Kansas City, MO -- The Nebraska communities of Scotts Bluff County and the city of Grand Island will become disaster-resistant communities through the Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) national initiative to help change the way America deals with disasters.
A signing ceremony to officially welcome Scotts Bluff County is scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, July 16, 2001, at the Scotts Bluff Commission Meeting Room in the County Administration Bldg., 1825 10th St. in Gering.
Grand Island will hold its ceremony at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 18, 2001, at the Community Meeting Room of City Hall, 100 E. 1stSt. in Grand Island.
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency Assistant Director Al Berndt and FEMA Region VII Acting Mitigation Division Director Phil Kirk are among the governmental and community partners who will attend both ceremonies.
These communities and their partners, aware of the hazards they face, have pledged themselves to working together toward the goal of preparing for disasters before they happen, Berndt said. I am pleased to celebrate with them and applaud their efforts.
Scotts Bluff County and Grand Island know that disaster can happen at anytime so they are thinking ahead to make themselves more disaster resistant, Kirk said. The various projects envisioned show that both communities are innovative and forward thinking in ways to become more disaster resistant.
Future projects in Scotts Bluffs County include the enhancement of the communitys 911 system with computer-generated mapping, the establishment of an amateur radio repeater system and numerous flood and drain-control projects. Grand Islands projects include discounted NOAA Weather Radios for child-care providers and the development of tornado shelters for manufactured home parks.
FEMAs disaster-resistant community initiative encourages communities to take steps to lessen the impact of a disaster before it strikes. These steps can include actions such as developing contingency plans that will keep businesses up and running, helping citizens with their own disaster preparedness including safe rooms and buyout or relocation of homes and businesses within the floodplain.