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 Santa Cruz County.
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.
The Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter recognized PG&E’s support of Ready Neighborhoods with a check presentation during Fiesta Patrias in Watsonville. The September 16, 2012, event honored Mexican Independence Day and was attended by
hundreds. The program was also recognized during a disaster kit building and preparedness event at the Villa la Posada apartment complex in Watsonville in October.
Since the program’s launch in the fall, the Chapter has been successful with its Ready Neighborhoods programming, by hiring Rebecca Linn, an AmeriCorps volunteer focused solely on disaster preparedness.
Rebecca has reached out to high schools, homeowners associations, and mobile home parks throughout Santa Cruz County, providing disaster kit building events and preparedness trainings.
Currently, the Chapter has successfully delivered preparedness training to 4,566 community members with a goal of doubling that number and giving out 650 disaster kits to underserved community members by the end of June.
The Chapter is now trying to integrate disaster preparedness trainings into all community outreach events, said the Chapter’s development manager, Camilla Boolootian.
“We are so grateful to PG&E for providing us with the resources to launch this campaign in Santa Cruz County,” said Camilla.