SOURCE: International Association of Assembly Managers, Inc.

February 26, 2007 15:54 ET

American Red Cross and the International Association of Assembly Managers Partner for Mega Shelters Across the United States

More Than 2,000 Facilities Could Serve as Shelter During Disaster

COPPELL, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 26, 2007 -- Disaster readiness and response is a community collaboration that requires many partners and community leaders to work together. When a disaster affects tens of thousands of people and severely damages or destroys their homes, a safe place in the community is essential for individual recovery.

After several months of planning and refining a community response plan, the American Red Cross and the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding tomorrow stating that both organizations with members in every state will work cooperatively with local officials to establish procedures and protocols to open "mega shelters" during a disaster.

A mega shelter is an arena, stadium, convention center, or performing arts theater that is used to house evacuees before, during, or after a major disaster. This agreement formalizes a strategic relationship to provide shared training, agreed upon standards for mega shelters, and national trained leadership teams to help a local facility open, manage and operate a shelter.

"It is critical that we provide a safe environment for our citizens affected by a disaster. Shelter services have many partners which are needed and one entity cannot shoulder that entire responsibility. Partnerships such as this between IAAM and the Red Cross are vital to ensuring life safety during emergencies," said Larry B. Perkins, Certified Facilities Executive, IAAM President.

The International Association of Assembly Managers has more than 3,200 members worldwide, and is the world's largest professional association dedicated to issues relevant to the management of public assembly facilities. Members of the association manage public assembly facilities such as amphitheaters, arenas, auditoriums, convention centers/exhibit halls, performing arts venues, stadiums and university complexes; or provide products, services or attractions to support the industry.

The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kim Cook
    (972) 906-7441