LUBBOCK, Texas -- Lubbock, Texas formally joined the disaster-resistant efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities, a nationwide initiative to help change the way America deals with disasters.
Lubbock celebrated its participation in Project Impact at the signing ceremony with FEMA Region VI Regional Director R.L. "Buddy" Young participation at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Just 30 years earlier, in 1970, a devastating tornado sliced its way through Lubbock leveling a majority of the buildings in its path. The Memorial Civic Center is dedicated to those who lost their lives that day and served as a unique location for this event. Lubbock will concentrate their efforts under Project Impact toward safety from high wind events as well as protection from devastating flooding.
As part of the festivities, Texas Tech University's Wind Education Research Center, located in Lubbock, participated and highlighted their partnership with both FEMA and Lubbock with their tornado safe room design, as described by the recent FEMA publication "Taking Shelter from the Storm." One demonstration presented was the use of their projectile cannon to shoot a wooden 2" x 4" at a typical residential brick veneer wall. This illustrated the effects that of wind-borne missiles which are typical during a tornado and their impacts on the average home. Next, the missile was shot at a reinforced wall which demonstrated that we can build protection for our families both in new and retrofitted construction from tornadoes. The building or retrofitting of safe rooms within the City of Lubbock will be a top priority for implementation under Project Impact.
To highlight the event, the local ABC affiliate WKRN Channel 28 presented the Lubbock Project Impact Program a check for $650.00 to start the process of purchasing NOAA Weather Radios for all schools within Lubbock and Lubbock County. The City and Channel 28 then participated in giving one NOAA Weather Radio to each of the 17 school district superintendents in the County to get the program started. NOAA Weather Radios provide the best opportunity for schools, businesses, and homeowner to get timely notification and warning of upcoming severe weather events such as tornadoes.
Project Impact communities assess their vulnerabilities to natural disasters, enforce stricter building codes, strengthen existing building and infrastructures, offer incentives for taking prevention measures, and educate citizens about prevention measures they can take in their homes and businesses. Project Impact has shown that for every dollar spent on prevention, at last two dollars are saved in disaster recovery costs.