Reducing the impact of natural disasters was the challenge that accompanied a $300,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) two years ago. The program was extended to run from April 1, '99 through March 31st, 2001. During that time Project Impact brought together 88 corporate and government agency partners with more than 150 community volunteers that contributed over $140,000 cash and in-kind services to the Kenai Peninsula Borough's Project Impact. In recognition of the community's cooperative effort and successful mitigation efforts, FEMA recently designated the local program one of the ten top Project Impact initiatives in the nation.
A detailed report on the accomplishments of Project Impact is available and was included as an insert last week in the Peninsula Clarion and other Peninsula newspapers. At a reception last week for Project Impact partners and volunteers, Borough Mayor Dale Bagley summed up the communities appreciation for the program and its accomplishments with an official proclamation. Local project coordinator Kathy Flynn, personally thanked the people whom she had worked with for the last two years and said, "It feels good knowing that kids, teachers, and hopefully families, those who have chosen to implement defensible space and disaster planning, are a little safer due to the efforts of our Project Impact partners."
Special projects administrator for Seattle Public Schools, Theresa Salmon, attended the reception and credited Project Impact preparedness for averting injuries in the recent Seattle earthquake. While the quake caused some 400 injuries, none were in the Seattle schools where mitigation programs had been implemented.
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