DOWNEY - The 'fill the boot and bucket' fundraiser at Stonewood Center last Saturday was an amazing success.Dedicated volunteers raised nearly $20,000 in cash, checks and coins. All of the donated funds will be used for the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. The collective efforts of Downey firefighters, auxiliaries and explorers; members of the Downey Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Emergency Preparedness Committee; and the Red Cross proved to be very effective at collecting the generous donations from the community. Emergency preparedness information was also handed out to the donors. Dippity Donuts and Marisa's Mexican Restaurant donated the morning snacks and lunch for the volunteers. Stonewood Center was a very good host of the event as well. Donations are still being accepted at the Stonewood Center Guest Services Desk (near JCPenney). The Red Cross accepts online donations at www.redcross.org as well. Saturday's event was as a good exercise for those involved in the fundraiser. When a community disaster occurs, this same group, and many others, will serve in rescue and disaster service roles. The groups worked very well together. All community members should remember we live in disaster prone Southern California and need to be prepared for emergencies. Having emergency supplies for ourselves and our families stored at home, in our cars and at work is the best first step we can take. We need to also develop simple emergency plans for communication during and after emergencies among family members, co-workers and neighbors. Finally, we need to be aware of the most likely emergencies that could occur (earthquake, fire, power outage, flooding, etc) and take action to minimize the effects of them. A good place to learn more about emergency preparedness actions is www.ready.org. Mark Sauter is a deputy city manager for the city of Downey, in charge of emergency preparedness. He is former chief of the Downey Fire Department.
********** Published: January 29, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 41