SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Joining a select list of American communities, the County of Colusa has been included by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in its "Project Impact" initiative.
Project Impact is a partnership-based, nationwide effort begun by FEMA in 1997, to help communities lessen the risk of disasters. Colusa County is uniting with FEMA, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), local citizens, and business leaders in protecting against future damages.
"We are pleased that Colusa County is now part of a locally focused program aimed at reducing the devastation and terrible human costs associated with disasters," said OES Director Dallas Jones. "The county is extremely vulnerable to floods, wildfires, landslides and other natural calamities. Also, its northwest portion lies on a seismic fault."
The county has been proactive in anti-disaster projects, especially in flood mitigation, even before joining Project Impact.
"Colusa County is a very welcome addition to Project Impact," said Martha Whetstone, Regional Director of FEMA Region IX in San Francisco. "Prevention works. Project Impact will help the county's businesses, farmers and residents shift their focus from simply responding to disasters to taking advance action."
Since 1997, approximately 200 communities and 2,500 business partners have embraced Project Impact. Instead of waiting for disasters to strike, Project Impact communities - through public-private partnerships - initiate mentoring, public outreach, and mitigation projects. Preventative strategies have included revising local building and land use codes and passing necessary bond measures. Corporate and community partners assist with money, in-kind services, technical support and labor for projects. FEMA provides technical, administrative and financial support.
In the past 10 years, FEMA has spent more than $25 billion to help repair and reconstruct buildings and infrastructure in disaster-stricken areas. Project Impact's goal is to erase the ceaseless damage-repair-damage cycle through preventive measures, before trouble strikes.