Posted on December 16, 2013

San Luis Obispo: SLO Sheriff, PG&E Join Forces on Emergency Preparedness Campaign

SAN LUIS OBISPO – PG&E and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department have launched a new public awareness campaign designed to make the region one of the most emergency-prepared counties in the nation.

The public safety campaign was announced today (Dec. 16) at PG&E’s Joint Information Center, nearly one year after the utility donated $75,000 to help form the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Task Force on Public Safety.

Left to right: Norm and Shirley Smyth, Cambria Community Emergency Response Team, Sheriff Ian Parkinson, PG&E’s Tom Jones and Tony Cipolla, sheriff’s department PIO. (Photo by John Lindsey.)

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson unveiled the first in a series of six public service announcements produced by the task force to help local residents and businesses prepare for natural and man-made disasters on the Central Coast. The PSAs include the familiar faces of local mayors and some rely on humor to stress the importance of being prepared for any type of disaster. They should begin airing in a few weeks on television and radio and featured in print.

“Our goal is to make this county prepared for any type of disaster that could occur,” said Parkinson. “An earthquake, tsunami, flood or fire could happen here on the Central Coast, and it’s important for everyone to be prepared for any disaster. This campaign helps us to get that message across.”

The sheriff also provided updates on increasing funding for the area’s 2-1-1 information line and San Luis Obispo Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and increasing tsunami warnings along the coast. Parkinson also announced the purchase of emergency trailers to be used for disaster response.

PG&E announced its financial support of the Sheriff’s Task Force on Public Safety in January. At the time, Greg Pruett, a PG&E senior vice president, talked about the utility’s commitment to disaster preparedness.

Pruett reiterated PG&E’s commitment to safety in a statement today. “To deliver safe and reliable energy to California, our employees continually train and prepare to face any emergency that may arise,” he said. “We encourage our customers to do the same by learning what to do if disaster strikes. The key to success starts at home, which is why this campaign encourages everyone to create a personal disaster kit and have an evacuation plan in place. Knowing how you will respond is the first step toward ensuring your safety and well-being.”

San Luis Obispo County is home to PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant with 1,500 employees who live in the area.

The goal of the task force is to raise public awareness and increase collaboration and communication between agencies within the county with the goal of improving disaster preparedness and response.

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"PG&E" refers to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.
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