KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Local, state and federal partners came together at the Collins Plaza Hotel in Cedar Rapids to discuss strategies to make Linn County a safer, more disaster-resistant community.
John A. Miller, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Region VII which includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, announced a significant grant to Linn County to enhance school safety. Iowa Emergency Management Administrator Ellen Gordon and local officials also spoke.
"The fact is, we have the opportunity to cut losses, the know-how to reduce risks and the responsibility to save lives," said John Miller. "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."
FEMA's and the state of Iowa's invitation to Linn County to participate as a FEMA Project Impact community prompted this community meeting. Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities is a nationwide initiative which is shifting the focus from simply responding to disasters to taking actions in advance to prevent their potentially devastating effects. Project Impact began in 1997 with seven pilot communities and now has nearly 200 designated communities and over 1,100 business partners throughout the United States.
The point of this meeting was to solicit input from Linn County citizens to help focus and guide the community's priorities in the development of Project Impact in the county. Information was available on mitigation activities conducted, opportunities and plans for future projects and partnering between private sector and government entities.