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$2.5M PG&E Donation Will Fund NorCal Red Cross Disaster Prep Program

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San Bruno disaster area

Red Cross disaster relief trucks are parked Wednesday at an area damaged in the San Bruno explosion and fire. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The American Red Cross Friday announced a $2.5 million donation from PG&E to fund a disaster preparedness program in towns throughout Northern and Central California.

Representatives announced the new funding at a rally Friday in San Francisco’s Union Square, where Red Cross volunteers joined 49ers football alum Jerry Rice to lead disaster preparedness games and distribute emergency kits to attendees.

During the event, the “Most Valuable Players” from a Ready Neighborhoods Initiative co-sponsored by the Red Cross and PG&E were honored for their efforts in preparing their communities for potential disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes.

PG&E’s latest donation will continue to help fund the nearly one-year-old program, which is meant to give communities training, resources and networks to help prevent, prepare, respond to and recover from emergencies, according to the Bay Area Red Cross chapter.

“Our goal with the Ready Neighborhoods program is to support and empower the very people who will lead the ongoing readiness and response efforts and ultimately help their community recover more quickly following a disaster,” American Red Cross Bay Area chapter CEO Harold Brooks said in a statement.

Last year, the initiative provided resources and training to community members across the Bay Area, including in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Oakland’s Elmhurst neighborhood, North Vallejo and East Palo Alto.

“Over and over again, the Red Cross has experienced the power of neighbors helping neighbors immediately following disaster,” Brooks said.

Bay Area residents can find more information about disaster preparedness resources in their communities at www.redcrossbayarea.org or by calling 1-888-4-HELP-BAY.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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