Seattle, WA, May 23, 2001 -- A recent survey commissioned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), finds that while the majority of Americans are aware that natural disaster hazards threaten their communities, many underestimate their ability to mitigate and reduce disaster-related damage. According to FEMA Regional Director Tammy Doherty, the survey, conducted from 8-11 March 2001 included a random sample of 687 homeowners across the nation.
"Although 91 percent of Western U.S. respondents felt that their communities were at risk to disasters (particularly earthquakes and wildfires), over one third didn't feel that there was much they could do to protect their homes and property," said Doherty. "While most Western residents (64 percent) are already taking mitigation measures such as clearing yard debris or pruning low branches, many have overlooked other structural improvements that can significantly reduce disaster damage from floods, earthquakes and wildfires."
To help increase awareness of the effectiveness of pre-disaster mitigation and preparedness, FEMA is observing their first annual "Make an Impact Week" May 20-26, 2001. For more information contact your local office of emergency management.