Red Cross, PG&E honored for disaster prep work

SAN FRANCISCO

At the event in Golden Gate Park, FEMA honored PG&E and the Red Cross for their work getting communities ready any disaster. One of the things being handed out was a booklet entitled "Map Your Block" which talks about how important it is to get to know the people in your neighborhood, their expertise, or what equipment they might have that could be useful during a disaster.

The Bay Area needed a lot more than a first aid kit after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. So did the victims of this week's horrifying Boston bombings. National Red Cross Executive Director of Community Preparedness Russ Paulsen says survival kits are good, but the single most important thing people need to do is have a family plan.

"Letting your loved ones know you're OK, whether it's going to a pre-arranged meeting place or calling someone out of the area, sending a text message, that's the most important thing that you can do," he said.

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White says first responders are always learning and paying attention to incidents in other cities. "Our hearts go out to the victims in Boston, the tragedy that's happening in Texas, and we just remain focused, being compassionate for those that have suffered losses. But it does strengthen us to continue to protect lives and property everyday here in San Francisco," she said.

San Francisco's Department of Emergency Services says the city has come light years from Loma Prieta, when the coordinating body didn't even exist. "As far as the ability to coordinate resources and work together across all the agencies, with the public, now we're getting there. We've got it," Rob Dudgeon said.

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