In what those involved say may bring about many more such pairings, the California Earthquake Authority and the American Red Cross have joined forces to try to boost preparedness and recovery when California’s next damaging earthquake strikes.
The two groups are pairing up on an auction they believe will help raise awareness of the need for earthquake preparedness and insurance. And both groups say more such partnerships are likely in the future.
“The value is immeasurable for a number of reasons,” said Chris Nance, chief communications officer for CEA, referring to the pairing of the quasi-private insurer with Red Cross.
The Red Cross and CEA have combined in an alliance in the past to promote earthquake preparedness in California with the Great California ShakeOut, which takes place in October, but “We’re envisioning this as a long-term relationship,” Nance said. He added: “One of first products of this relationship is this auction.”
He’s referring to a new statewide auction to support the American Red Cross, which is being promoted through CEA’s earthquake preparedness campaign.
The auction runs through April 27. Roughly 30 items will be up for bid, including a Paris flyaway to see Coldplay, a celebrity-escorted visit to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California, a new car, tickets to see and meet Celine Dion at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and L.A. Dodger dugout tickets.
Money from the auction goes to American Red Cross’ preparedness and response programs in California. Auction details are available at GetPreparedCalifornia.org.
“I think it’s a great alliance,” said Harold Brooks, CEO of the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter. “It puts the energy and focus on something we think is very important: coping with and recovering from disasters and earthquakes.”
He added, “I think it’s a partnership that can only get stronger and better as time goes on.”
American Red Cross has lent its expertise on preparing a kit, making a family disaster plan, and being informed, while CEA has lent its residential-insurance expertise and loss-mitigation knowledge to promote a comprehensive preparedness plan for California residents, Brooks said.
California has about two-thirds of the nation’s earthquake risk, with roughly 2,000 known faults that crisscross the state and produce an average of 102 earthquakes a day, according to CEA.
According to the 2010 State of California Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, earthquakes of Magnitude 6 to 6.9 on average strike California once every two to three years.
While Red Cross’ role is often in response to such disaters, Brooks believes insurance is a large part of the preparedness equation.
“A community is going to recover obviously more quickly if a population has insurance,” Brooks said.
To help promote earthquake preparedness, and earthquake insurance, CEA in February launched its annual “Marketing Value Program,” which encourages agents to sign up and receive hundreds of pieces of direct mail marketing pre-printed with agents’ names to send to potential clients.
As for the CEA-Red Cross connection, Nance said the two groups are already looking at more ways to work together.
“We’re working on additional ideas,” he said.