SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Disasters are not planned, but the people of Santa Barbara are doing their part to protect their homes and businesses from disasters and disruptions ranging from fires to rising floodwaters.
Nearly 2,000 people attended the Fourth Annual Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Fair in May which was held this year at the Camino Real Marketplace in Santa Barbara. Sponsored by the Community Awareness and Emergency Response Group (CAER), participating agencies included the state Office of Emergency Services, California Highway Patrol, American Red Cross and many local civic and service organizations. This year CAER decided to make Project Impact the focus of its daylong fair.
Project Impact is a national effort to change the way America deals with disasters. The program encourages communities to come together, assess their vulnerabilities and implement strategies to prevent or limit damage before disasters occur.
By bringing city, county and local area organizations and business together, Santa Barbara has demonstrated that local partnerships, cooperation and responsibility are the cornerstone of FEMA's Project Impact initiative.
"We applaud the County of Santa Barbara and all its cooperating agencies for their efforts in working together as a team to help prevent disasters in their community," said Martha Whetstone, Regional Director of FEMA Region IX in San Francisco. "We have found that disaster-resistant communities are able to withstand disasters with far less loss of life and property."
Since its inception in 1997, FEMA's Project Impact initiative has been embraced by nearly 200 communities and more than 1,100 business partners. Instead of waiting for disasters to occur, Project Impact communities take action to reduce potentially devastating disasters. For more information about Project Impact or reducing or preventing disaster damage, call (202) 646-4117.