KANSAS CITY, Mo.-- The city of St. Joseph, MO (a Project Impact Community) and keepSafe Industries, Inc. in partnership with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are taking the lead locally on public education and outreach concerning tornado safe rooms. keepSafe Industries of Fredericksburg, VA has donated a demonstration Severe Weather Shelter to the city to promote severe weather safety education. St. Joseph has agreed to purchase 25 shelters to be placed at various locations within the city. The total cost of the project is $136,000, with the city paying $78,000 and keepSafe donating $58,000 towards the cost of the project.
FEMA Region VII has signed an agreement with keepSafe Industries to jointly promote safe room public education and outreach initiatives throughout Region VII. keepSafe Industries will donate an additional 11 shelters to Region VII for demonstration purposes at a cost of over $50,000 to the company. The shelters can withstand the 250 miles per hour winds associated with an F5 tornado.
Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities is an initiative of FEMA that is designed to help local communities take steps to reduce the effects of future disasters. St Joseph became a Project Impact Community in December 1998. Since that time the city has been very active in becoming disaster-resistant.
"This project affords us the opportunity to cut losses, the know-how to reduce risks and the ability to save lives. Through Project Impact we are working with our state and local partners to shift emergency management from responding to disasters to working actively to prevent damage - before disaster strikes. St. Joseph has taken a great step forward towards that goal today," said John A. Miller, director of FEMA, Region VII, which includes the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
"I want to congratulate St. Joseph for taking a leadership role in closing the gap between early warning systems and sheltering needs by purchasing 25 above ground stand-alone tornado shelters from keepSafe Industries. The keepSafe shelters meet the FEMA national performance standards and were developed in consultation with Texas Tech University, " said Jerry Uhlman, SEMA director. "I especially want to commend Ed Wildberger and the city leadership for searching and working with keepSafe Industries, a Project Impact National Partner. The generous donation of $58,000 by keepSafe has greatly contributed to the outstanding success of this effort."