RALEIGH, N.C. -- The federal government and a North Carolina-based home improvement store have become partners in a project to teach hurricane victims rebuilding methods and techniques to make their properties more disaster resistant.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and one of its Project Impact partners---Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse---have crafted Mitigation Assistance Center programs at Lowe's stores in three eastern North Carolina cities beginning Tuesday, Nov. 9.
The centers will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays, at Lowe's in Wilson, Greenville, and Goldsboro. Specialists from FEMA will provide information on a range of repair options for all types of natural disaster damages and will be available to discuss and demonstrate protective measures such as structural strengthening, elevation of structures and equipment in flood zones, and buyouts. After Nov. 14, the mitigation program will be relocated to other Lowe's stores. Schedules for these appearances will be announced later.
"We are pleased to host and participate in this important effort," said Lee McConnell, a Lowe's District Manager. "We are committed to getting this type of information out to all citizens who have suffered damage from recent hurricanes.
Drawings and models demonstrating basic mitigation techniques for reducing damages such as elevating heating panels, electrical panels and water heaters, and installing back-flow valves on sewer/septic systems will be displayed. Brochures, booklets, and fact sheets will be available explaining a number of ways to minimize disaster damage to buildings.
"This is an opportunity for citizens who have experienced loss and damage to their properties to talk to someone about what to do next," said Gavin Smith, assistant director for mitigation, North Carolina Emergency Management Division. "No appointments are necessary. We want people to get answers in just a few minutes."
Project Impact is a nationwide initiative of FEMA, in partnership with local business and community leaders, to make communities disaster resistant. It is designed to change the way communities face and prepare for future disasters. More than 120 communities nationwide are participating in this local initiative with FEMA.
"We are urging those who rebuild to take the opportunity to make their properties more disaster resistant and learn about state programs that move families out of harm's way," said FEMA's Todd Davison, deputy federal coordinating officer.
County By County Disaster Assistance Figures
Nov. 5, 1999
|Declared County||Total Applicants||Families Assisted||Disaster Housing Amount||IFG Appvd||Individual & Family Grants Approved||Total Disaster Housing and IFG||SBA Total Appv'd||Small Business Administration Loans||TOTAL Assistance in County|