The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Energy, has provided a $10,000 grant to the Central New York Region of the American Red Cross for a disaster preparedness education program in areas throughout the region that are susceptible to major natural disasters such as floods.
The program – “Preparing for the Unexpected” – will cover eight of the 16 counties in the Red Cross Central New York Region: Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer, Oneida, Otsego, Tioga and Tompkins.
On Nov. 8, Stanley Ossowski, Northeastern Area Manager for Dominion Gas Transmission, presented a check for $10,000 to Shelley Bierwiler, Community Executive for the American Red Cross of the Southern Tier. Dominion Foundation grants are funded by shareholder dollars, not customers, and the Foundation’s total giving was more than $20 million in 2012.
“At Dominion, we like to work with the communities we service and give back in a way that helps the communities in a variety of different ways,” Ossowski said at the check presentation. “That’s why we wanted to work with the American Red Cross on this project.”
“The more prepared a community is, the greater its recovery will be after a disaster,” Bierwiler said. “Every dollar spent on preparedness saves $4 on a disaster relief operation.”
Here are the objectives of this new initiative:
• Improve the dissemination of disaster preparedness information to residents of the eight counties, particularly vulnerable populations such as the elderly and low-income families.
• Build stronger collaborative relationships with community partners, including other non-profit organizations and agencies, to increase opportunities for targeted disaster preparedness presentations and education.
• Develop and sustain a cost-effective, volunteer-led process to recruit and train specialized Red Cross disaster preparedness volunteers in the counties included in this program.
Grant funds will be used to develop and print volunteer training materials, purchase presentation equipment, and purchase materials and supplies for presentations and takeaways for participants. The goal is to make presentations to about 2,000 adults in the eight counties over the next year.
“Unfortunately, we have seen first-hand the devastation and heartache caused by major flooding in the Southern Tier and the Mohawk Valley in the last three years,” Bierwiler said. “We are extremely thankful to our friends at Dominion for partnering with us to help get the preparedness message out to residents who are vulnerable to this kind of disaster.”