CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Carson City joined Las Vegas, Reno and Sparks in an initiative that challenges the nation to undertake actions that protect families, businesses and communities by reducing the effects of natural disasters. While Carson City is one of 200 communities nationwide that have become part of the Project Impact program, they are the first state capital to take the steps necessary to become a disaster-resistant community.
Project Impact was launched in 1997 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reduce the personal and economic costs of disasters by bringing together community leaders, residents and businesses to prepare for and protect themselves against the ravages of nature.
"You think of the old Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared," Mayor Ray Masayko said. "Government is starting to think like business. It's easier to maintain it that to pick up the pieces and fix it."
With the agreement, FEMA is providing $300,000 in seed money to Carson City. The funds are to be used to help launch projects that will better prepare the city against natural disasters. Carson City officials plan to update their storm drainage master plan, publish community education brochures, assemble emergency kits for school classrooms, purchase portable fencing to create temporary disaster animal shelters and more.
"Carson City is in good shape," said Masayko. "We have these disasters infrequently, and that is good. But I think we need to prepare, to make Carson City as disaster-resistant as possible.
Project Impact seeks to change the way America deals with natural disasters. Working with communities like Carson City, FEMA plans to use this effort as an investment that will enhance and strengthen the economic structure and long-term stability of a community, regardless of when disasters strike.
"This partnership sits down, looks at the hazards and decides on projects to help build a disaster-resistant Carson City," said Kevin Clark, the western regional Project Impact coordinator for FEMA. "For every dollar spent in prevention, $2 are saved in repairs".