WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today designated Rye, New York a "disaster-resistant" community. This designation is part of Project Impact, a national effort to change the way America deals with disasters by shifting the focus of emergency management from responding to disasters to taking actions in advance of disasters that reduce potential damage.
"We, and the City of Rye, are breaking the damage-repair cycle of dealing with disasters," said FEMA Regional Director Lynn G. Canton. "The beauty of the Rye project is the breadth and depth of its plan, from changes in building practices and codes to efforts to reduce flood insurance rates throughout the entire community. All of the City of Rye stands to benefit from what we are beginning today."
Under the terms of the memorandum of agreement signed today, FEMA will provide up to $300,000 in seed money for disaster resistant actions. The partners in this project are FEMA, the City of Rye, more than 15 businesses, non-profit organizations and several government agencies.
"The City of Rye has fully embraced the goal of Project Impact to make our community more disaster-resistant," said Rye Mayor Steve Otis. "We hope our approach of addressing a wide range of issues, providing flood mitigation, and pursuing environmental goals will be a model for other communities."
The funds awarded to Rye will be used for the mitigation projects designed specifically for this community. They include:
- Building Practices and Code - Preparing Structures For A Storm
Collect and disseminate information to area property owners, builders and contractors to provide guidelines on construction methods and simple projects in order to protect structures from damage associated with wind and rain.
- Land Use Reform
Incorporate mitigation policies in land use decisions to encourage disaster resistant development. Review and strengthen priority given to floodplain, coastal zone management, erosion control, and wetland values in land use decisions.
- Hazardous Materials Spill Response
Analyze the response capabilities of the County Response Team and seek intermunicipal cooperation in improving this regional service.
- Maritime EMS Project
Study and develop an effective multi-jurisdictional EMS response program serving the coastal waters off Rye area waters.
- Flood Mitigation Land Acquisition Program
Pursue acquisition of key parcels of land to mitigate damage caused by high water levels.
- Coastal Erosion Plan
Study the current coastal erosion practices, seek and implement additional actions to mitigate the effect of coastal storms damaging private and public shorelines in the community.
- Flood Insurance Cost Reduction Plan
Participate in FEMA's program by meeting certain community standards and therefore reduce flood insurance rates throughout the community.
"We are pleased with the designation of the City of Rye as a Project Impact community," said Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., Director, New York State Emergency Management Office. "Gov. George Pataki has shown time and again his commitment to helping communities lessen the risk to our citizens and both public and private property from disasters in the future. The programs the City of Rye develops and initiates will be helpful to communities throughout the Empire State."
There are currently 118 communities and more than 600 businesses nationwide participating in Project Impact.
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