WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recognized Kitsap County Fire Safety Advisory Committee for efforts in making the county disaster resistant through its Project Impact initiative. The committee was presented with the Outstanding Task Force award during this year's third annual Project Impact Summit in Washington, DC.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt presented the award at the Project Impact Awards Gala Thursday night, Nov. 16, 2000. The Outstanding Task Force award is given to the agency that has shown innovation in implementing the Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant ideals.
"The Kitsap County Fire Safety Advisory Committee and all the recipients of this year's Project Impact awards are leaders in the Project Impact effort. They are helping to build the infrastructure for disaster prevention in every community in America," said Director Witt. "The committee's outstanding efforts demonstrate that we don't have to be victims of natural disasters. Every one of us can take steps to prevent ourselves, our loved ones, our businesses and our communities from becoming disaster victims."
The Kitsap County Fire Safety Advisory Committee originally came together to reduce the occurrences of fires in multifamily dwellings. The committee established a broad partnership of public officials, building owners, real estate industry representatives and tenants to solve a critical fire safety problem. The task force launched an investigation of apartment building fires, presented an analysis of existing multifamily buildings and made recommendations for funding the implementation of the new ordinance.
"As Project Impact gains momentum nationwide, the driving force behind our efforts are businesses, communities and most importantly the spirit of those who are determined to prevent disaster damage," noted Director Witt. "When we began Project Impact three years ago, we believed we could reach inside and find the best in communities to prevent disaster damage. Our Project Impact communities - and especially our award winners - are the proof that our vision is gaining momentum. Communities have grown closer and stronger by joining Project Impact."
Project Impact is a nationwide initiative to help change the way America deals with disasters. Over 1,400 citizens, businesses, public officials and emergency managers from communities across America attended the summit, where they gathered to share experiences and ideas for disaster prevention.
Since its inception in 1997, nearly 250 communities and 2,500 business partners have embraced Project Impact. Instead of waiting for disasters to occur, Project Impact communities initiate mentoring relationships, private and public partnerships, public outreach and disaster mitigation projects to reduce damage from potentially devastating disasters. Previous community projects have included creating disaster resistance strategies, revising local building and land use codes, and passing bond issues to construct prevention measures that will impact the entire community.
For more information about Project Impact or preventing damage, call (202) 646-4117.