SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Thursday, April 18, 2013) – The local Red Cross and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today received a prestigious award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Ready Neighborhoods, an innovative multi-year initiative in cities and towns from Fairfield all the way to Big Sur. The award was presented by FEMA during an event focused on earthquake preparedness at the California Academy of Sciences on the 107th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
In partnership with PG&E, the local Red Cross region that includes counties in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay Area and cities in Santa Cruz County received FEMA’s 2012 Community Preparedness Award for its efforts to make 50 vulnerable communities safer, stronger and better prepared for any disaster or emergency event. Through the initiative residents have learned disaster preparedness, basic first aid and hands-only CPR, with training materials and resources translated into six languages to reach more people. By training these people, the Red Cross estimates that Ready Neighborhoods has had an impact on nearly 750,000 people in these communities in two years.
Said PG&E President Chris Johns of the partnership:
“At PG&E, nothing is more important than the safety of our communities and the people we serve,” said Johns. “By collaborating with the Red Cross on the Ready Neighborhoods program, we’re giving people throughout Northern and Central California the tools they need to stay safe during and after emergencies.”
The award was presented to the local Red Cross and PG&E by Nancy Ward, the Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA Region IX Administrator.
“FEMA cannot emphasize too often or too loudly that prepared and resilient communities need a Whole Community dedicated to those goals,“ said Ward. “The local Red Cross has long realized and practiced just that. So I am particularly proud to acknowledge that leadership with this Department of Homeland Security award today!”
Russ Paulsen, the Executive Director of Community Preparedness and Resilience Services from American Red Cross National Headquarters, as well as San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and PG&E President Chris Johns were also in attendance.
The award presentation was followed by a disaster preparedness flash mob led by former 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice and Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi. The event also included a disaster preparedness event for the whole family, turning the front plaza of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park into a disaster preparedness training ground with games, activities and giveaways. People who attended this free event also received free entrance to the Academy and its Earthquake exhibit.
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Watch this video to learn more about how to get your family better prepared for disasters:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), and the PG&E Corporation Foundation strive to power strong communities throughout Northern and Central California. In 2012, PG&E contributed more than $23 million to more than 1,200 charitable organizations, including matching the generosity of employees who donated more than $6 million and volunteered over 40,000 hours to company-supported events. Community investments are funded entirely by shareholders. For more information, visit www.pge.com/community.
About the California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a leading scientific and cultural institution based in San Francisco. It is home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and research and education programs, which engage people of all ages and backgrounds on two of the most important topics of our time: life and its sustainability. Founded in 1853, the Academy’s mission is to explore, explain, and sustain life. Visit www.calacademy.org for more information.
Experience a high-magnitude jolt inside an earthquake simulator and delve into the science of our dynamic planet in the Earthquake exhibit.
About FEMA Region 9
The Federal Emergency Management Agency supports citizens and first responders to ensure that as a Nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. FEMA Region IX, headquartered in Oakland, California, is one of ten Regional Offices and manages an area of responsibility that includes: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated State of Micronesia and more than 150 sovereign tribal entities. The Region spans 8 time zones, contains more than 150 federally-recognized sovereign Native American entities, and contains the world’s eighth largest economy in California. Amongst the major threats facing the region is the potential for truly massive, no-notice earthquakes; wildfires, floods and even Tsunami's. FEMA’s catastrophic plan for a major earthquake in Calif ornia suggests damage that could include: 1,800 fatalities; 9,000,000 people being displaced and $200 billion in losses. Such a catastrophic earthquake scenario truly represents the Maximum of Maximums in disaster scenarios and is considered one of the Nation’s leading disaster risks. Visit www.fema.gov/region-ix for more information or follow @FEMARegion9 on Twitter.