The American Red Cross Santa Monica chapter is participating with the Los Angeles chapter of the American Red Cross, KABC-TV Channel 7 and a number of emergency and public safety agencies in the Southern California disaster preparedness campaign, “Ready SoCal.”

The purpose of the campaign is to spread the message that people must be prepared to take care of themselves in the aftermath of a disaster.

The Santa Monica chapter will be handing out free “Ready SoCal” preparedness brochures which outline the steps needed to be prepared and self-sufficient in the event of a major disaster. The chapter also has expert speakers available to talk to school, social, neighborhood and business groups about preparedness.

“Hurricane Katrina was the great wake-up call,” says John Pacheco, executive director of the Santa Monica chapter of the Red Cross. “Because of the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina, it sometimes took days for help to arrive from the federal, state and local governments and disaster relief organizations. The importance of having a family disaster plan and seven days worth of water, food, medicine, comfort items and pet supplies was emphasized by Katrina.”

Pointing out that Southern California is at risk from earthquakes, fires, tsunamis and terrorist attacks, Pacheco says, “Being prepared is important here if you want you and your family to survive, let alone weather out the disaster at home.”

The “Ready SoCal” disaster preparedness campaign will run throughout this month.

The American Red Cross Santa Monica chapter is a nonprofit corporation that provides health and safety education, youth services, CPR and first aid training, disaster awareness and disaster relief efforts.