In the Wake of Hurricane Irene, East Coast Showcases Importance of Being Prepared for Emergency Situations ATLANTA — Sept. 7, 2011 — Just before the start of National Preparedness Month, Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc along most of the East Coast, reinforcing the importance of emergency preparedness. In August, Points of Light Institute launched Good & Ready a program of the Get HandsOn campaign, a national call to action and part of Points of Light Institute’s initiative to demonstrate the impact of volunteer service as a solution to the nation’s most pressing challenges related to education, environment, economy, and emergency preparedness and response. Good & Ready focuses on emergency preparedness education and encourages Americans to create family emergency plans, build emergency preparedness kits and get trained with an emergency response organization. Proper training enables individuals to better assist their community in post-disaster recovery. “Reflecting on the events leading up to and post-Hurricane Irene, we can’t stress enough the importance of being prepared. Hurricanes allow some time to create emergency plans, but it is beneficial to be prepared for any and all disasters well before they strike,” said Amy Smith, president of HandsOn Network, the volunteer activation division of Points of Light Institute. “Volunteers play an important role in rebuilding communities affected by disasters; Good & Ready is a great place to start to make sure these volunteers are as prepared as possible.” Good & Ready is partnering with the American Red Cross, Ready.gov and FLASH.The initiative aligns with National Preparedness Month and runs through Sept. 30. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released a free Adroid app that contains preparedness information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster, a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations and shelters, general ways the public can get involved before and after a disaster and the FEMA blog. “Recent events from earthquakes, wildfires and hurricanes continue to remind us that now is the time to make the commitment to be prepared to confront all hazards. We appreciate the collaborative efforts of the HandsOn Network to drive families to take those critical steps now,” said Darryl J. Madden, director of FEMA’s Ready Campaign. “The ability to get relevant and timely information is critical for building a readiness plan and increasingly smartphones and tablets are being used to access important information.” For more emergency preparedness information, visit the Good & Ready website – www.gethandson.com – and Facebook page to pledge your plans to get good and ready, enter sweepstakes, donate and take the interactive quiz to test your family’s readiness for emergencies and disasters. Pledges include developing an individual or family emergency plan, creating an individual or family emergency kit, hosting a kit building party and seeking training in emergency response. By pledging your plans to get good and ready, you will be entered for the chance to win a $250 Lowe’s gift card in a weekly drawing. Participants will also be entered for the chance to win a $1,000 American Express gift card in the grand prize drawing. Winners are encouraged to donate their gift card to their charity of choice. ### About Points of Light Institute Points of Light Institute inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. The Institute has a global focus to redefine volunteerism and civic engagement for the 21st century, putting people at the center of community problem solving. We are organized to innovate, incubate and activate new ideas that help people act upon their power to make a difference. Points of Light Institute operates three divisions that share our mission: HandsOn Network, generationOn and AmeriCorps Alums. For more information, visit www.PointsofLight.org. About HandsOn Network The volunteer-activation arm of Points of Light Institute, Hands on Network includes 250 community action centers that deliver 30 million hours of volunteer service each year and extend to 16 countries around the world. These centers focus on helping people plug into volunteer opportunities in their local communities, partnering with more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations to manage volunteer resources, and developing the leadership capacity of volunteers. Annually, the network delivers approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service valued at $626 million. For more information, please visit www.HandsOnNetwork.org.