Boston, Mass. -- The City of Pawtucket has joined the disaster-resistant community efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Project Impact, a national effort to change the way America deals with disasters. This effort shifts the focus of emergency management from responding to disasters to taking actions in advance of disasters that reduce potential damage.
"I am pleased to welcome the City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island into the network of Project Impact communities and commend the leadership of the city for their efforts in emergency management planning and comprehensive multi-hazard mitigation strategies," said Michael J. Armstrong, FEMA Associate Director for Mitigation.
The City of Pawtucket, community groups and representatives from its private sector, and businesses in partnership with the State of Rhode Island, and FEMA, have pledged to take actions and adopt measures that will lead to the development of Pawtucket as a Project Impact disaster-resistant community. Together, these participants will work to set priorities and take action to ensure that the City of Pawtucket lessens the effects of natural disasters.
The City of Pawtucket is located in at the southern falls of the Blackstone River and the upper tidewater of Narragansett Bay. The City is home to a booming industrial district, and has worked to preserve the unique architecture of its homes.
"The city has suffered its fair share of damage from coastal storms hurricanes, earthquakes, ice storms, river ice jams and riverine flooding, and the pro-active efforts of Pawtucket to reduce damage serve as a great model for communities across Rhode Island --and across the country," stated Jeffrey A. Bean, FEMA Regional Director. Project Impact will provide Pawtucket with the additional technical assistance and resources to identify potential risks and implement hazard-reduction programs.
The city has taken aggressive action to manage its flood risk, and local officials have completed a flood hazard mitigation plan that is currently being implemented making Pawtucket an outstanding Project Impact community. Pawtucket has applied for and received grants totaling nearly $471,000 from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) that are being used to make improvements to protect the Blackstone Valley's infrastructure, historic and natural resources.
The city has a long history of being a mitigation leader at the regional level and is active in disaster damage-reduction activities. Pawtucket participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Project Impact is a national initiative launched by FEMA in October 1997 to involve citizens, government officials and the business community in actions to make their communities more disaster-resistant. The City of Pawtucket is one of 13 New England communities and 120 others across America designated in Project Impact, with over 1000 business partners. FEMA is changing the way it deals with disasters; continuing its focus on response and recovery, while placing emphasis on disaster damage-prevention.