Roanoke, VA -- Roanoke County, the cities of Roanoke Sale, and the Town of Vinton today formally signified their partnership with the business community and the state and federal government to reduce th risk of future disaster in the Roanoke Valley. At a signing ceremony at Hollins University, the four jurisdictions and their public and private partners pledged to undertake activities to make the Roanoke Valley safer from disaster.
The Roanoke Valley was the first Virginia community to be invited to participate in Project Impact, the Federal Management Agency (FEMA) program designed to encourage government officials and the business community to take actions to make their communities more disaster-resistant. Virginia Beach was named as the commonwealth's second Project Impact community on December 10.
"The Roanoke Valley has taken significant steps already in forming strong partnerships with the business community and identifying actions to make their community disaster-resistant," said FEMA Region III Director Rita Calvan. "I believe it will become a national model for Project Impact."
FEMA is charged with helping communities recover from disaster when the damage is of such magnitude that the local and state governments cannot recover without assistance. This assistance includes hazard mitigation funds following a disaster to lessen the effects of future disasters. With Project Impact, FEMA is shifting the emphasis to prevent disaster before it strikes a community. Project Impact also emphasizes the importance of local involvement in assessing risk and in developing strong coalitions with the business community and citizens.