FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- The University of Alaska Fairbanks is one of five universities selected to participate in a FEMA pilot program designed to help the nation's colleges and universities mitigate future property loss and economic damage from natural disasters. According to Tammy Doherty, acting regional director for FEMA Region 10 (a jurisdiction including Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Washington), the pilot program uses the same strategic approach as FEMA's highly successful Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities initiative.
"Each pilot Disaster Resistant University will match a $100,000 FEMA grant to develop and implement sustainable, long-term mitigation projects," said Doherty. "By protecting themselves, their employees and their students, universities create a mitigation umbrella that can profoundly affect surrounding communities."
University of Alaska Fairbanks Director of Facilities Services Kathleen Schedler agrees. "We'll be bringing in architects and engineers to evaluate our overall earthquake vulnerability, review the adequacy of the codes under which buildings were built, and estimate the stability of power and heating systems," said Schedler. "Our selection as one of the first five Disaster Resistant Universities in the nation will allow us to identify non-structural vulnerabilities, protect the university's research work, and focus on long-term sustainability.
Also selected to participate in the new pilot program are: Tulane University, University of Miami, University of North Carolina, and the University of Washington.