SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Joining a select list of American communities, the City of San Leandro 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. San Leandro 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 San Leandro 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 city's location makes it extremely vulnerable to a wide range of hazards."
The city has been proactive in anti-disaster projects, such as its aggressive community preparedness and retrofitting programs, even before joining Project Impact.
"San Leandro 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 city's residents, business owners, and municipal officials 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.