For Immediate Release
January 23, 2008


SAN FRANCISCO – Calif., June 16, 2008 – Fritz Institute, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving disaster preparedness, today announced that it will honor the achievements of 12 San Francisco non-profit service providers participating in the BayPrep Disaster Resilient Organization (DRO) pilot program. Each of the prominent local non-profit and faith-based organizations participating in BayPrep, an intiative that seeks to make the Bay Area the most disaster prepared community in the United States, will be recognized for their progress since the inception of the program in 2007 at a celebration on Monday, June 23, 2008 at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco.

“We are very proud of our twelve non-profit DRO partners who have gone above and beyond their daily responsibilities to increase their disaster preparedness in an effort to support the members of our community who are often most affected when disaster strikes,” said Paul Jacks, BayPrep Program Director. “The organizations in the pilot program directly provide critical services to more than 250,000 San Franciscans each year and indirectly touch the lives of millions more. We look forward to celebrating their progress at this event, as well as acknowledging the critical services they provide every day to San Francisco’s most disadvantaged citizens and communities.”

Launched in May 2007, BayPrep is a comprehensive program bringing leaders from government, private industry, and the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors together to work in a structured, multi-disciplinary way to identify gaps in preparedness and collaborate in developing local evidence-based solutions that address those gaps. The DRO program is designed to help develop the capacity of community and faith-based human service providers in the San Francisco Bay Area to respond to a major disaster, and to evolve standards and metrics for disaster preparedness that will not only be applied throughout the Bay Area region, but eventually serve as a model for parallel initiatives nationwide.

“Since the Fritz Institute launched BayPrep a year ago, I’ve followed the progress made by our local non-profit and faith-based institutions in increasing their disaster response capacity,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “As we have witnessed through recent natural disasters both at home and abroad, preparedness at a community level is of the utmost importance to saving lives and helping those affected by disaster. As the Fritz Institute strives to help San Francisco become a disaster resilient community, its work is critical to ensuring that all San Franciscans, especially the most vulnerable, receive the assistance they need in the event of a disaster. Working together, Fritz Institute and these 12 organizations are creating a much needed model of preparedness that other communities can adopt.”

The DRO pilot process involves developing a structured approach to assessing and enhancing community-based organizations' disaster resiliency. It includes baselining preparedness, defining a disaster mission, personal preparedness training and creating a disaster plan that identifies gaps and ways to address them.
The 12 San Francisco organizations currently participating in the DRO project include:

  • Catholic Charities / CYO
  • Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco
  • Glide Foundation / Glide Memorial Church
  • Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
  • Jewish Family and Children’s Services
  • Lutheran Social Services of Northern California
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Mission Neighborhood Health Center
  • NICOS Chinese Health Coalition
  • Project Open Hand
  • San Francisco Food Bank
  • St. Anthony Foundation

Each of the 12 organizations participating in the program have identified and prioritized the services they will deliver in the wake of a disaster. All of the organizations’ facilities have been provided with a preliminary structural assessment by a structural engineer; and the vast majority has conducted personal preparedness training with their staffs. Other ongoing efforts include the creation of continuity of operations plans and implementing incident command system structures.

The BayPrep initiative is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which provided a $1 million lead grant to Fritz Institute to launch the multi-year initiative in 2007. The Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and The San Francisco Foundation are also major supporters of the initiative.

About Fritz Institute

Fritz Institute is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with governments, non-profit organizations and corporations around the world to create innovative solutions and facilitate the adoption of best practices for rapid and effective disaster response and recovery. Fritz Institute was founded in 2001 by Mr. Lynn Fritz, a social entrepreneur and philanthropist, who recognized that effective front-line humanitarian operations must be supported by strong back-room capabilities: effective operational processes, appropriate uses of enabling technologies, well-trained logistics personnel, objective performance metrics, and institutionalized learning.

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