NASCAR’s Denny Hamlin, FedEx and Atlanta Red Cross “Race to Prepare” Kids for Emergencies

ATLANTA, September 2, 2010 With National Preparedness Month starting this month and Hurricane Earl tumbling towards the East Coast, the Atlanta Red Cross partnered up with FedEx and NASCAR to bring driver Denny Hamlin to Toomer Elementry School in order to help increase interest for “Race to Prepare,” an effort in educating children and adults about the importance of preparing themselves and their homes for a disaster. 

Hamlin, who is currently ranked fifth in the NASCAR points standings and will be competing Sunday Night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, was on the scene with his no.11 car to encourage the third and fourth graders to tell their parents how to be prepared when a disaster strikes. 

“It’s important for you kids to realize that it’s never too early to become a team leader for your family,” said Hamlin. “We prepare a lot at the racetrack and a crash is never something we like to see happen, but we are always prepared in case one does happen and that preparedness needs to go into preparing the household as well.” 

Red Cross member Ruben Brown quizzed the students on what they thought should be in their home emergency kits, which should at least include a flash-light, extra batteries, personal comforts bag, gloves, a whistle, and a first-aid kit. Brown also talked on importance of spreading the information among families, friends, and the community to make sure everyone is informed how to be safe. 

To help the efforts of Atlanta Red Cross’s “Race to Prepare,” FedEx presented Chief Emergencies Services Officer Nancy Brockway with a check for $10,000. Brockway spoke on how-to be better prepared for if a disaster were to occur. 

“There are three things that we want you to go home to tell your parents when you get home today,” said Brockway. “Build a kit, make a plan, and be informed.” 

Getting a chance to start the first step that Brockway presented during the rally, the students were split up into four teams and were put to a relay race of who could pass along the supplies to build a kit the fastest. Along the side of reinforcing the students idea of what should be in the kit, this also gave the students a fun way of building kits for their classmates and a way of ending the day for the students. 

Other speakers at the rally included Gerald Topley from FedEx, Dr. Robin Hall, and Principle Nicole Evans Jones. 

The kits are also available for purchase from the Atlanta Red Cross at under the Get a Kit, Give a Kit tab at the bottom of the page. This will allow you to purchase kits for yourself or to donate a kit or funds for those in need. The Get a Kit, Give a kit campaign is one to make sure that every home in Georgia has the opportunity to have a home emergency kit in their household.

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