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Project Impact plans for 2004

By By JOHN DILMORE JR. Publisher
Members of Project Impact Brewton met this past week to consider a number of disaster preparedness issues, with an eye toward setting the organization's course in the new year.
Project Impact is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) initiative that encourages preventive measures to lessen the impact of natural disasters.
Brewton Fire Chief Lawrence Weaver is head of Project Impact Brewton.
At last week's meeting, the group's first of 2004, a number of ideas dealing with natural disasters and other critical situations were discussed.
Among them were ways of warning downtown businesses of impending floods, flood-proofing buildings and even better ways of emergency responders locating private residences in the case of an emergency.
Many street addresses are difficult to see from the road, or at all, and this has at times created problems for first responders.
The issue of communications during an emergency was also discussed, and there appear to be several options for creating improvement in this area.
One is an intercom system that would allow direct contact with fire and police stations, which could conceivably be placed in schools, daycares, nursing homes or in the private homes of the handicapped.
From the ideas discussed -- and future ideas discussed at future meetings -- Project Impact members hope to choose the one most beneficial to Brewton, then focus all efforts on putting it in place.
With all ideas discussed, it was made clear that funding will have to be secured for any of them, and the hope is that grants can be secured once a particular idea is chosen and pursued.
It was also discussed that with any effort Project Impact undertakes, cooperation between people and agencies will be important.