SEATTLE, Wash. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities initiative has been well received in the Pacific Northwest, particularly here in Washington State.
The City of Seattle, this region's 1997 "pilot" Project Impact community, was followed in 1998 by King and Pierce Counties, and in 1999 by Walla Walla and Kitsap Counties. Washington State is now soliciting applicants for Year 2000. According to Washington Emergency Management Division state mitigation officer Martin Best, the initiative is all about forging partnerships among key stakeholders, prioritizing hazards, pooling resources and taking action.
"Project Impact enables a community to become more disaster resistant and subsequently less vulnerable to disaster-related damage and personal injury," said Best. "FEMA can help with an initial injection of seed money for 'funded' communities, but long term sustainability is guaranteed by the stakeholders themselves. And let's face it...we're ALL stakeholders."
Communities interested in Project Impact membership should apply through the Washington State Emergency Management Division, by June 15, 1999. Fiscal Year 2000 Project Impact communities will be announced in December at the annual Project Impact Summit in Washington, D.C.