Boston, MA - The City of Norwich, Connecticut signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and numerous partners committing to building a disaster resistant community. Building Disaster Resistant Communities is FEMA's national initiative dedicated to changing the way America deals with disasters. Participants at the signing ceremony included Norwich City Manager William G. Tallman , Mike Doyle of Governor Rowland's Office, Michele Crowley of Congressman Rob Simmons' Office, FEMA Deputy Director for Mitigation Steve Colman, Diane Ifkovic representing the State Department of Environmental Protection and Office of Emergency Management, and a variety of state and local officials, business partners, and community organizations.
"I am pleased that the City of Norwich has joined the network of disaster resistant communities in Connecticut," said Tallman. "The City, its leadership, and its partners have developed several emergency management policies and mitigation initiatives to ensure the quality of life and promote economic stability in Norwich," Tallman added.
The City of Norwich is located in the heart of southeastern Connecticut within New London County. Although the City recognizes its vulnerability to many hazards, including wind, earthquakes, chemical spills, radiological releases, and dam failures, flooding is the greatest and most dangerous threat for people and property. Over the years, many homes and business have been built in the floodplain, imposing severe economic and emotional hardships upon residents and business owners during flooding events.
"The City has undertaken aggressive measures prior to a natural hazard event to decrease the amount of damage sustained by residents, businesses, and the community," said Colman. "I know that the citizens of Norwich will benefit tremendously from becoming a disaster resistant community and take this opportunity to share this knowledge and their future successes with other communities in the State of Connecticut."
At least four communities from each New England state have now taken action to reduce the effects of natural disasters. By joining in the effort of Building Disaster Resistant communities, the City of Norwich commits itself to taking actions in advance of a disaster. Norwich is developing a multi-hazard loss reduction implementation strategy to reduce vulnerability to hurricanes, flooding, and all other natural disasters that pose a threat to the community.