BOSTON, Mass. -- The Town of Westport, Connecticut has joined a nationwide effort to become a disaster-resistant community. This effort shifts the focus of emergency management from responding to disasters to taking actions in advance of disasters that reduce potential damage and ensure public safety.
Project Impact: Building a Disaster-Resistant Community is a national initiative that aims to change the way America deals with disasters by encouraging communities to assess their vulnerabilities and take action to limit damage before disasters occur.
"Communities across this country are getting prepared for disasters that we know will come," said Jeffrey A. Bean, director of FEMA Region I in Boston, which includes the six New England states. "FEMA invited Westport to become a Project Impact community because of its high risk for coastal storms, its history of disaster loss, and its proven track record for taking actions to become disaster resistant."
The town has taken aggressive action to manage its flood risk, which has allowed flood insurance policyholders to receive a five-percent reduction on their premiums. This amounts to an average savings of $44 per policyholder.
Also, an active private beach association made up of local residents has been instrumental in the community's receipt of funds totaling $346,853 available on a competitive basis under two FEMA grant programs. Both grants are being used to retrofit and elevate coastal homes.
"These are examples of the kind of strong local leadership that is crucial to the success of the Project Impact initiative and a community's efforts to become disaster resistant," Bean added.
Westport and representatives from its private businesses, in partnership with the State of Connecticut and FEMA, have pledged to take actions and adopt measures that will lead to the business, community and individual emergency planning and mitigation measures.
Westport's Project Impact initiative will focus on:
- Developing a comprehensive residential flood protection and mitigation program
- Creating a Downtown Business District initiative to reduce flooding
- Promote Hurricane Resistant Home Makeover Demonstration projects
- Implement an all-...