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The Power of a Smile

A smile is such a simple act. A smile is universal, found in every land, culture, and age – even babies smile. And when someone genuinely smiles your way, you can’t help but smile back. There is true power in the act of smiling. Smiling can help you live longer by relieving stress, lowering blood pressure, boosting your immune system, and releasing endorphins and serotonin. In this sense, smiles have incredible transformative powers. Not only can smiling impact your health and well-being, but it can also break down barriers while creating rapport and connection with others.

Considering what is occurring throughout the world today, I believe we all need to spread a little love and a smile.
Join me in celebrating Share a Smile Day! Each year on March 1st we are encouraged to share a smile with everyone we encounter. As a result, you will find yourself a bit more joyful in the process. If you don’t feel as though you have a reason to smile, be the reason that someone else smiles and you might be surprised at how quickly you feel like smiling. Your smile not only makes the people you smile at feel better, but it also makes you feel better.
Let’s not limit ourselves to one day. Let’s challenge ourselves to make this a daily practice. Starting today, remember to just smile. Smile at everyone around you. Smile indiscriminately. Smile widely, smile continuously. Never underestimate the power of your smile!

Smiling ear to ear in profound happiness and gratitude, Debra
While flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto normally dry land, it is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, affecting every region and state. Here in the Inland Region, we are at risk of these conditions year around. This year with the additional precipitation and potential snow melt, we all need to be more prepared than ever.
Be Prepared for Spring Floods

Floods may result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems. Because floods can develop slowly or quickly, flash floods often come with no warning causing outages, disrupting transportation, damaging buildings, and creating landslides. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death. Here are steps you can take to be prepared:

Know Your Risk for Floods
Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center to find out about the types of flood risk in your area.  Sign up for your community’s warning system here. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.

Preparing for a Flood
Make a plan for your household, including your pets, so that you and your family know what to do, where to go, and what you will need to protect yourselves from flooding. Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response. Make your GO BAG by gathering supplies, including non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies, and water for several days, in case you must leave immediately or if services are cut off in your area.

In Case of Emergency
Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies. Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery

Staying Safe During a Flood
  • Evacuate immediately, if told to evacuate. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • Contact your healthcare provider If you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.
  • Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
  • Stay inside your car if it is trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.
  • Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and once there signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.
BRC recommends keeping this Flood Information Sheet on hand.
Flood Insurance

Floods cause physical and emotional anguish, as well as financial devastation. Along with emergency alerts and having a Go Bag at the ready is to also have flood insurance. Most homeowners’ insurance does not cover flooding. In fact, just one inch of water in an average-sized home can cause more than $25,000 in damage

Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy can typically take up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect so the time to buy is well before a disaster. Learn more about flood insurance here or get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) here
BRC Team Continues to Grow! 
Meet Building Resilient Communities' (BRC) Programs and Services Director, Reverend Jim Smith. Jim began his work with BRC this past January. As part of the management team, Jim plays an essential role in developing and implementing programs, services, and initiatives that help communities prepare for all types of disasters moving forward in our mission to help those under-served and under-resourced.
“Building Resilient Communities is passionate about helping the under-served and under-resourced overcome their current circumstances. Each team member takes what we do seriously and is always looking at how to address the root causes of the circumstances.”, shares Jim.

Collaborating with various faith, communities, and public agencies is essential to create the strong connections that are necessary to make a true difference. Jim’s broad background in ministry and leadership roles is the perfect fit for this community-driven position.
“From a very young age, I have an innate yearning instilled in me to help others. As an ordained minister, I have a passion to help and encourage faith leaders and congregations thrive in their ministries. It is those two passions that drive me to work with houses of worship and small businesses to enable them be leaders in their communities by equipping them to be prepared and respond to their communities during emergency situations.”, shared Jim.
As natural disasters and social disparities appear to be increasing, Jim believes BRC’s services and training that include youth are more important than ever. One of his projects is to enhance BRC’s Youth Program by developing a Youth Leadership and Development Internship Program. Through this highly interactive program, high school students develop leadership skills in emergency preparedness and learn how to take proactive initiatives in matters of racial and social justice, climate change, environmental impact, and the economic well-being of their communities which has a direct impact in building resilient communities.

Three of BRC’s core values are of special significance to Jim: Excellence, teamwork, and reliability.

“Excellence is important to me as I believe that everything I do should be pleasing to the Lord. If I can accomplish that in my life, then I will be making an impact on the lives of others. Teamwork, in my opinion, is the only way to build a great team that can passionately serve others. Reliability is the same as integrity. My word is my word and if I cannot deliver on what I promise then I have let others down.”
Welcome, Jim! We look forward to experiencing the impact of your skills and talents in helping BRC continue to grow!
At BRC we know that connected communities are more likely to be resilient, equitable, and healthy communities. The Inland Region is filled with a variety of events that support meaningful connections in our communities. The BRC Community Calendar showcases upcoming events hosted by local non-profits, community organizations, and businesses.

Do you have an event that we can help promote? All events submitted to the community calendar must be located within San Bernardino and Riverside Counties and open to the general public. Submit your event for review here.


Thank a Funder!

Building Resilient Communities (BRC) is proud to be in partnership with Riverside County and grateful for the financial support as part of the recent initiative - Riverside County University Public Health Initiative to Address COVID-19 Disparities.

Building healthy, strong, resilient communities takes robust collaborations with like-minded, dedicated partners. In addition to our mission of providing disaster preparedness education, resources and tools; BRC advocates to remove barriers that cause people to be under-served and under-resourced.  Thank you, County of Riverside for your important investment in BRC.  
Our community has faced several crises, from wildfires to COVID-19. While we are actively preparing families and businesses to persevere in the face of disaster, we need your help to make our efforts go even further!

You can help us provide communities with personal protection equipment, training, and disaster preparedness resources. Your support is crucial to our efforts to create a resilient, self-sufficient community.

If you’re able, we’d love it if you could donate to help us achieve our mission.

Donate to Save Lives
Building Resilient Communities
Copyright © *2019* *Building Resilient Communities*, All rights reserved.

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301 N. 9th St., Ste. 303, Entrance Reception 200, Redlands, CA 92374

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