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Safeway & Vons/Pavilions Participate in Calif. Disaster Preparedness Efforts

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway, Inc. is working with the state government of California and the American Red Cross on a public service campaign to encourage better emergency planning and preparedness in the state.

Safeway and Vons executives joined California's first lady, Maria Shriver, actresses Jamie Lee Curtis and Raven Symone, American Red Cross president Marty Evans, and other dignitaries here yesterday, in kicking off the state's yearlong effort, "Be Smart, Be Responsible, Be Prepared, Be Ready!"

The campaign was introduced yesterday at a Vons store near Northridge, where a 1994 earthquake had caused severe damage. A Northern California kick-off event will take place on April 28, at the San Francisco Marina District Safeway store.

"Safeway is honored to join the first lady and take a leadership role in this important partnership to help educate millions of Californians about the need to be disaster prepared," said Safeway e.v.p. Larree Renda in a statement.

For its part in the campaign, the grocer will offer emergency preparedness kits for sale, provide free educational materials, and air public service announcements about the importance of disaster preparedness. Its commitment to the public service campaign is valued at $2.5 million in product and in-kind contributions, and will continue throughout the year to ensure maximum outreach to families and communities, the company said.

Highlights of Safeway's partnership with the state include:

-- All California Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, and Pak 'n Save stores are now selling American Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Starter Kits, specially created for the campaign. Available in one-person and four-person family kits, the products will be sold at cost for $29.99 and $49.99, respectively. Each kit packaged in a backpack, contains essential items such as emergency blankets, rain ponchos, light sticks, a flashlight and batteries, water containers, a personal first aid kit, and other important items recommended by the Red Cross and the State of California.

-- For each kit purchased, the Safeway and Vons Foundations will make a $1 contribution to support the American Red Cross and the California State Alliance, to strengthen disaster preparedness programs.

-- Safeway and Vons/Pavilions will produce public service announcements and messages to be included in weekly print and radio advertising to help communicate the "Be Smart, Be Responsible, Be Prepared, Be Ready!" program to millions of California consumers. Safeway will also include these public service messages as part of its in-store radio broadcast network. Educational materials will also be sent to schools participating in Safeway's eScrip program.

-- As part of the program's launch, Safeway will provide shoppers with information about Maria Shriver's "10 Ways to Be Disaster Prepared," and an "essential items" shopping list to help them purchase critical items needed in the event of an emergency. Each aisle in the store will be equipped with specially designed shelf talkers next to essential items, to help customers identify the emergency supplies.
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