Boston, MA, September 15, 2000 -- The City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island has joined Project Impact: Building a Disaster Resistant Community, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) national initiative dedicated to changing the way America deals with disasters.
"I am pleased to welcome the City of Woonsocket into the network of Project Impact communities," said FEMA Director James Lee Witt. "This initiative has demonstrated that prevention works, and Project Impact will continue to help Woonsocket businesses and residents shift their focus from simply responding to disasters to taking actions in advance to stop the devastating property damage and loss of life."
Communities from each state in the nation have now taken action to reduce the effects of natural disasters. By joining the effort of Project Impact, the City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island commits itself to taking actions in advance of a disaster to reduce damage.
"The City of Woonsocket located in the Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor is a flood-prone community in which significant cultural, historical and economic resources are at risk to earthquakes, fire, snow storms, and high wind damage from hurricanes. "Our objective in Rhode Island is to share in the success of each community and spread the word of the tremendous impact that this initiative has upon disaster-resistance," said Albert Scappaticci, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.
Prior to joining Project Impact, the City of Woonsocket has planned and developed a comprehensive hazard mitigation strategy to address increased development pressures, economic stability, public infrastructure, open space and recreation issues. The City has worked with the Army Corp of Engineers to install a variety of flood control structures. However much of the city remains prone to flooding.
In the past 10 years, FEMA has spent more than $25 billion to help repair and rebuild disaster-stricken areas. Project Impact's goal is to erase the ceaseless damage-repair-damage cycle by implementing preventive measures before disaster strikes.
"The City of Woonsocket will now be seen as a shining example of the difference that Project Impact has and will continue to make in Rhode Island," said Setti D. Warren, Regional Director at FEMA Region I in Boston.
Project Impact was launched by FEMA in October,1997 to urge citizens, government officials and the business community to take actions to make their communities more disaster- resistant.
There are over 200 Project Impact communities along with 2,500 business partners across America.
Project Impact corporate and community partners assist with monetary aid, in-kind services, technical support and labor to aid in implementing disaster-resistant measures. FEMA provides technical, administrative and financial support.