Seattle, May 19, 1999 -- Two years ago, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director James Lee Witt introduced "Project Impact," a new initiative designed to create more disaster-resistant communities through local community stakeholder partnerships. The initial seven pilot communities have already grown to include 118 cities, counties and boroughs nation-wide. According to FEMA Regional Director David L. de Courcy, it's the local community and corporate stakeholders who are best situated to prioritize threats and take effective action.
"Time and time again, the lessons driven home when natural disaster strikes are that there are no substitutes for solid preparedness planning, and that the time to start mitigating against a disaster's worst effects are before disaster strikes," said de Courcy. "It's a concept that has been well received here in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in the corporate sector. In fact, the Boeing Company and the Boeing Employees' Credit Union (BECU) are just about to enter into a landmark agreement that will provide ready cash for as many as 250,000 people if a major disaster strikes."
Boeing Shared Services Group president, Jim Palmer concurs. "In the event of a temporary power or infrastructure failure, families often need immediate cash. In that keeping large amounts of cash on hand is unsafe and economically unsound, our partnership with the BECU will provide a solution for this dilemma," explained Palmer. "The Memorandum of Understanding between the Boeing Company and BECU will establish on-site cash disbursement centers at Boeing sites to ensure Boeing employees, family members and BECU membership access to emergency cash in the wake of a major earthquake or other disaster."
While Boeing and the BECU are separate companies, BECU currently serves over 250,000 employees, former employees and family members, in 27 states. The Memorandum of Understanding paves the way for many other projects between BECU and the Boeing Company, and increased partnering in surrounding communities, including the City of Seattle's Project Impact "Disaster Saturday" workshops and seminars.
The signing ceremony itself will be held at the Museum of Flight, 9404 East Marginal Way South, Thursday, May 20th at 10:00 a.m.