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Sherry John, 213-891-2908
Event brings the importance of Emergency Preparedness to residents of New Orleans as
FEMA highlights Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security/Emergency Preparedness
and the American Red Cross as key partners in the recovery efforts
New Orleans, Louisiana – September 22, 2010 -- In recognition of National Preparedness Month (September), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognized HOPE Coalition America along with local, state and federal officials at Dillard University at a rally to encourage people to “Be Prepared” on September 18, 2010.
Participants at the event included the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and the Southeast Louisiana chapter of the American Red Cross.
“After you have a physical and emotional disaster, you tend to have an economic disaster that follows,” said Operation HOPE Founder John Hope Bryant. “Having access to household information like account numbers and birth certificates is imperative in personal recovery. HCA is America's emergency volunteer economic disaster preparedness, response and recovery agency, and partner with DHS/FEMA. We consider ourselves the 'economic Red Cross for the nation.'”
As part of the event, the principal speakers presented Dillard University students and participants with free personal starter preparedness kits, underwritten by Target, Inc.
Keynote speakers for the day included Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant; Dillard University President Dr. Marvalene Hughes; FEMA Deputy Administrator of Protection and National Preparedness Tim Manning; Louisiana Governors Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness Assistant Deputy Director Col. Earl “Pat” Santos, Jr., (Retired); and American Red Cross, Southeast Louisiana Chapter CEO Kay W. Wilkins.
Using Emergency Preparedness Month as a backdrop, Operation HOPE announced that the key document they developed, the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK), is now available through the FEMA website at www.ready.gov. The EFFAK offers easy step-by-step instructions for how to protect personal assets and financial information and reduce the challenges associated with emergencies and disasters.
In 2005, the document became a registered federal government document, listed as FEMA publication #532. The EFFAK is the first free emergency financial reconstruction and economic recovery guide for disaster victims. To date, HCA has helped over 150,000 people in New Orleans, and more than 300,000 citizens nationally, as well as having distributed over 500,000 EFFAK and PDPG’s to Americans nationwide.
On the ground since Hurricane Katrina, HOPE Coalition America Regional Manager and New Orleans native Oliver Bell helped organize the day’s events. “With the sting of Katrina still not yet behind us, financial emergency preparedness is vital to our community,” said Bell. “Speeding up personal recovery by using the EFFAK helps the entire community to heal faster and that’s something we should all be mindful of doing.”
HOPE Coalition America (HCA) focuses on financial emergency preparedness and recovery. In advance of national disasters or personal disasters, HCA offers seminars and preparedness kits. After a disaster, HCA provides one-on-one assistance by staff and local volunteers to those directly impacted by emergencies. A FEMA partner and recognized second-step responder, HCA has responded to every major catastrophe over the past decade which includes 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the California wildfires and the Georgia floods.
National Preparedness Month (NPM) is sponsored by FEMA’s Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Advertising Council. NPM is held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. To learn more, visit www.ready.gov.
About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been America’s leading financial literacy and empowerment nonprofit. With a presence in 70 U.S. cities and South Africa, HOPE has raised more than $500 million and helped to restructure more than $360 million in sub-prime mortgages from the private sector, for a total of approximately $900 million in economic activity for the disenfranchised in its pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders. With the support of more than 400 private sector companies, 3,500 nonprofit organizations and schools and 100 government partners, Operation HOPE has provided over 1.2 million low-wealth individuals with economic education and financial literacy support and empowerment. Taking the lead at making sure our free enterprise system is relevant to all underserved individuals and communities, Operation HOPE has taken on the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement and ensuring that free enterprise and capitalism work to provide a better future for all. To learn more about HOPE, visit our website at www.operationhope.org or follow us at www.twitter.com/operationhope, and www.facebook.com/operationhope.