"Since each hurricane has its own personality with varying characteristics, having information describing [so many] different storms represents a tremendous opportunity to improve our understanding of how hurricanes develop, change, and move," said the lead mission scientist, Robbie Hood, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "Although these opportunities don't provide immediate comfort to those who directly experienced this season's devastating storm, the wealth of information collected by all the agencies will lead to better hurricane forecast capabilities in the future," she added.

FEMA Provides Help Before, During, and After the Storm

Hurricanes can be dangerous killers. But, learning warning signs and preparation measures can reduce the chances of injury and property damage. So, while NOAA, NASA, and their WMO, AMS, academic, and private sector partners move forward in hurricane prediction, FEMA is on the ground helping citizens prepare for these and other unstoppable natural disasters. By educating the public before disaster strikes, and aiding those in need afterward, FEMA helps prevent emergencies, injuries, death, and destruction.

Preparation and Prevention: Project Impact

The increasing number and severity of natural disasters over the past decade prompted FEMA to take unprecedented steps to change the way America deals with disasters. In 1997, the agency started Project Impact - Building Disaster Resistant Communities, to help communities reduce their risks of damage and injury by taking actions before disaster strikes.





The initiative began with seven pilot communities, including hurricane-vulnerable Deerfield Beach, Florida, Wilmington, North Carolina, and Pascagoula, Mississippi. Today, more than 200 communities across the nation are part of Project Impact, along with 2,500 business partners. And, already, success is evident.

Homes elevated and strengthened in North Carolina were spared damage from Hurricane Floyd's strong winds and storm surge, while homes elevated in New Jersey were spared the flooding that Floyd brought to inland areas. On New York's Long Island, business owners who had elevated their shops also found themselves above Floyd's floodwaters. And, while FEMA will never be able to abandon its response and recovery missions, Project Impact is lessening damage, quickening recoveries, and significantly reducing loss of life and property.

According to FEMA officials, Project Impact also is saving taxpayers money. Experience shows that for every dollar spent on prevention, two dollars are saved in Federal disaster recovery costs.

Huffing and Puffing Won't Blow this House Down!

Have you visited 113 Calhoun Street in Charleston, South Carolina? If not, you should because this house is proof that NOAA, FEMA, and their partners are making coastal homes safer in hurricanes.

Charleston's residents have many unpleasant memories of hurricane damage. But, this 125-year old wood frame house in the historic district has survived a severe earthquake, at least one fire, and a series of hurricanes, including Hugo. In fact, it is now being reborn as a "Center for Community Sustainability" to show homeowners ways to reduce their risks from hurricanes and earthquakes. Using old and new construction practices, renovators can learn to incorporate environmentally sound materials and building methods to make safe-house improvements.


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