Ready Neighborhoods Initiative Expands to Monterey Bay Area

PG&E’s support of Ready Neighborhoods was recognized by the Red Cross Monterey Bay Area Chapter this past fall.
PG&E’s support of Ready Neighborhoods was recognized by the Red Cross Monterey Bay Area Chapter this past fall.

In September, PG&E reinforced its commitment to the successful Greater San Francisco Bay Area Ready Neighborhoods initiative, by extending it to the Central Coast, including the Monterey Bay Area.

The initiative’s aim is to educate residents by providing culturally sensitive and age appropriate disaster preparedness training, working with a $100,000 grant from PG&E. The goal is to reach approximately 100,000 residents in targeted communities in the counties of Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, Carmel, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara by the end of June, 2013.

PG&E’s support of Ready Neighborhoods was recognized by the Red Cross Monterey Bay Area Chapter with a check presentation during the El Grito celebration in Salinas on September 16, 2012, an event attended by more than 45,000 people across the Central Coast.

Since the festival, the Chapter has successfully launched its Ready Neighborhoods program, hiring a part-time coordinator focused on disaster preparedness, and Ready Neighborhoods. Wanda Vollmer began planning disaster preparedness trainings in English and Spanish throughout Monterey County in January. Since September, Vollmer and eight additional Chapter volunteers and staff have been trained to present the new disaster preparedness program.

Since January, the Chapter has successfully delivered preparedness training to almost 700 people at nineteen events, with a surpassing the goal of training and giving disaster kits out to 625 people by the end of the year.

The Monterey Bay Area and Santa Cruz County Chapters are working together to increase awareness of the Ready Neighborhoods program through advertising. The goal is to have paid ads in print and TV and radio public service announcements out in the Central Coast by the end of summer 2013.

Later this year, Vollmer and the Chapter plan to reach out to corporate partners to extend Ready Neighborhoods and disaster preparedness trainings to the workplace.