ETIWANDA – Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) will partner with nonprofit Building Resilient Communities to host the third annual “Ark of Safety Forum” on September 17 at Christ’s Church of the Valley – Etiwanda Gardens. This event, held during National Preparedness Month, is an opportunity for Inland Empire faith leaders to learn about and discuss best practices when responding to crises or disasters.
“Communities of faith are uniquely situated to provide relief to their neighbors when disaster strikes,” said Morrell. “They are on the frontlines. The Ark of Safety Forum is designed to provide these groups with the information and resources they need to be an effective part of our region’s emergency preparedness safety net. I am glad to once again work with Debra Williams and Building Resilient Communities to host this important event.”
The free forum is open to faith leaders of all denominations and religions. With fire season in full swing and the potential for El Niño storms this coming winter, it is critical that government, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations work together to build strong emergency preparedness plans in advance.
The keynote speaker will be Pastor Lee Neish of First United Methodist Church in Napa who will share his church’s and community’s experience during and after the recent Napa earthquake. He is the leader of the Napa Long-Term Recovery Committee that was formed to address all of the ongoing unmet needs due to the earthquake.
Presentations will cover ways in which congregations can best serve their surrounding communities in an emergency situation. Such strategies will include involving youth in disaster preparedness planning and building awareness of the unique economic needs that could arise.
“We are pleased to co-host the Ark of Safety Forum with Senator Mike Morrell for a third year,” said Debra Williams, President of Building Resilient Communities. “Each year the forum focuses on different aspects of preparation. Our goal is to always provide information and resources that attendees can immediately implement in their congregations and surrounding communities.”
Supporters of this year’s event include: the American Red Cross, Catholic Diocese of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches, Riverside County Emergency Services Dept., Riverside and San Bernardino County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), San Bernardino County Office of Emergency Services, Southern California Edison, Southern California VOAD, and others.
The 2015 event will take place on Thursday, September 17, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It will be held at Christ’s Church of the Valley – Etiwanda Gardens, located at 7576 Etiwanda Avenue in Etiwanda. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.