Award presented April 18 at California Academy of Sciences alongside former 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice, Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi and local officials.
SAN FRANCISCO – The local Red Cross and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) 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 Carmel. 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.
About Ready Neighborhoods
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 and 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 initiative has been at work in:
• Alameda County: Hayward and Oakland (East Oakland and Elmhurst)
• Contra Costa County: Antioch, Pittsburg/Bay Point and Richmond (Iron Triangle)
• Marin County: Marin City, San Rafael (Canal), Richardson’s Bay
• San Francisco County: San Francisco (Bayview, Chinatown and Tenderloin)
• San Mateo County: East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, Redwood City (North East Redwood City ), San Mateo
• Solano County: Fairfield, Suisun City and Vallejo (North Vallejo)
Watch this video to learn more about how to get your family better prepared for disasters:
About American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
As a community-based, humanitarian organization, the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter provides relief to those affected by disasters and empowers individuals in our community to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. By helping people in the Bay Area learn how to take care of their families and neighbors, the Red Cross strengthens the community and makes it ready for all types of disasters, including fires, earthquakes, wildfires and other emergencies. Call 1-888-4-HELP-BAY (1-888-443-5722) or visit www.redcrossbayarea.org to learn more.
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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.