services Lisa Bennett." When disaster strikes, coordination and communication amongst responders is an integral part of ensuring resources are in place and the needs of the public are met. The Red Cross is proud of the ongoing partnership with the State of California and is happy to be taking this next step forward."

In an effort to enhance the role of the private sector in California's ability to respond and recover from emergencies, Cal EMA has worked to incorporate the private sector into the state's disaster response system. As part of these efforts, Cal EMA has actively pursued key partnerships with private industry. To date, Cal EMA has signed MOUs with private sector partners such as Sears, Wells Fargo; Bank of America; Time Warner Cable; Walmart Stores, Inc.; Gap, Inc.; California Grocers Association; Target Corporation; Home Depot; California Utilities Emergency Association; and several others.

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via CalEMA, 4/3/13)

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