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In the past 10 years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has spent $20 billion to help communities repair and rebuild after natural disasters. And that is only a fraction of the total cost-insurance companies spent additional billions in claims payments; businesses lost revenues; employees lost jobs; and other government agencies spent millions more. Worst of all, however, is the loss that can never be recovered: human life.

The increasing number and severity of natural disasters over the past decade demands that action be taken to reduce the threat that hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, floods and fires impose upon the nation's economy and the safety of its citizens. With Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities, FEMA is changing the way America deals with disasters. Project Impact helps communities protect themselves from the devastating effects of natural disasters by taking actions that dramatically reduce disruption and loss.

Project Impact operates on a common-sense damage-reduction approach, basing its work and planning on three simple principles: preventive actions must be decided at the local level; private sector participation is vital; and long-term efforts and investments in prevention measures are essential. In 1997, FEMA partnered with seven pilot communities across the country and was encouraged by the benefits seen and the determined commitment that flourished at the local level. Project Impact quickly became a nationwide initiative as more communities began to see the value in disaster planning and mitigation. Today there are nearly 250 Project Impact communities, as well as more than 2,500 businesses that have joined as Project Impact partners.

Evansville and Vanderburgh County in conjunction with Posey, Warrick, Gibson, and Spencer Counties make up the  Southwestern Indiana Disaster Resistant Community Corporation, The first Project Impact Community in the State of Indiana.