Senator Claire McCaskill Hosts Capitol Hill Readiness Briefing

Atlanta, GA - Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) will host a Safe America Foundation Congressional Briefing on March 31st, focused on addressing weaknesses in America’s grassroots readiness.

The Briefing – which will include announcements of support from a bi-partisan group that includes participation by Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R-OK) – will outline Safe America’s plans for a 2011 “‘March to 1 Million”’ and the third year of the related “‘9/11 Drill Down for Safety”’ programming and 10th anniversary memorial activities for 9/11 in September of this year.

The Briefing will be held beginning at 4pm on Thursday, March 31st in  Room 385 of the Russell Senate Office Building.

“The recent events in Japan clearly underscore the importance of being prepared to act quickly during an emergency, and having a rehearsed plan for both remaining safe and contacting loved ones,” said Safe America Honorary Chairman Norman Y. Mineta. “Since 9/11, we have not done enough to prepare average Americans to survive on their own. It’s time we addressed this issue – since more disasters are almost inevitable in every region of the country.”

The event will showcase an emerging national coalition – spearheaded by the Safe America Foundation and the Center for National Policy, the National Foundation for Women Legislators, the Disaster Recovery Institute International and a variety of other public and private groups. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Medical Reserve Corps, the national PTA, The Travelers Institute, Federal Signal, Hill & Knowlton and the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security, are among other organizations participating in the program. 

Former Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta – the program’s Honorary National Chairman – will  report on how the program has ‘made America safer’ while Gayle C. Manchin, former First Lady of West Virginia, will outline plans to involve First Spouses (and State Governors) in modeling family rehearsal drills such as a ‘family texting communication’ involving a new ‘safety communication shorthand.’

“Our goal is to involve 5 million people over the next five years in emergency readiness at a local level,” said Safe America CEO Len Pagano. “As the events in Japan has have shown, the ‘unexpected’ can happen – and it’s time we make Americans more ‘self-reliant.’ This process will increase the disaster preparedness levels of American citizens – and that’s the a only piece in our preparedness puzzle we’ve neglected since 9/11.” More than 100 civic, business and government organizations will be engaged in a national grassroots movement to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Motorola Mobility, the UPS Foundation, the Traveler Insurance Company and Motorola Solutions are current national sponsors.

The program will include:

Broadcasting a public service campaign on television that educates the American public to the value of texting in an emergency situation and teaches a ‘new’ safety shorthand code, 

Providing room curriculum for schools, while holding town hall meetings where we explore what Americans feel they can do to support a culture of being ‘prepared, not scared™,’

Distributing a new cell phone application that will allow individuals to pre-load valuable information that can short-cut reduce the time taken needed for them to stay in touch with others in a post-emergency situation, plusContinuing research begun in 2010 by Zogby International and Booz Allen Hamilton on how Americans ‘feel’ about their own responsibilities in a post-disaster scenario, along with an annual survey to see which are the ‘Top 10 States’ doing the best job in encouraging grassroots’ resiliency.

Safe America has set a goal of engaging 100 firms to ‘pledge’ to (a) conduct “texting” drills; (b) teach employees to drill and take the concept home to educate their families during National Preparedness Month in September;  and (c) help fund ongoing activities of the ‘Safe Team’ coalition over the next five years.
Other ‘Safe Team’ participants at the Capitol Hill Briefing will be:

  • The Center for National Policy CEO Dr. Stephen Flynn
  • The National Foundation for Women Legislators CEO Robin Read
  • The Disaster Recovery International CEO Al Berman
  • The Travelers Insurance Institute, represented by Company Regional Vice President Bob Schurke, and
  • NORC at The University of Chicago’s  NORC /training center, led represented by Executive Director Dr. Douglas Himberger

At the briefing, Safe America will honor the American Red Cross; Anheuser Busch; and Motorola Mobility for their work in addressing key emergency resiliency issues. Safe America’s national task forces for “‘March to 1 Million”’ and “‘9/11 Drill Down for Safety”’ will also be in attendance, along with other congressional invitees (both elected officials and staff of both parties).

About the Safe America Foundation The Safe America Foundation operates nationally, and is based in Atlanta, Georgia as a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to addressing emerging health and safety issues – at home, work and play. Founded in 1994, the foundation develops educational programs in partnership with corporate, governmental, public, and private sector organizations and other nonprofit sectors organizations to improve safety awareness and preparedness of Americans nationwide. For more information, visit www.safeamerica.org or call 770-973-7233. Safe America can be found on Twitter @safeamerica.

For more information, contact:
 Christina Dela Cruz Communications Manager Safe America Foundation Phone (770) 973-7233 christina.delacruz@safeamerica.org