SEATTLE, Wash. -- May 31, 2000 is National Dam Safety Awareness Day, marking the worst dam disaster in United States history: the South Fork Dam failure above Johnston, Pennsylvania of 1889. According to Federal Emergency Management Agency Regional Director David L. de Courcy, the national observance is part of FEMA's nationwide mitigation initiative, Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities, which encourages individuals, businesses and local officials to form partnerships and take action to reduce the effects of future disasters.
"Time and again, the lesson driven home from devastating disaster is that there is no substitute for pre-disaster mitigation and pre-disaster planning," said de Courcy. "This year's overarching theme at FEMA is to 'sustain the momentum' achieved in keeping our communities safe from disaster through the joint efforts of all stakeholders."
Washington State Emergency Management Division Director Glen Woodbury agrees. "The focus of this year's National Dam Safety Awareness Day observance is to make the public the primary stakeholder in safe dams, and to sustain the public's interest and involvement over time."
For more information on Dam Safety in Washington State, and National Dam Safety Day observances, call: (253) 512-7006.