Disaster Philanthropy Playbook

Spotlight on Public Service Electric and Gas

For Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G), disaster response encompasses two critical components: safety and preparedness. After all, the Utility is among first responders when disasters occur.

As a result, PSE&G has developed an integrated set of programs designed to reach all layers of the communities the company serves.

For example, the PSEG Foundation partnered with Sesame Street Workshop to develop Let’s Get Ready: Planning Together for Emergencies, and Here For Each Other: Helping Families After Emergencies. These programs are emergency preparedness and response initiatives focused on family preparedness, offered in both English and Spanish, free of charge.

“These two programs also include an engaging, interactive app that helps families prepare for emergencies in simple ways, as children learn basic information to help them stay safe and make them proud to be prepared,” said Marion O’Neill, Director, Corporate Contributions for the Foundation. Tied into the emergency preparedness programs are supplemental materials for families and classroom teachers. “The overarching message is about feeling safe in your community and home, and being ready for a disaster,” O’Neill said.

While the program is geared towards children, the supplemental supplies aimed at parents and schools make it applicable to a number of community nonprofits, after-school programs, and faith-based community activities.

PSE&G responded in a robust manner when its home state of New Jersey was impacted by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The Foundation supported the establishment of a statewide VOAD organization (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), which was critically essential for New Jersey’s recovery. The Foundation is proud of NJVOAD’s capacity to serve and assist counties and municipalities in being prepared and available when the need is greatest.

The Foundation works closely with its Regional Association, the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, and in the months after Sandy, it worked with the Council on organizing a rare site visit to a PSE&G Substation for foundation leaders to learn about how the hurricane impacted the electrical grid and the monumental task faced by all electric and gas suppliers in New Jersey and New York whose territory were in Sandy’s catastrophic path.

PSEG Foundation and the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers organized a tour for foundation leaders to visit a substation power plant. (Photo credit: Council of New Jersey Grantmakers)

The PSEG Foundation knows that proactive strategies reduce vulnerability to disasters.   They are committed to educating families on safety and preparedness, and strengthening the capacity of emergency response organizations and staff.  Through a partnership with the American Red Cross, they are pre-investing in disaster relief by supporting activities in advance of a disaster, including training volunteers, securing shelter locations, stocking warehouses and maintaining disaster-relief vehicles.

PSE&G seeks to keep people and their homes safe. While we cannot predict if or when the next extreme weather event occurs, a more resilient infrastructure helps safeguard our communities and PSE&G has made a long-term investment in protecting its communities across its territory. Through their community, government and nonprofit partnerships, they work to provide the tools, resources and preparation that focus on disaster safety, and reduce our vulnerability in times of emergency.