The Dominion Foundation 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.
Here are the objectives of the 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 the 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,” said Shelley Bierwiler, community executive of the American Red Cross of the Southern Tier. “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.”
Dominion Foundation grants are funded by shareholder dollars, not customers, and the foundation’s total giving was more than $20 million in 2012.
“We cannot prevent all disasters, but we can lessen the effect on people and property with proper preparation and response,” said Stanley Ossowski, Northeastern area manager for Dominion Gas Transmission. “Dominion supports the Red Cross and its effort to keep our communities prepared.”