After devastating wildfires in 2003 and 2007, the American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties decided in 2010 to focus on emergency preparedness, in addition to traditional disaster relief. The organization realized it needed to accurately measure regional emergency preparedness and then evaluate that data in a way that could help guide budgeting and resource allocation decisions and maximize the effectiveness of programs.
The Red Cross engaged Competitive Edge to develop a data-driven approach to measuring the region’s preparedness. In addition to benchmarking current preparedness, the research
would provide insight into how to increase it, by understanding why some people are better
prepared than others, and pinpointing who could benefit from targeted preparedness information.
Knowing — not guessing – is a hallmark of CERC’s services. In the case of the American Red Cross Southern California Region, knowing where to put resources, and what programs to pursue, tremendously benefits the organization. It strengthens its ability to deliver on the nonprofit’s mission and helps the region respond to emergencies that confront us.
The PEP Index is a robust and highly sensitive measure for benchmarking preparedness, then assessing increases after a communications campaign. This can be done among demographic segments and geographic regions.
In 2019, due to the PEP Index’s success,
the American Red Cross Southern
California Region asked CERC to help
it understand levels of community
preparedness. CERC responded by
developing its Community Emergency
Preparedness (CEP) Index.
The CEP Index works on the same principal as the PEP Index – recognizing that preparedness is best thought of as a continuum – and does its job by identifying preparedness levels in communities. This helps the Red Cross target its efforts within cities, towns and communities that are less prepared for a disaster- ultimately helping the nonprofit allocate preparedness communication resources, adjust efforts and deploy programs at the community level.