The Southern California Preparedness Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded to promote and support disaster awareness, education, and preparedness via community events, public forums, focused programs, and targeted outreach. Headquarters are in the San Fernando Valley of California, in the heart of earthquake country. The Foundation is listed with GuideStar.
The Foundation primarily supports the Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair, the Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) program, and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.
Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair
The free annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair, largest of its kind in Los Angeles, is sponsored by the Foundation as a whole community event to help bring awareness to being better prepared for emergencies and disasters. The 11th annual Fair will be held on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm at the Northridge Fashion Center’s Pacific Theaters parking lot (9400 Shirley Ave.). Each year, substantial Family Emergency Preparedness (EP) Starter Kits are distributed free to attending registered families. 1,500 kits were distributed at the 2017 Fair. For more information about the Fair, including a 15-minute video, visit www.ValleyDisasterFair.com.
Map Your Neighborhood (MYN)
MYN is a bridge between individual preparedness and programs like CERT. This program saves lives, reduces the severity of injuries and trauma, and reduces property damage. Working together as a team and contributing as an individual develops stronger communities and improves the quality of life in the community. MYN has a proven track record and has been implemented in over 42 states and worldwide. This 9-step program is presented free by community volunteers in about three hours to an immediate neighborhood (residents of 15 to 20 houses/condos/apartments along one street). This short article published in the April 2013 issue of Granada Hills Life provides more details about the program. For more information, email MYN@SoCalPrep.us.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
The CERT program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help one protect themselves, their family, neighbors, and immediate neighborhood in an emergency situation. CERT members receive 17½ hours of initial training. CERT training is provided free of charge within the city of Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Fire Department. The Foundation works with CERT programs to provide free CERT backpacks to graduates. For class schedules and more information, see the CERT website: www.cert-la.com.
As a U.S. registered nonprofit, contributions may be tax deductible (see your tax advisor).
Board of Directors
The Foundation is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, consisting of Mr. William (Bill) J. Hopkins, Jr. (President/Director), Ms. Linda M. Pruett (Corporate Secretary/Director), Mr. Theodore (Ted) C. Snyder (Treasurer/Director), and Mr. Dave Brown (Logistics/Director). There are no employees. Cumulatively, the Directors have decades of experience in disaster preparedness and response, and are active amateur radio (ham) operators.
Biographies of the Board of Directors of the Southern California Preparedness Foundation
All four Directors have experienced the February 9, 1971 Sylmar, CA and the January 17, 1994 Northridge, CA earthquakes and are amateur radio operators.
William (Bill) Hopkins, Jr. (Bill.Hopkins@SoCalPrep.us), President, Director, and Founder, is a strong supporter of disaster and emergency preparedness. He serves as an elected member of Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council (GHNNC), founded and chairs the GHNNC Emergency Preparedness Committee, and is Vice-Chair of its Public Safety Committee. Bill has been the principal key to the success of previous annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fairs, now in its eleventh year, and serves as Chair of the all-volunteer Valley Disaster Preparedness Team, which manages and produces the Fair. He is a Community Emergency Response Team callout member (CERT 3) and CERT class coordinator for GHNNC, a Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) Instructor, and an American Red Cross volunteer. Bill first taught Red Cross First Aid and CPR classes while attending UCLA, graduating with an engineering degree. Subsequently, he served on the Board of the San Fernando Valley District of the Los Angeles American Red Cross Chapter as Disaster Chairman, and led their Disaster Action Team (DAT) while also serving as a DAT responder and first aid station coordinator. He has been an amateur radio licensee for almost 50 years; holds an Extra class license; and is a Volunteer Examiner for several ham groups and a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service (DCS), and the Los Angeles Fire Department Auxiliary Communications Service (LAFD ACS). For over a decade, through his stock photography business, Bill supplied the publishing industry with images. His articles on emergency preparedness regularly appeared in Granada Hills Life magazine. Bill received the George Washington Honor Medal from Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, Los Angeles Chapter, in 2016. He is the recipient of Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce 2017 Gil Benjamin Citizen of the Year Award.
Linda Pruett (Linda.Pruett@SoCalPrep.us), Corporate Secretary, Director, and Founder, is an elected member of Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council (LBNC) and has been a member since its certification in September 2004, serving in various capacities including President and holding the position of Chairperson of the LBNC Emergency Preparedness Committee since 2004. Linda has extensive experience in the emergency and disaster preparedness community. It was her staunch support that enabled LBNC to obtain, position, and stock two large cargo containers with emergency supplies and rescue tools within Lake Balboa. On March 21, 2011, Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield honored Linda’s tireless dedication to emergency preparedness during the California State Assembly’s Woman of the Year ceremony at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. Trained as a CERT 3 responder, she vigorously supports that training for others, and was responsible for graduating the largest CERT class in Los Angeles. She was the Founder of Text Management Services, Inc., the first full-service word processing Service Bureau on the west coast, and served as its President and CEO for nearly thirty years. Developing into a publishing company, TMS, Inc. produced technical manuals for the aircraft and aerospace industry throughout the world. Linda currently serves as Preparedness Adviser on the West Valley Community Police Advisory Board (CPAB), and as Co-President of the San Fernando Valley Chapter of NOW, the National Organization for Women.
Ted Snyder (Ted.Snyder@SoCalPrep.us), Treasurer, Director, and Founder, has retired from a 38 year career as an educator in the Los Angeles Unified School District. During that time, Ted served as a teacher of mathematics, an instructional adviser, a coordinator for a specially funded technology integration program, a Magnet school coordinator, a technology coordinator, and an Instructional Technology Applications Facilitator. As technology coordinator, he was responsible for the management and implementation of the California Digital High School grant of $1.5 million for his high school. Ted is a key participant on the Valley Disaster Preparedness Team. He is CERT 3 qualified, and was the first on the team to train his neighbors using the Map Your Neighborhood program. He has been a ham radio operator for 57 years. As an amateur geologist, Ted has a fundamental knowledge of earthquakes. Each year, he gives presentations to schoolchildren on rocks and minerals.
Dave Brown (Dave.Brown@SoCalPrep.us), Logistics, Director, and Founder, is currently an elected member of North Hills West Neighborhood Council (NHWNC), serving as the Chair of its Emergency Preparedness and Public Safety Committee, and is a trained CERT 3 responder. Dave serves on the Devonshire Community Police Advisory Board (CPAB) and is a Neighborhood Watch member. He has extensive hands-on technical production and logistics management experience, including “cannot fail” power distribution system design and deployment for corporate, public, and private multiple and multi-level events worldwide. Dave also has extensive experience with managing and coordinating diverse support personnel under a variety of critical conditions as Chief Safety and Logistics Officer. He also easily handles transborder land, sea, and air shipping. His background includes astrophysics, engineering, security, and finance. Dave holds a ham radio license, is a PADI licensed diver and martial arts enthusiast, and teaches practical audio and video for meeting environments, with a particular emphasis on public safety.