FEMA funnels funds to Carson coffers

Carson City's willingness to plan ahead for natural disasters has paid off.

The city was listed Friday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to participate in Project Impact, which will provide funds to prepare for potential catastrophes.

"Carson City is prone to serious hazards: flood, wild fire and the potential for serious seismic activity," said Kevin Clark, a regional coordinator for FEMA's Project Impact.

FEMA has yet to be decided how much money each community will receive for the new federal fiscal year, which started in October.

Acceptance into the project is recognition that the community has initiated its own programs through public and private partnerships to reduce damage caused by natural disasters.

It frees up $25 million nationwide to develop additional mitigation programs. In 1998, Sparks received $500,000 and in 1999 Las Vegas received $300,000.

Clark said he predicts Carson City will receive a similar amount of money for projects. The city will be required to provide a 25 percent match that can include donations from the private sector or labor and material from the city, he said.

Carson City was referred to FEMA by Frank Siracusa, chief of the state division of emergency management.

Each community decides how to spend the money, Clark said. The only condition is that the money must be spent on mitigation projects.

"Whatever they do, they need to be reducing the impact of future disasters," he said.

Carson City will join 200 cities nationwide that have joined Project Impact, said Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev.

"Natural disasters have shown their devastation in Nevada many times, either by wildfires, floods, or snowstorms," Gibbons said. "The challenge accepted by Carson City to become a Project Impact community is a step toward making a disaster resistant Nevada."


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