Protect Your Family in a Flood Evacuation with a SAFELY OUT Kit
Sacramento, CA- Darkening storm clouds and increasing winds harken the arrival of the first in a series of three major winter storms into the Sacramento region, the largest this season. With several inches of rain expected in just a couple of days, Citizen Voice’s SAFELY OUT Project wants to remind Sacramento to get prepared. With levee repairs still underway throughout the region, Sacramento is the city at the highest risk in the U.S. to a major flood. We all need to prepare for the possibility of a flood evacuation. Most importantly, we need to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are protected.
Citizen Voice’s SAFELY OUT Project is designed to help safely evacuate the vulnerable during both natural and man-made disasters. It is designed as a neighbor helping neighbor evacuation effort, assisting vulnerable populations in reaching safety and relieving the burden first responders and caregivers often shoulder alone. Citizen Voice’s SAFELY OUT Project is believed to be the first strategic approach in the U.S. targeting our most vulnerable during disasters that turns neighbors into ‘first responders’ taking responsibility for the well-being of their neighbors in an evacuation.
More than 10,000 SAFELY OUT Kits have already been distributed in the greater Sacramento region and 15,000 more will be distributed by late January. Ultimately, $1 million will be needed to complete the initial phase of the Sacramento region pilot project with the successful distribution of 100,000 kits. Citizen Voice’s SAFELY OUT Project wants to make sure that families are prepared in the event of any type of disaster evacuation. This is only the beginning of what is rapidly becoming a major ‘neighbor helping neighbor’ effort that is capturing national attention.
Major sponsors are continuing to come on board to show their support for the SAFELY OUT Project, including Sacramento County’s annual commitment of $50,000 per year for five years. The County’s commitment will ensure that 25,000 kits will be distributed to the vulnerable in our region.
Citizen Voice’s SAFELY OUT Project and The Natomas Journal recently launched an initiative to gather the resources to put a SAFELY OUT Kit into every one of the 45,000 households in Natomas. Natomas is the area of the Sacramento region under the greatest threat for a flood disaster due to levee weaknesses. A committee is being formed of both public and private entity representatives to help build the resources to sponsor and distribute the kits.
The SAFELY OUT Kit is the foundation of the project. Elements of the kit include:
- SAFELY OUT Door Hanger (that can be used to signal for assistance using the red ‘NEED HELP’ side, and let others know when the vulnerable are ‘SAFELY OUT’ using the green side)
- SAFELY OUT Refrigerator Magnet Booklet (with essential contact and evacuation information tailored to the needs of each individual or family)
- SAFELY OUT Helper Information Sheets (giving those volunteering to assist a vulnerable person the information they need to help)
- SAFELY OUT Storage Bag (for keeping spare medicines, medical insurance information, etc. safe inside the refrigerator a place that is air tight, water tight, and fire resistant)
- SAFELY OUT Wallet Information Card (carried by the vulnerable in the event of disaster while away from home)
- SAFELY OUT Kit How-To Brochure
- A permanent marker and erasable ink pen to complete the Kit contents
- An adhesive strip to hang the ‘NEED HELP’ sign in a window should the front door not be easily visible
SAFELY OUT Kits are now available online at www.CitizenVoice.org, or by mail. A $10 suggested minimum contribution per kit is requested (plus $2.50 shipping/handing per kit for mail orders.) Those individuals, groups and businesses interested in ordering kits, making a contribution to get kits to others in need, or becoming a SAFELY OUT project sponsor can inquire online or by calling (916) 503-3194. Kit orders and contributions can be made online or by mail (mail only, there is no counter service available at this address) to Citizen Voice, 1215 K Street, 17th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814.