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Hope is Our Fuel.

I had planned to share a personal message of hope and the importance of understanding why Juneteenth exists and why many consider it a celebration of perseverance and true freedom in African American communities. But the recent mass shootings have left me heartbroken, once again.

These were not indiscriminate shootings. The suspect of the Buffalo mass shooting targeted a supermarket in a predominately Black neighborhood. This tragic and hate-filled action resulted in the senseless deaths of ten people in Buffalo - almost all who were shot and killed were Black.

Then, just a day later, another horrific shooting took place in Laguna Woods when a shooter attacked a lunch banquet at a Taiwanese church killing one person and critically wounding four others before congregants overpowered the gunman. Most of the victims were of Taiwanese descent.

It is crushing to think the victims of these horrendous tragedies lost their lives because of the color of their skin. These were not just victims they were mothers, fathers, friends, and grandparents.

We have to do better than we have been doingfor all of humanity. What is needed most is a willingness to authentically deal with the underlying pain from the wounds of racism. What is needed is a true change of mind and heart that leads us to recognize and affirm the value of every human life no matter how different we are from one another. Only then can we move forward to heal.

BRC works tirelessly to support the needs of all people, particularly those who are underserved and under-resourced. We believe in hope. Hope for the possibility of a world where everyone thrives – feeling safe, cared for, and respected with equal access to life-giving resources such as health care, livable wages, and higher education. A world where we come together not only during or after a devasting crisis or disaster has occurred, but one that we can gather together in support, dreaming of a better life for all now.

Hope is our fuel for advocacy, action, and activism.

My heart goes out to all the families that have lost loved ones to these devasting, unthinkable mass shootings. You are in our prayers.

Let us open our hearts with love to discover and embrace each other in new ways, Debra
Pets Depend on Us!

When disaster strikes, it is crucial that you and your family stay safe – and that includes your pets. By having a plan and practicing it, you can be prepared to act at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, some pet owners are not prepared when a disaster strikes, and many pets—especially cats—are left behind to fend for themselves. Disasters can happen at any time. Pets are family and should never be left behind.

During June, National Pet Preparedness month, BRC reminds pet owners that whether a bird, reptile, dog, cat or other small animals such as gerbils and hamsters, they all depend on you. Learn what to do to keep your cherished pets safe by preparing for an emergency evacuation and recovery.

Top Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe During a Disaster
  • If it’s not safe for you to stay in your home during an emergency, it’s not safe for them either!
  • Include supplies for your pet in your emergency kit or assemble an emergency kit for your pet.
  • Make an evacuation plan for you and your pets. Many hotels and shelters do not accept animal guests, other than service animals.
  • Microchip pets or put a tag on their collar with your name, address, and cell phone number so they may be returned quickly in case you are separated from your pets. Be sure that any microchip information is up to date.
Keep in mind that uncertainty and change in the environment affect animals too, presenting new stresses and dangers. Your pet’s behavior may change after a crisis, becoming more aggressive or self-protective. Be sensitive to these changes and keep more room between them, other animals, children, or strangers. Animals need comforting, too. Comfort your pet with kind words and lots of pats or hugs. If possible, provide a safe and quiet environment, even if it is not their own home.

Download this Pet Safety information here. For tips on disaster planning for livestock, horses, birds, reptiles, or small animals such as gerbils and hamsters, please visit The Humane Society of the United States or
Pet Basic Disaster Kit should include:
  • Food and water for at least five days for each pet, bowls, and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food. Keep an extra gallon of water on hand for your pet's needs and if your pet has been exposed to chemicals or floodwaters and needs to be rinsed.
  • Store medications and medical records in a waterproof container and a first-aid kit. A pet first-aid book is also a good idea.
  • Cat litter box, litter, litter scoop, and garbage bags to collect all your pets' waste.
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and secure carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can't escape. Make sure that your cat or dog is wearing a collar and identification that is up to date and visible at all times.
  • Current photos of you with your pets and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated—and to prove that they are yours once you're reunited.
  • Written information about your pets' feeding schedules, medical conditions, and behavior issues along with the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
  • A favorite toy for comfort and a familiar blanket for warmth, particularly for smaller pets.
Need more help? Purchase a Veterinarian Approved Pet First Aid Kit Deluxe directly from the BRC online store here. 
BRC Learning Center
July Webinar

BRC’s Training Coordinator, Dan Coleman, shares his expertise in unique, one-hour online training opportunities. With over thirty years of extensive experience in teaching disaster preparedness and response, Dan will prepare you, your organization, business, or place of worship’s emergency response team with the skills necessary to be prepared to respond and recover from major emergencies and disasters. 

July 5th  - How to Keep Your Church or Nonprofit Safe and Secure

More important than ever, this training will help attendees develop a Security Plan that includes procedures to address vulnerable security areas of your house of worship property, clergy, staff, volunteers, and the congregation is crucial for safety.
Topics of this important training include developing a secure check-in/check-out system so you know where children and youth are at all times, developing a lockdown procedure for children and youth ministries, creating a church safety/security team with the responsibilities and authority to keep your house of worship property, staff, volunteers, and congregation safe. training in how to identify potential threats, securing all property and assets, and training and equipping the safety/security team, staff, and ministry leaders. 

Register Here

Check out all BRC's upcoming training and register here!
Although wildfires take place all over the United States, the overwhelming majority happen in the West.
Wildfire Season is Here! California has been experiencing warmer temperatures and drier seasons, bringing on longer and more intense drought seasons as a result of the changing climate. The conditions that are needed to spark a wildfire are more easily met, thereby also increasing its severity once it starts. This is evident by the fact that more than half of the twenty largest fires in California history all took place in the last four years.

