Ahead of the Curve

The American Red Cross is spelling out “prepared” and “resilient” in bold letters across Florida.

A three-year effort has been launched to inform and empower millions of people about how to prepare before a disaster occurs, as well as the necessary actions during and after such an event. The landmark initiative is aptly named Prepare Florida.

Less than one-third of Florida’s population has a family disaster plan. At the same time, the diverse and varied composition of the state’s population poses unique challenges, notes Linda Carbone, regional CEO of Florida’s West Coast Region and Prepare Florida Lead.

“We can’t control Mother Nature, but we can control what we do,” says Carbone, adding that preparation and resiliency help create a strong economy.

Among the specific goals is to reach 350,000 individuals, families and businesses with preparedness information; increase the number of response volunteers recruited and trained to 10,000; train 500,000 people in lifesaving techniques; increase capacity to serve and distribute meals to 500,000 per day; and add 15 new Emergency Response Vehicles (mobile feeding units) to the existing fleet.

Being prepared requires resources, and the nonprofit organization depends on volunteers and charitable donors to perform its mission.

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