Kansas City, MO -- Bolivar, Missouri will enter a new level of commitment in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities program during a formal signing ceremony scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 20, 2001, at the Bolivar City Hall, 345 S. Main Avenue.
Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities is FEMA's national initiative to help change the way America prepares for disasters before they strike. These steps can include actions such as developing contingency plans that will keep businesses up and running after a disaster, home and business relocations out of the floodplains, buyouts of repetitive flood properties, and citizen disaster preparedness, including education about the importance of having tornado safe rooms in private homes.
FEMA Region VII Acting Deputy Regional Director Robert Bissell and Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Director Jerry Uhlmann are among the governmental and community partners who will attend the ceremony.
"Bolivar's plans for reducing the damage brought on by disaster show it is looking at all hazards and not just flooding or tornadoes," Bissell said. "The inclusion of tornado shelters in the construction of the sports complex is a classic example of good mitigation planning."
According to SEMA Director Jerry Uhlmann, "Under the superb leadership of Mayor Ealy, Kermit Hargis and Teresa Hunt, Bolivar's local Project Impact citizen steering committee wisely has prepared a comprehensive All-Hazard Mitigation Plan. In preparing this plan, the group analyzed the community's disaster risks and identified numerous positive actions that can be taken to minimize as many adverse effects as possible before disaster strikes. SEMA has been working closely as a Project Impact partner with Bolivar since 1998, when the city council first resolved to become a Missouri Disaster Resistant Community. We are delighted that Bolivar is receiving FEMA's mitigation grant assistance to help implement this well-conceived plan." Missouri's other Project Impact cities include Branson, Cape Girardeau, Hannibal, Maryville, Neosho, Piedmont and St. Joseph.
The city will receive a one-time grant of $200,000 to help it get started on several disaster-resistant projects identified in the mitigation plan. The projects may include the construction of a community tornado shelter at the city's new sports complex, the building of four smaller public tornado shelters at Dunnegan Park and a study to help city planners and officials better reduce the damages caused by storm-water flooding.
On the same day of the Project Impact signing ceremony, the National Weather Service also will induct Bolivar into its StormReady program. Nearly 200 communities across the country have become members of this important mitigation program, designed to help prepare communities to better survive severe weather.