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Partnership with ARC chapters in New Hampshire, Maine and North Central Massachusetts to enhance community outreach and emergency response efforts
April 19, 2011
Hampton, NH

 

Unitil Corporation, a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers throughout New England, today announced its partnership with the American Red Cross (ARC) to further enhance each organization’s commitment to providing efficient emergency response. The announcement was made during a “Safety Day” event held jointly by ARC and Unitil at Unitil’s headquarters in Hampton, New Hampshire.  The event celebrated the reciprocal training aspect of the partnership, with both Unitil employees and Red Cross volunteers participating in downed wire safety, CPR and First Aid training.

“There is a tremendous synergy between our organization and the American Red Cross,” Carol Valianti, Unitil’s vice president of communications and public affairs said.  “As a local company, we care deeply about the well being of our customers as they are also our neighbors.  We can’t think of a better partner than the American Red Cross to help us go the extra mile to ensure their safety.”

This new partnership will involve close collaboration between both the ARC and Unitil on an ongoing basis.  This is evident in the recent appointment of Richard Francazio, Unitil’s director of emergency management, to the ARC Great Bay Chapter Board of Directors and in the initiatives the two organizations have already begun working on. The partnership includes several educational, community development and volunteer opportunities—all intended to positively impact Unitil and ARC employees, as well as volunteers and members of the communities they serve. The ongoing partnership initiatives will focus specifically within Unitil’s territories, which include New Hampshire, Maine and North Central Massachusetts.  

“This is a robust partnership, which supports our mutual goal to strengthen our commitment to community safety through improved communications, efficient emergency response and becoming more proactive in our preparation efforts,” said Maria White, CEO, American Red Cross, New Hampshire Region.  “By working closely with Unitil, we can better serve the people who depend on us when emergencies arise.” 

Some key areas of collaboration include:

Community Outreach:

  • Unitil and the Red Cross will prepare joint public service announcements (PSAs) about power outage preparedness, downed wire safety, and emergency readiness.
  • The Red Cross and Unitil will communicate jointly to the media and the greater community on safety before, during and after emergency events so that the public receives one cohesive message.
  • The Red Cross will participate in Unitil’s municipal update calls during major outage events. With access on par with first responders, the Red Cross will be best equipped to determine whether shelters are needed and where and when they should open.

Training:

  • Unitil will provide on-site power restoration and downed wire safety training for the Red Cross volunteers to ensure their safety as first responders in an emergency.
  • Unitil employees will receive additional disaster preparedness training for situations at home and at work from the Red Cross, as well as Adult CPR/AED and First Aid training.

Volunteer opportunities:

  • Unitil employees will be encouraged to support various volunteer efforts and projects at the Red Cross’s New Hampshire offices and in local communities on an ongoing basis. 

Heroes Breakfast:

  • As it did earlier this spring, Unitil will continue to serve as a prominent sponsor of these signature events during which the American Red Cross honors local heroes who have shown courage, kindness, and unselfish character through their acts of heroism in the communities served by their local chapter. 

ARC Campaign Support:

  • Unitil customers will have a chance to make a difference, too.  Unitil will continue to support all Red Cross outreach efforts throughout the year, from blood drives to volunteering opportunities to the Red Cross’s annual holiday campaign. Unitil supports the Red Cross’s biggest annual campaign by including informational “buck slips” in correspondence to its over 170,000 gas and electriccustomers.  Customers will be invited to visit the ARC website to purchase a needed item that can help someone in times of disaster. 
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About Unitil Corporation

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 104,300 electric customers and 79,900 natural gas customers. Other subsidiaries include Usource, Unitil’s non-regulated business segment. For more information about our people, technologies, and community involvement please visit www.unitil.com.

 


For more information please contact:
Alec O'Meara

Media Relations Manager
OMeara@unitil.com
Phone: 603-773-6404

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