Member Spotlight: American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties

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February 12, 2019

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The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

We serve more than 3.6 million people and cover nearly 10,000 square miles in San Diego and Imperial Counties as well as American Samoa.

Our region responds to a local emergency nearly every 24 hours and is supported by more than 2,000 volunteers. All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.


What products or services does your business provide?

As part of the largest and most diverse service organization in the United States, the Red Cross serves millions of people each year.

The Service to the Armed Forces department provides a variety of services to our military and veteran community, including emergency communications and financial assistance.

As the world’s largest humanitarian network, our International Services department helps reconnect families separated by international crises.

The local Red Cross also operates the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program, a nutrition assistance program that improves the nutrition and health of pregnant and postpartum women as well as children up to age five.

Red Cross Training Services empowers people with lifesaving health, safety and preparedness skills through courses like First Aid/CPR training, aquatics classes, caregiver training and more.

Through hundreds of blood drives each year and appointments at the blood donation center, local Red Cross blood donors save lives. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.

Disaster relief is one of the most well-known services of the American Red Cross. We provide 24-hour emergency assistance to people affected by fires, floods and other emergencies or disasters. Local Red Cross volunteers respond to a local disaster nearly every day, most often a home fire. Our Disaster Action Teams made up entirely of volunteers, provide comfort kits for personal hygiene, emergency shelter, food, clothing and more. We connect families to resources such as housing assistance, social services and mental health services to assist with the devastating effects of experiencing a disaster. In the face of a large-scale disaster, the Red Cross provides emergency shelter, food and recovery assistance to displaced residents.

In addition to disaster relief, disaster preparedness and resiliency initiatives are a focal point for the Red Cross. Through the Sound the Alarm. Save a Life. program, the Red Cross provides free smoke alarm installation and educates residents on having an escape plan. “Red Cross Ready” presentations teach individuals how to be prepared for an emergency or disaster and Red Cross volunteers offer free Hands-Only CPR presentations to groups to help a bystander provide life-saving care until professional responders arrive. Another preparedness initiative is the Pillowcase Project – a free, interactive preparedness program designed for youth ages 8 to 11. The program aims to increase awareness and understanding of natural hazards and teaches safety, emotional coping skills, and personal preparedness.

We provide programs for businesses, too. Ready Rating is a free online program offered by the Red Cross that helps businesses, schools and organizations become prepared for disasters and other emergencies. Ready Rating members have access to one-of-a-kind tools, resources and information for evaluating and improving their ability to withstand disaster, maintaining operations, and protecting lives and property. Whether you're taking your first steps or have a fully-functioning emergency management program, the Ready Rating program can help you achieve a higher level of preparedness.


What tips/advice can you offer that is related to your business' industry?

You can be “Red Cross Ready” for an emergency or disaster by following three simple steps: 1) Get a Kit, 2) Make a Plan and 3) Be Informed. Disasters can and do strike without notice. Completing these three steps will help you and your family be more prepared in the face of disaster.

Prepare San Diego is a regional resiliency initiative to help prepare the San Diego region for human emergencies and disasters. Through Prepare San Diego, the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties aims to facilitate a cultural shift to increase individual, community and business preparedness. Businesses and communities are more resilient when they are better prepared in the first place. Get the peace of mind and take the steps to be prepared! Visit for information.

For your businesses, take advantage of the free Red Cross Ready Rating program at This simple, online, step-by-step program makes developing an Emergency Action Plan easy.


Do you have any upcoming events or information you want your fellow Chamber Members and the community to know about?

The local Red Cross holds several on-going and annual events:

  • Disaster Preparedness Academy is generally held in March each year and helps local businesses prepare for and increase resiliency following disasters – find more information at
  • Shelter of Hope travels throughout San Diego each spring, raising funds and awareness to support local disaster relief – find more information at
  • Real Heroes Awards Breakfast is held each fall as a community celebration to honor local individuals and organizations who have made a commitment to creating safer, stronger communities and providing help when disaster strikes – find more information and nominate your hero today at
  • Holidays for Heroes is an annual card making event held each fall to create cards and banners for service members, veterans and military families.
  • Throughout the year, Sound the Alarm installation events provide households with free smoke alarms and educate residents on creating an evacuation plan in case of a fire. Volunteers are needed for these events – find more information at
Volunteers are invaluable to the daily operation of the American Red Cross and are truly the heart and soul of the organization. We look for enthusiastic people with strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills. We need passionate individuals who inspire others to continue volunteering and to do good work in our community on a regular basis. There are positions available for a wide variety of skills, interests and availability. Learn more at


For more information on American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties visit

Emily Cox, Regional Communications Director
(858) 309-1271