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June 14 2005

Operation HOPE Hosts Emergency Financial First Aid Kit Seminars to Prepare Oakland Residents for Rapid Financial Recovery

(Oakland, CA) - June 14, 2005 - HOPE Coalition America (HCA) hosted their signature Emergency Financial Preparedness Seminars at the downtown Oakland Federal Building for federal employees and at the Oakland HOPE Center in the Fruitvale District to highlight the comprehensive financial programs and strategies of Operation HOPE’s (OHI) national campaign of financial and economic literacy and responsibility.
Since 1952, declared disasters in the United States have averaged 30.8 annually with highs of 75 in 1996 and 68 in 2004. These facts give evidence to the importance of emergency preparedness. 

Participants were given guidance on using Operation HOPE’s EFFAK (Emergency Financial First Aid Kit), a simple yet vital tool created by OHI to help Americans minimize the financial impact of unforeseen natural disaster, emergency or personal tragedy. It helps users identify and organize key financial records and serves as a quick reference to their most important documents.
June 8 marks the start of a series of free personal preparedness interactive seminars that will be held at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Oakland HOPE Center, 3062 East 9th Street, Oakland, CA  94601 (telephone 510-535-6700).  The seminar for federal employees was arranged at the request of Citizen Corps to raise awareness for federal employees.  Department of Homeland Security Community Preparedness Division Region 9 Program Manager Wendy Walsh explained, “Federal employees like every American, face risk of experiencing a personal tragedy or disaster. The idea is that while we can’t prevent disasters from occurring, recovering from them in the shortest amount of time is the goal. This is why we felt it important to have these sessions conducted for federal employees, so they can serve as role models for all citizens in financial preparedness.”
The seminars provided training for federal employees including the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Homeland Security - Citizenship Division, U.S. Department of Social Services, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal Executive Board, and community leaders and representatives of the Bay Area Real Estate Ladies and Embarcadero Investments.
Fred D. Smith, Managing Director of HOPE Coalition added, “The Oakland seminars are a part of many seminars conducted monthly in major cities around the country to continue OHI’s mission of financial literacy, of which emergency financial preparedness is a critical component.”
Attendees were encouraged to become HOPE Corps members, volunteering to conduct EFFAK seminars within their organizations and communities.  Volunteers can call 888-388-HOPE (4673).