I am thrilled to announce the winners of the 2011 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards! We received applications from 36 States, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The applications reflected the full breadth of the emergency management team, with submissions from faith-based, tribal, non-profit, private sector, and community-based organizations, as well as individuals.
Winners showed incredible innovation and creativity. I am honored to recognize organizations such as the Washington State Emergency Management Division and individuals like the late John D. Solomon who are making a difference in people’s lives by emphasizing the importance of preparedness.
One examples of an award winner is the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, who developed a "Send Word Now" system which provides text messages, email and voice alerts to tribal members during emergencies. Several of this year's winners also distinguished themselves by involving their entire community in emergency preparedness. For instance, the New York City Citizen Corps program collaborated with more than 60 community organizations, government agencies, private sector organizations, and volunteer programs to promote emergency preparedness.
Others were exemplary in their ability to train and educate community members. The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago trained more than 55,000 youth and their families in over 20 low-income neighborhoods. And the Earthquake Country Alliance conducted the successful Great California ShakeOut, an annual statewide earthquake drill that involves millions of participants - a concept that has been replicated in other states and countries.
Here’s a full list of this year's award winners and their respective categories:
- Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives: Arkansas State Citizen Corps (AR)
- Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives: New York City Citizen Corps (NY)
- Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team Initiatives: NBC Universal CERT (CA)
- Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness: American Red Cross of Greater Chicago (IL)
- Preparing the Whole Community: San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians (CA)
- Promising Partnerships: Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) (FL)
- Engagement with Faith-Based Communities: David L. Maack (WI)
- Innovative Training and Education Programs: Washington State Emergency Management Division (WA)
- Outstanding Drill, Exercise, or Event: The Great Central United States ShakeOut (TN)
- Awareness to Action: Earthquake Country Alliance (CA)
- Innovative Use of Technology: Citizen Corps of St. Clair County (MI)
- Outstanding Achievement in Public Health: Cobb County Public Health Preparedness and Response (GA)
- Community Preparedness Heroes: Brenda Gormley (TX), Tod Pritchard (WI), Carolyn Bluhm (CO)
- First Annual Recipient of the John D. Solomon Preparedness Award: John D. Solomon, Creator of In Case of Emergency, Read Blog (NY)
Award winners will receive their awards and be honored guests at a community preparedness roundtable event in Washington, D.C., where they can share their experiences, ideas, and solutions on community preparedness with other award winners, Citizen Corps program managers, and other FEMA officials.
Congratulations to this year’s winners and those that received honorable mentions, and thank you all for the amazing work you do to prepare your communities.