FLATWOODS, Ky., September 4, 2019 – Kentucky Power on Wednesday awarded a $40,000 American Electric Power Foundation grant to the Red Cross. The grant will provide free smoke detectors and support the organization’s Home Fire Preparedness efforts in eastern Kentucky.
“We’re making this important grant award today in recognition of National Preparedness Month,” said Kentucky Power President Brett Mattison. “The Red Cross responds to more than 300 home fires in eastern Kentucky every year. This grant will allow them to help families prepare should disaster strike.”
Celebrated each September, National Preparedness Month encourages Americans to be prepared for disasters in their homes, businesses and communities. One of the best ways to prepare for a home fire is to have working smoke detectors. They can reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by nearly 50 percent, according to the Red Cross. The AEP Foundation grant will allow the Red Cross, volunteer fire departments, Kentucky Power volunteers and others to canvass low income areas and provide smoke detectors to those in need. Smoke detector installations funded with the grant are planned for October in Greenup County and in Letcher County in spring 2020.
“With this generous donation from the American Electric Power Foundation homes will be made safer and lives will be saved,” said Debbie Ranier, executive director of the Eastern Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross. “Partners like Kentucky Power mean so much to this organization. We appreciate their time and generosity put into helping the American Red Cross carry out its mission daily. They are truly a part of our Red Cross Family.”
Also, this week a Red Cross emergency response vehicle funded with a previous $150,000 AEP Foundation grant left Ashland with the husband-wife volunteer team of Mike and Charlene Qualls for its first national disaster response. The vehicle, eastern Kentucky’s first, was dispatched to North Carolina in response to Hurricane Dorian. In addition, Kentucky Power crews left Wednesday for North Carolina to provide assistance with power restoration efforts.
The AEP Foundation is funded by AEP and its utility operating units, including Kentucky Power. AEP Foundation grants are not tracked for recovery from customers through rates. In awarding grants, the Foundation focuses on improving lives through education in science, technology, engineering, math and the environment and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger in the communities it serves. Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Ashland, provides service to approximately 167,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties. AEP is one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states.