SACRAMENTO, Calif. – To help Californians prepare for natural disasters and to advance family and community disaster planning, DWR has launched a new partnership with Listos California – a campaign anchored at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services – as part of the Social Bridging Project.
The Social Bridging Project is a public health and safety initiative featuring one-on-one communication with Californians at risk from COVID-19 and natural disasters. These include older adults, people with socioeconomic vulnerabilities and residents in areas prone to wildfires, earthquakes, and flooding.
As the first State department to partner with Listos California for the project, DWR employees will have the opportunity to volunteer as “Bridgers,” providing Californians with the information and resources needed to be disaster ready. Volunteers will connect with at-risk communities by making disaster readiness calls that will cover how to receive emergency alerts, prepare for an evacuation, shelter in place and more.
“Preparing and responding to natural disasters is an integral part of DWR’s work and at the core of our department’s mission. We are excited to partner with Listos California in expanding and raising community awareness, especially during these unprecedented times when many Californians are seeking out critical support and resources,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth.
Through Listos California’s innovative Social Bridging Project, more than 25,000 at-risk Californians have had one-on-one conversations to help them sign up for emergency alerts, make an evacuation plan, find a COVID-19 testing site or access a food pantry.
“We are excited to partner with the Department of Water Resources - which is the first of hopefully many state agencies – to help Californians meet the moment and get ready for disaster,” said Karen Baker, co-chair of Listos California. “Their agency-wide commitment to service is remarkable and demonstrated by their pledge to make phone calls to our most vulnerable communities.”
One such example involved a 35-year-old mother in a smoky, fire-adjacent region who had a house full of young children, many pets and no idea how to get ready to go. The Social Bridging Project walked her through steps to prepare her family and animals for a fast and safe evacuation.
Although National Preparedness Month has concluded – which is recognized throughout the month of September – it is important to remember that emergency preparedness is essential year-round. Visit the Listos California website to learn more about the Social Bridging Project.