Project Impact and the House of Tiny Treasures

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Release date: 
February 21, 2001
Release Number: 
R6-01-06

Tiny Treasures- Project Impact in Action , 5.26 Mb Power Point Slideshow

Houston, TX -- On October 21, 2000, the House of Tiny Treasures (HTT) was overrun with Project Impact Partners in an effort to prepare the childcare facility for a disaster. After several hours of hammering, digging, chaining things up and bolting things down, the little purple house on Lombardy Street is now better prepared for a windstorm.

Project Impact is a local program created by FEMA Director James L. Witt in order to educate communities on disaster preparedness. In studies, FEMA has found that for every dollar spent to prepare communities for a disaster two dollars are saved in clean up of a community after a disaster. The Harris County has been a Project Impact Community since 1999. The Harris County Partners are made up of representatives of businesses, local government agencies, and civic organizations.

The Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) is a national organization that formed the Protecting Our Kids from Disasters program. IBHS works with community based organizations to perform non-structural retrofits that improve the overall safety and avoid minor mishaps and major catastrophes in not for profit childcare facilities. Once the Harris County Partners learned of this program and SEARCH's House of Tiny Treasures childcare facility for homeless children, they realized that this would be a good opportunity to promote disaster preparedness.

City of Houston, Council Member Chris Bell opened the doors of communication between the Partners and SEARCH, the organization that oversees HTT, and gave his support through the help of his lead staff, Alice Lee. Mrs. Lee and Heather McClure of SEARCH both worked together to gain media support for this important project.

Toy Wood with Greater Houston Builders Association (GBHA) organized a team of more than capable leaders including Joe Collett with Hurricane Construction, Tom Lammers with Houston Structural, and Craig Roll with Coastal Inspections. These leaders determined the necessary tasks, collected the materials and worked with the volunteers complete the project. The GHBA was also instrumental in securing a much-needed deck and roof repair from Kelly Harris of Solid Rock Construction, Mike Burkett and Todd Armstrong of True Mark Construction, and Pinnacle Roofing. Brad Roll, Strength Coach for the Miami Dolphins, generously provided the decking materials.

Most of the supplies used in securing objects in and around the house were made available due to the generosity of both Southwest Bank of Texas and Lowe's Home Improvement Center at Bunker Hill in Houston. Melissia Roberson has represented Southwest Bank at the Partners meetings and was instrumental in securing the necessary funds to purchase the supplies that were reduced in price by 50% thanks to the help of the Lowe's Home Improvement Center manager and staff.

One of the key projects to keeping the children at HTT safe was securing all the windows with window film. The window film, provided by Kent Le Monte of ENPRO Distributing and Jim Nardone of Solar X of Texas, keeps windows from shattering, protecting the children from the harm of flying glass. Kent Le Monte was key in getting the Harris County Partners involved with the retrofit project and has partnered with IBHS in other states to help protect childcare facilities.

Other projects included the securing of outdoor objects that can become dangerous in a windstorm. Inside the house, latches were applied to cabinets so that the doors may be secured in the event of a breach to the structure. The work was completed in a matter of hours before the volunteers sat down to have lunch provided by the Houston Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). The Harris County LEPC, American Red Cross, and the North Channel EMS provided coloring book...

Last Updated: 
July 19, 2012 - 23:02
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