WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced the recipients of the 2012 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. These Awards recognize the innovative practices and achievements of individuals, Citizen Corps Councils, and non-profit, faith-based, and private sector organizations working throughout the nation to make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to manage any disaster or emergency event.
“It has been shown time and time again that after a disaster, the very first responders are our neighbors,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “The award recipients promote preparedness across America’s communities – the bedrock of our national resiliency. I commend each and every one of the awardees for their service and innovation. They serve as a model for communities everywhere.”
Each applicant demonstrated their ability to engage the Whole Community through partnerships, achievements, and activities that took place from January 2011 to June 2012. For example, the American Red Cross Gateway to the Golden State Region chapter trained more than 16,000 individuals in lifesaving skills, such as disaster preparedness, CPR, and basic first aid, and developed a cadre of more than 200 bilingual volunteers. The Texas State Citizen Corps Program trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers who were integrated into the response to the Bastrop Complex Fire last fall and North Texas tornadoes earlier this year.
Other awardees participated in emergency planning activities and established creative methods to address the needs of their communities. For example, North Dakota State University developed two Smartphone applications, one to address the needs of individuals and families affected by local flooding and one with information for residents stranded during a winter storm.
The Second Annual John D. Solomon Preparedness Award is being presented to Florida’s Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) for collaborative work as a team of nearly 500 disaster preparedness and response organizations, engaging in efforts that reach the business community, children and youth, under-served populations, faith-based organizations, first responders, and individuals with access and functional needs, and more. The John D. Solomon Preparedness Award is named for the late creator of the groundbreaking blog, In Case of Emergency, Read Blog: A Citizen’s Eye View Of Public Preparedness. John’s body of work was striking in its reporting, analysis, engagement and impact, in preparing the public, informing professionals, and effecting change in the public and private sectors. Administrator Fugate once stated that he “set the standard for what it meant to be part of our nation's emergency management team.”
All winners will be invited, as FEMA’s honored guests, to a community roundtable event in Washington, D.C. During the roundtable the honorees will share their innovative and successful approaches to community preparedness with emergency management leadership.
FEMA congratulates the following awardees:
Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives
- Texas Citizen Corps (TX)
Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives
- New York City Citizen Corps Council (NY)
Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives
- CERT Program and Volunteers, City of Newport Beach (CA)
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness
- Chinatown Community Development Center (CA)
Preparing the Whole Community
- American Red Cross Gateway to the Golden State (CA)
- Partners in Preparedness (NY)
Awareness to Action
- American Red Cross of the Poconos (PA)
Innovative Use of Technology
- North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication (ND)
- West Pierce County Fire and Rescue CERT Program (WA)
Community Preparedness Heroes
- Michael Parker (CA)
- Mohamed Ali (WA)
- Scott Ellis (NJ)
Second Annual Recipient of the John D. Solomon Preparedness Award
- Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) (FL)
The award winners were selected by a panel of leaders representing the Whole Community, including the National Emergency Management Association, the International Association of Emergency Managers, Target, the American Red Cross and FEMA.
For a description of the award categories, please see the Application Guide.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.