Monday, September 12, 2011

PG&E Currents: Central Valley Red Cross Gets Financial Boost from PG&E

As community leaders and local residents gathered at Fresno’s Courthouse Park on Friday (Sept. 9) to learn about disaster preparedness, PG&E announced a $150,000 donation to the American Red Cross for local outreach efforts.

The PG&E contribution will go to the Central Valley region of the American Red Cross, which supports Fresno, Kern, Kings, Tulare, Madera, Merced and Mariposa counties.

Ellen Knapp, regional CEO of the American Red Cross Central Valley Region, said the money will help the relief organization educate and prepare communities for that inevitable next disaster — whether flood or fire or something else.

“It’s not a matter of if it is going to happen, but when the next disaster will strike,” she told the crowd.

The financial contribution is part of larger $1 million partnership launched by PG&E and the American Red Cross in April. The American Red Cross Ready Neighborhoods program will provide support to some of the most vulnerable communities across Northern and Central California by setting up disaster-preparedness resources, identifying shelter locations and providing response training and emergency kits.

Speakers at Fresno’s “Prep Rally” included Fresno County Supervisor Phil Larson, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and Shawn Cooper, chief of staff for the office of the chairman at PG&E.

Mims talked about the importance of families putting together emergency kits with at least three days worth of critical supplies such as water, nonperishable food items and medications.

Cooper said PG&E has a long history of working closely with relief agencies such as the Red Cross and local law enforcement.

“Safety is important to PG&E,” he said. “We look forward to this partnership,” he said, just before presenting the $150,000 oversized check.

The downtown Fresno celebration also included activity booths, giveaways and safety demonstrations, such as CPR.

In one of the demonstrations, a PG&E lineman used a scaled-down model of a neighborhood to show those at the rally how interference with live electrical power lines could be harmful.