SALEM, Ore. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities initiative has been well received in the Pacific Northwest, particularly here in Oregon. Tillamook County was Oregon's first Project Impact community, and was followed by Benton County, Multnomah County, Johnson Creek Watershed (City of Portland) and in 2000 by the City of Bend and Deschutes County. Oregon is now soliciting applicants for Year 2001. According to Oregon Emergency Management operations officer Ken Murphy, the Project Impact initiative is a long-term, proactive investment for Oregon communities, which creates a collaborative approach for all aspects of a community to work towards a common goal: making communities more disaster resistant.
"Project Impact is all about forging partnerships, prioritizing natural hazards, pooling resources, and taking action," said Murphy. "FEMA can help with an initial injection of seed money, but long term sustainability is guaranteed by the stakeholders themselves. And let's face it - we're ALL stakeholders."
Since 1995 disasters have cost Oregonians over $220 million. Project Impact reduces disaster losses by mitigating disaster-related damages before disaster strikes.
Communities interested in Project Impact membership should apply to the Oregon State Emergency Management Division by Tuesday, August 1, 2000.