At a Target store in Smyrna, GA, employees and representatives from the Smyrna Emergency Management Agency conducted a tornado drill as part of America’s PrepareAthon! in spring 2015.
Target Adds Support to Community Preparedness Efforts
In spring 2015, Target® volunteers across the country took action to help communities prepare for disasters. In collaboration with America’s PrepareAthon! and other local partners, Target volunteers joined the millions of people who participated in registered preparedness activities this year.
“Target volunteers typically engage with community preparedness programs already in place rather than trying to create their own events,” said Chelsea Fadden, a senior business partner of Risk & Compliance at Target. “We want to support offices of emergency management and local agencies to help them meet the needs of our communities.”
Bullseye a Hit on Children’s Day in Los Angeles County
Target volunteers and their mascot, Bullseye, attended the America’s PrepareAthon! Children’s Day on April 30 in Lynwood, CA.
On April 30, the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) hosted America’s PrepareAthon! Children’s Day at Plaza Mexico, a mall that attracts approximately 30,000 visitors every weekend in Lynwood, CA.
Target volunteers and the official mascot Bullseye attended the event. Bullseye helped the children visit each of the community agency and department booths to collect items for emergency preparedness kits.
Target volunteers handed out preparedness materials and raffled off 50 preparedness kits during the event.
Target Helps Lansing Area ‘Do 1 Thing’
With community preparedness grant funding from Target, ‘Do 1 Thing,’ a nonprofit organization that helps strengthen communities by making them disaster resilient, planned the Lansing Area PrepareAthon! on April 15, 2015, at Lansing City Hall. The event was co-sponsored with Target and the Michigan State Police. The event included discussions about personal and business preparedness, with a special emphasis on preparing for weather-related events. Target provided gift cards for raffle prizes, as well as preparedness brochures and activity booklets, and helped manage volunteers.
Smyrna, GA, kicked off its spring 2015 ReadySmyrna PrepareAthon! with a tornado drill at a local Target store.
Hosts to ReadySmyrna’s PrepareAthon!
In conjunction with Georgia’s PrepareAthon! for Tornado Safety Severe Weather Awareness Drill on February 4, 2015, a Target store in Smyrna hosted a tornado drill with Smyrna’s Emergency Management Agency. The drill officially announced ReadySmyrna’s PrepareAthon! to be held on March 20, 2015.
The store manager announced to employees and customers that they would be conducting a tornado drill, and customers were given the opportunity participate. Approximately 30 people participated in the drill, which was covered by two media outlets in the Atlanta market.
The city chose Target as the location for the drill since the company had awarded the City of Smyrna a $5,000 grant for the Whole Community Award. Smyrna’s Office of Emergency Management used the grant to purchase National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Alert Radios to distribute throughout their community
Harnessing Preparedness at Headquarters
On April 16, 2015, Target employees, contractors, and visitors participated in severe weather shelter-in-place drills at 10 of its U.S. non-retail facilities. Leading up to the drills, senior staff communicated Target’s emergency plan to employees and highlighted key procedures, such as where to go in the event of a tornado. More than 12,000 team members participated in the drills—amounting to an almost 90 percent participation rate.
Additionally, approximately 50 team members at the Target headquarters in Minneapolis, MN, held a preparedness kit-building event. The team built 500 preparedness kits that were distributed to the community at the Minneapolis PrepareFair in September.
Helping to Promote America’s PrepareAthon!
To amplify its role in preparedness and education, Target volunteers handed out brochures with the America’s PrepareAthon! logo and website at participating events throughout the year, and displayed preparedness posters in its stores nationwide.
“When we developed posters on severe weather awareness and what steps to take to prepare, we pulled some content from the America’s PrepareAthon! website and used the logo,” said Fadden. “People are looking for ways to take action and get started. I think the America’s PrepareAthon! website is the best place to start.”
By participating in America’s PrepareAthon!, Target team members prepare their local communities for emergencies, and they hope that by mitigating some of the hazards their communities face through preparedness, as well as knowing how to respond in a given situation, they can help take the burden off local emergency management agencies and first responders in times of need.
“Our team members have a history of giving and being an integral part of the communities we are in. It’s right for the business, it’s good for Target, and it’s good for the community.”
Visit Target’s website for more information on how the company supports safety and preparedness.