COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Governor Jim Hodges announced today that South Carolina will expand its partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the effort to prevent damage and loss of life caused by natural disaster in Orangeburg County.
Orangeburg County was nominated by Governor Hodges and today has been selected by FEMA Director James L. Witt to join nearly 200 communities to be part of FEMA's nationwide initiative, Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities.
"Orangeburg County was asked to participate as a Project Impact community because of its support of disaster prevention actions in order to reduce its disaster potential," Governor Hodges said. "In addition, it was also chosen for its existing network of private and public-sector partnerships.
"Each year, natural disasters destroy our communities and our homes and threaten the lives of our families, neighbors and friends," Governor Hodges said. "South Carolina and Orangeburg County are proud to be part of the Project Impact movement that emphasizes disaster prevention and ensures that a community's new buildings and new growth avoid the vicious disaster cycle of damage-repair. Through Project Impact, South Carolina is working to change how it deals with disaster and thus save lives and reduce effects of disaster in the future."
Project Impact is a national disaster-prevention initiative developed in partnership with states and FEMA, encouraging communities to assess their risks from natural hazards and to implement strategies and actions that will limit damage before disaster strikes again.
Orangeburg County is the third community in South Carolina invited to participate in Project Impact. Charleston County and the City of Florence were designated previously. The South Carolina Emergency Preparedness Division (SCEPD) will work with FEMA, Orangeburg County, and its local public and private partners to implement new strategies to reduce the impact of disasters.
"For a number of years, we have worked with FEMA to assist communities across this state to recover from natural disaster," Governor Hodges said. "And we are ready to work with FEMA's Project Impact in advance of disaster to help build stronger and safer communities in South Carolina."
"Communities across this country through Project Impact can galvanize citizens and businesses to meet the long-term challenges through disaster prevention," said FEMA Director Witt. "This is the promise of Project Impact - to focus communities on preventing damage before disaster strikes. Project Impact looks forward to working with South Carolina to help Orangeburg County and other communities in South Carolina to save lives and protect property, businesses and vital community services."