Walla Walla -- On Wednesday, July 28, Walla Walla County Board of Commissioners Chair Pam Ray will host FEMA Director of Mitigation Mike Armstrong, and an extensive partnership of local businesses, universities and government agencies to kick off Walla Walla County's Project Impact: building a disaster resistant community initiative. Project Impact is a nation-wide initiative designed to change the way America deals with disasters through local stakeholder partnerships and pooled resources, and according to FEMA Regional Director David L. de Courcy, it's a concept that has been well received in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in eastern Washington.
"Our communities are as unique as the natural hazards that threaten them," said de Courcy. "Time and time again the lesson driven home when disaster strikes is that there's no substitute for solid preparedness planning, and that the time to start mitigating against a disaster's worst effects is before disaster strikes. Walla Walla County's Project Impact partnership tackles their most serious natural hazards head-on."
Jeannette Hayner, co-leader of Walla Walla County's Project Impact initiative agrees. "We have almost fifty public and private partners committed to building safer and more sustainable home and work places," said Hayner. "By combining our collective resources we can reduce the effects of future disasters on homes, businesses, farms and basic life-line infrastructures."
Wednesday's (July 28) Project Impact ceremonies will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a Walla Walla County Commissioners' Reception at the Courthouse, and include tours of flood mitigation sites at 11:00 a.m. The official signing ceremony is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.