FEMA Region V Highlights States and Urges Individual Disaster Preparedness
CHICAGO, Ill. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V is commemorating National Preparedness Month by highlighting the life-saving measures taken regionally to prevent disasters and the life-sustaining measures that can be easily implemented by everyone. September 2009 marks the sixth annual National Preparedness Month, which is sponsored by the Ready Campaign.
(Media-Newswire.com) - CHICAGO, Ill. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ) Region V is commemorating National Preparedness Month by highlighting the life-saving measures taken regionally to prevent disasters and the life-sustaining measures that can be easily implemented by everyone. September 2009 marks the sixth annual National Preparedness Month, which is sponsored by the Ready Campaign.
"Positive steps are being taken daily by the six states we serve to prevent disasters," said Acting Regional Administrator Janet M. Odeshoo, who is responsible for coordinating federally declared disasters in FEMA Region V. "But individuals can take meaningful steps now to reduce losses later like prepare a disaster plan, make a disaster kit and be informed."
During the period from September 2008 to now, the states in Region V completed projects that were life-saving measures to prevent disasters in their communities such as:
The Leech Lake tribal council in Wisconsin has entered the last phase of establishing a radio station for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. By finishing the process to obtain a license from the Federal Communications Commission in May 2009, the tribal council now has an emergency alert and warning system that will protect lives and property throughout the reservation.
In collaboration with the state, the city of Montevideo, Minn., has actively taken measures to reduce the threat of flooding from the Chippewa River since 1993. The city worked diligently to acquire and remove more than 130 properties in flood-prone areas. In March 2009, the city experienced record flooding. Due to these previous life-saving measures, health and safety issues associated with flooding were eliminated and disaster interventions were minimal.
The state of Illinois in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ( USACE ) and FEMA worked together to reduce repetitive loss claims on USACE lease cabins. Federal lease cabins accounted for millions of dollars in flood claims each year. Legislation was developed to address these claims and require flood insurance and property elevation in these flood prone areas. On Oct.1, 2009, the flood insurance rating rules will go into effect. Taxpayers will no longer subsidize premiums on repetitive losses, saving millions of dollars. The majority of disasters occur from flooding. It is estimated that for every $1.00 spent on mitigation measures, there is a $4.00 savings to taxpayers.
"States are preparing for disasters, and there are actions individuals can take to prepare as well," said Odeshoo. "Everyone can plan. You can have the right supplies, and you can train."
Living in the Midwest, you need to have the right supplies for its hazards, such as tornadoes and floods. In creating your emergency plan, decide on what you will do for different situations. It is best to think about the basics of survival: water, food, medicine and warmth. As part of your plan, you may want to identify an out-of-town contact and subscribe to any local emergency alert systems. It may also be beneficial to talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in a time of emergency. And inquire about emergency plans at work, daycare centers and school locations.
There are Web sites, as well as state/local and tribal government employees, and volunteer groups such as Citizen Corps, which can help you be prepared. For a list of National Preparedness Month activities by state, visit ready.adcouncil.org/EventCalendar.asp. Also go to www.ready.gov for more information about being prepared. You can also call 1-800-BE-READY for additional information.
The Ready Campaign was launched by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2003 in partnership with The Ad Council.
FEMA Region V serves the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin as well as 34 federally recognized tribes located in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Region V is one of 10 regions serving the United States.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
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