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For Immediate Release: July 2, 2008
Contacts: Oliver Bernstein, Sierra Club, (512) 477-2152
Sierra Club and PLAN!TNOW Join Morgan Freeman for
NEW ORLEANS With the 2008 hurricane season officially underway, Sierra Club and PLAN!TNOW have teamed up to release the first of two sets of “Get Prepared” public service announcements (PSA’s) on climate change and storm preparedness, featuring Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman.
“We are all students in the school of big storms,” says Freeman. “We have learned what happens when governments, families and communities aren’t prepared for hurricanes. We need to act now, before the next big storm hits.”
According to Carl Pope, Sierra Club’s Executive Director, “There are steps individuals can take and decisions that communities can make to become safer. That is why we are so proud to work with Morgan Freeman and PLAN!TNOW to raise awareness of these actions and to help protect our natural defense system.”
Country music superstar Kenny Chesney, who recently joined the board of PLAN!TNOW, believes that organizations and partnerships like this one can make all the difference to the families at greatest risk. “Every year hurricanes threaten communities from the Gulf all the way up the Eastern Seaboard. But in the last decade we have truly learned a lesson about the power of being prepared.”
With the number of natural disasters on the rise from around 200 a year between 1987-97 to double that number between 2000-2006, floods are occurring more often, and affecting a larger land area than they did 20 years ago. Now scientists say that a changing climate may mean even more frequent and violent storms.
The campaign and the Sierra Club’s Web site www.sierraclub.org/GetPrepared aim to provide people the information they need to protect their communities. The site also includes information about actions communities can take to protect nature so it can protect people.
PLANIT NOW is a non-profit which provides people, communities and companies in high risk regions the information they need to protect their families, lives, homes and businesses. Their website http://www.planitnow.org/ links people to practical information, disaster preparedness checklists, emergency contact information and other organizations working in disaster preparedness and recovery.
The Sierra Club, the nation's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization, is working to help people understand that "Protecting nature protects people," and that restoring and strengthening the natural defense system will save lives and reduce damage. Wetlands, barrier islands, forests and floodplains act naturally to slow and absorb high winds and water. Developing and destroying these natural buffers leave people and communities vulnerable and at increased risk of flooding and wind damage. www.sierraclub.org/GetPrepared