Do you have a plan in the event of an earthquake?
The American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter in partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company aimed to make sure Bay Area residents could answer yes to that question, before an earthquake occurs, with the ‘Make Your Game Plan’ Prep Rally on April 18 at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.
The Red Cross Prep Rally was held on the 107th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, with sports legends Jerry Rice and Kristi Yamaguchi as part of the festivities. The former 49ers wide receiver and Olympic gold medalist as well as local officials encouraged participants to get ready with a disaster preparedness game plan. During the event, the American Red Cross was also awarded FEMA’s 2012 Community Preparedness Award for Ready Neighborhoods, an innovative multi-year initiative that aims to prepare 50 Bay Area communities for a disaster.
With a number of information booths, people learned fast and easy preparedness tips. Attendees also learned important skills such as basic first aid and CPR. A free preparedness kit was also distributed, which included a flashlight, first aid kit, hand warmers, a poncho, snacks, and water.
Several school groups and families attended the Prep Rally, with free entry into the California Academy of Sciences and its Earthquake exhibit.
Local resident and 49ers fan Kenneth Edwards decided to make preparedness a priority after attending the event.
“I watched Jerry Rice play when he first joined the 49ers in 1985… I was in an earthquake in 1989 and got my picture in the Oakland Tribune as I was trying to save some lives at that time,” said Edwards. “After this event today, I will definitely be more prepared and have everything ready in case of an earthquake. I’ll have it right by my door so if something does happen I can grab it and go.”
Teaching people the tools they need to be prepared was a key message throughout the Prep Rally. Russ Paulsen, the Executive Director of Community Preparedness and Resilience Services for American Red Cross National Headquarters in addressing the crowd reminded people how quick and easy it can be to get ready for an emergency.
“We’re working with individuals and communities to help spread the message about community preparedness,” said Paulsen, of Ready Neighborhoods and the need to get prepared for an earthquake or other emergency. “It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when.”
During the rally, PG&E President Chris Johns said the company’s collaboration with the Red Cross on the Ready Neighborhoods program is giving people the tools they need to stay safe during and after emergencies. Ready Neighborhoods is an innovative multi-year initiative, which launched in April 2011. It is designed to transform 50 neighborhoods into models of disaster readiness throughout the region. The goal is to ensure local residents, the organizations that serve them are equipped with the training, resources, and networks necessary to effectively prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. This collaborative effort is led by individuals and organizations within each community, facilitated by the American Red Cross and supported with lead funding by PG&E.
The award presentation was followed by a disaster preparedness flash mob led by Rice and Yamaguchi, who further encouraged people to take steps to make preparedness a part of their lives. They asked the audience: “Have you made your Game Plan?”