Defy:Disaster provides guidance and infrastructure to the entertainment industry during natural disasters, and members of the entertainment community use the program to quickly receive critical information from disaster relief experts.
“We are proud to invest in the entertainment industry’s disaster relief efforts and look forward to working with EIF to strengthen the infrastructure of Defy:Disaster,” said Kelly Coffey, CEO of City National Bank. “The program provides the industry with the foundation for coordinating meaningful relief efforts, and our partnership with EIF will allow the program greater reach throughout communities affected by disasters.”
Nicole Sexton, president and CEO of EIF, said the Defy:Disaster sponsorship ensures that vital information regarding disaster preparation and response will be shared throughout the entertainment industry. Last year, her organization granted over $10 million in pandemic-related relief. During the 2020 California wildfire season, they provided firefighters with critical equipment, including hydration packs, carcinogen extractors and gloves.
“We have more work to do, and the support of City National Bank will allow us to further invest in our program and our coordinated responses,” Sexton said.
Defy:Disaster is guided by an advisory council of crisis response experts, including Jeff Schlegelmilch (National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute, Columbia University), Regine Webster (Center for Disaster Philanthropy), Kirsten Mildren (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), Abby Browning (California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services) and Graham Everett (Los Angeles Fire Department).
During last year’s lockdown, Defy:Disaster aided community health clinics, assisted with increased testing in underserved communities and provided mental health services and training for frontline health workers. The initiative is currently raising funds to ensure the safety of firefighters by securing helicopter helmets, bail-out kits used to rappel down building exteriors and night vision goggles to identify hot spots in low light.