The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards, with Long Beach Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) taking home an award for Outstanding CERT Initiatives, highlighting Ready Long Beach, a local emergency preparedness expo launched in 2014.
Conducted every September, more than 4,000 people attend the expo annually and leave the event with basic items to start their own emergency kits, personal empowerment, as well as insight into what Long Beach and its partners are doing to support the community when disaster strikes.
The awards recognize the lifesaving efforts of individuals and organizations across the country who are working to prepare for emergencies. Each year, FEMA honors those who excel at inspiring the public to prepare for if a tornado, hurricane, wildfire or other disaster were to strike their community, according to the release.
“We are a stronger, more resilient nation when we work together—in communities large and small—to prepare for and respond to disasters,” FEMA Acting Deputy Administrator Daniel Kaniewski said in a statement. “FEMA is proud to recognize the great efforts of individuals and organizations who are helping to create a national culture of preparedness.”
This year’s awardees strengthened their community’s ability to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate a disaster through innovative methods. One example included Rosalind “Roz” McKelvey of Germantown, Pennsylvania organizing a drill addressing the specific challenges of a community where about 40 percent of its residents live at or below the poverty line.
The 11 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award recipients will be recognized in a webinar and during local ceremonies to celebrate their achievements.
This year’s winners of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Awards are:
- Outstanding Citizen Corps Council: Connecticut Citizen Corps Council
- Community Preparedness Champions: Rosalind Roz McKelvey and Cindi Barker
- Awareness to Action: Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE)
- Technological Innovation: SABER, the Single Automated Business Exchange for Reporting
- Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness: MyPI National (short for “My Preparedness Initiative”)
- John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness: Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe of California
- Outstanding Private Sector Initiatives: William Bracken
- Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives: Long Beach Fire Department CERT
- Outstanding Citizen Corps Partner Program: Arlington Christian Disaster Network
- Prepareathon in Action: Prep Step Campaign from Save the Children
FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division has received and reviewed hundreds of applications, awarding 90 winners and acknowledging 450 honorable mentions from communities nationwide since its inception in 2009.