Meeting to make Carson City more disaster resistant

Preliminary ideas on how to make Carson City more disaster resistant will be presented from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Sierra Room at the Carson City Community Center.

Carson City has determined five areas to best spend $300,000 in Project Impact money supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These topics are:

- safer schools

- flooding

- water supply

- animal shelter

- public awareness and education

Public input will be welcomed. The meeting will be telecast live on Channel 26 in Carson City.

"If people have specific concerns, this is the time to bring them up," said Liz Watson, Carson City's Project Impact coordinator.

Project Impact is a FEMA program that supplies seed money to communities identified as prone to disasters. Project Impact money combined with private money will be used for better prepare Carson City for disasters.

Carson City became a Project Impact community earlier this year based on the city's experiences during the New Year's Flood of 1997. There are about 200 Project Impact cities in the nation with four in Nevada: Reno, Sparks, Las Vegas and Carson City.

Carson City based its Project Impact priorities on historically demonstrated disaster needs, Watson said.

Money earmarked for school safety may pay for production and distribution of about 9,000 spiral-bound disaster response booklets that will go to school staff and parents of students. Project Impact could also fund crisis kits for the school district's 400 classrooms.

Money for flooding could fund the hiring of a grant writer to find money to pay for Carson City's massive storm drainage projects. The lack of sophisticated storm drainage in Kings and Ash canyons led to the 1997 flooding on the historic westside.

The water supply priority calls for buying a 6,700-gallon portable water tank.

"That would basically be fresh water on wheels," Watson said.

The local Project Impact team identified one critical priority often overlooked: pets. The idea is to establish an emergency animal shelter for pets.

Pets generally can't be taken to evacuation centers. Watson said pet owners would evacuate much more willingly if they knew their pets were cared for. This could be a building, a tent or something else. No specific method has been established.

"I'd like to see some specific input into this one," Watson said.

The fifth priority addresses public awareness and education. This would seek to make as many people as possible aware of the simple steps it takes to be better prepared to deal with earthquake damage.

The city's Emergency Management Advisory Committee will use the public input from Wednesday's meeting to determine how much Project Impact money should be allocated to each priority.

What: Project Impact presentation

Purpose: Gain public input for the city's disaster preparation

When: 6 to 8 p.m. May 24

Where: Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center


- emergency systems in the schools

- flooding

- water supply

- animal shelter

- earthquakes/other hazards


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