BRC reminds us that an emergency can happen at any time and to anyone. Help your family be prepared for any emergency situation with a safety preparedness plan, some basic supplies, and advance planning. 
Our partner in safety, Southern California Edison (SCE), provides critical tools for preparedness. BRC encourages you to explore its Public Safety Power Shutoffs and Medical Baseline Allowance programs now instead of waiting until disasters happen.

Help Prevent Wildfires

During high-risk conditions for a wildfire, power to your neighborhood may be shut off temporarily. This can prevent electric systems from becoming a source of ignition. Proactive shutoffs are temporary and meant to keep you and your community safe. One of the ways Southern California Edison is reducing wildfire risks is through Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).

Learn more about PSPS and sign up for alerts here.

Get Help If You Use Medical Equipment

If you or someone in your household requires the regular use of electrically powered medical equipment or other qualifying medical devices, you may be eligible for our Medical Baseline Allowance program. This program provides an additional 16.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per day. Provided at the lowest baseline rate, this helps offset the cost of operating the medical equipment. Apply today!
For people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 infection, medications are available that can reduce your chances of severe illness and death. Other medications can help reduce symptoms and help you manage your illness. Here’s what you need to know.

Don’t Delay!

If you test positive and are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, treatments are available that can reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying from the disease. Medications to treat COVID-19 must be prescribed by a healthcare provider and started as soon as possible after diagnosis to be effective. Contact a healthcare provider right away to determine if you are eligible for treatment, even if your symptoms are mild right now. Treatment must be started within days after you first develop symptoms to be effective.

Who is at most risk? People who are more likely to get very sick include older adults (ages 50 years or more, with risk increasing with older age), people who are unvaccinated, and people with certain medical conditions, such as a weakened immune system. Being vaccinated makes you much less likely to get very sick. Still, some vaccinated people, especially those ages 65 years or older or who have other risk factors for severe disease, may benefit from treatment if they get COVID-19. A healthcare provider will help decide which treatment, if any, is right for you.

The FDA has issued emergency use authorizations (EUA) for certain antiviral medications and monoclonal antibodies to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in people who are more likely to get very sick.

Antiviral treatments target specific parts of the virus to stop it from multiplying in the body, helping to prevent severe illness and death.
Monoclonal antibodies are given through an IV infusion, antibodies help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus. They may be more or less effective against different variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Your healthcare provider can work with you to determine the best treatment options. Several options are available for treating COVID-19 at home or in an outpatient setting including:
  • Nirmatrelvir with ritonavir (Paxlovid): an investigational antiviral treatment used in adults and children ages 12 years and older. It is taken at home by mouth (orally). It should be started as soon as possible and must begin within 5 days of when your symptoms start.
  • Remdesivir (Veklury): an antiviral treatment used in adults and children. Treatment requires intravenous (IV) infusions at a healthcare facility for 3 consecutive days. It should be started as soon as possible and must begin within 7 days of when your symptoms start.
  • Bebtelovim: an investigational monoclonal antibody treatment used in adults and children ages 12 years and older. A healthcare provider gives bebtelovimab as a single IV injection. It should be started as soon as possible and must begin within 7 days of when your symptoms start.
  • Molnupiravir (Lagevrio): an investigational antiviral treatment used in adults ages 18 years and older. It is taken at home by mouth (orally). It should be started as soon as possible and must begin within 5 days of when your symptoms start.
To learn more about treatment options, visit
Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Despite this fact, hundreds of people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. High temperatures kill hundreds of people every year. Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, yet more than 700 people die from extreme heat every year in the United States.

You’ve Got This! Take measures to stay cool, remain hydrated, and keep informed.

Allowing your body to become too hot can make you sick. You can become ill from the heat if your body can’t compensate for it and properly cool you off. Two key things affecting your body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are:
  • High humidity. During times of high humidity, sweat does not evaporate as quickly keeping your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.
  • Personal factors. Age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use all can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.
This website provides helpful tips, information, and resources to help you stay safe in the extreme heat this summer.
While we all can succumb to heat-related illnesses, those who are at the highest risk include people 65 and older, children younger than two, and people with chronic diseases or mental illnesses.

If you have people in these higher-risk categories make sure you closely monitor them – they are depending on you for their care. Ask yourself these key, three lifesaving questions:

Are they drinking enough water?
Do they have access to air conditioning?
Do they need help keeping cool?
Four Things Extreme Heat Does To Your Body:  In order to prevent health issues caused by the heat, you need to be aware of the potential consequences first.
  1. Heat can make you feel ill.
  2. Heat exhaustion can set in.
  3. Heatstroke is possible.
  4. You could die.
The good news is that if proper precautions are taken, heat-related health issues can be avoided. In most cases, staying hydrated and getting into a cool environment can avoid serious health problems.
WE WALK BY FAITH: Pastors COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkit
Now available in Spanish!

Our Pastor’s COVID-19 Toolkit is available in both English and Spanish for FREE! This unique toolkit’s purpose is to help faith leaders discuss COVID-19 testing and the importance of vaccinations within the African American community. This helpful resource also serves as a repository for COVID-19 information and advisory updates.

Join BRC for its next FREE online Pastor’s Toolkit Orientation scheduled for June 22, 2022, from 3-4 PM.

We encourage you to take the time to gather the lifesaving tools and participate in the conversation in the fight against the devastating impact of this global pandemic. Contact for more information.

BRC - Keeping Our Community Healthy
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