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Project Impact & Seattle

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  • Project Impact & Seattle

    I love all the FEMA press saying how much Project Impact saved...

    Let's take it by the numbers:
    Quake Damage: $2,000,000,000 (billion)
    Greater Seattle population: 3,000,000
    Amount spent by Project Impact: $1,000,000
    Savings? "FEMA has estimated that for every dollar spent in damage prevention, $2 are saved in repairs." (http://www.firefighting.com/default.asp?GoTo=namID1702)
    So that means we saved two million dollars, or 1/10 of 1% of quake damage.

    Part of the money went to upgrading 260 private homes -- let's see, that's at best 1 of every 3,0000 residents.

    [b]"Seattle’s quake measured 6.8, compared to the one in India last month that hit 7.3.
    There was a single death from a heart attack in Seattle versus thousands dead in India."[/b
    Duh. Earthquake scales are logarithmic -- a 7.3 is nearly 5 times the power of a 6.8! That's a big difference!

    "A perfect example is what happened, or didn’t happen, at Stevens Elementary School on Wednesday. As part of Project Impact, workers drained and secured an old 300-gallon water tank in the school
    The tank ripped open during the quake.
    “That’s 300 gallons of water that would have cascaded down on children and probably injured some of them,” Mullen said."

    Sorry folks, it doesn't take federal money to do, and shouldn't FEMA telling you, that you tell your maintenance staff to remove equipment no longer in use, especially suspended equipment that may fall! It's called common sense.

    Federal money shouldn't be spent on feel good pork for areas. Want to research and develop good and better ways for people to retrofit? Great. Want to spread the word and tell the communities what is will take? Great. Give local governments incentives to adopt and enforce better codes? It's stretching the limits of federalism, but it's still a wise expenditure.

    Well, I guess from FEMA's perspective spending less than the cost of a single postage stamp per capita in the affected area, then get to claim credit for really reducing the damage is a good investment in PR. It's not a good investment in public safety or disaster preparedness.

    [This message has been edited by Dalmatian90 (edited 03-06-2001).]

  • #2
    Way to go Dal! I love it when you guys dig up this stuff.

    The other thing they didn't tell you is that while $1,000,000 went to Seattle, how much "stayed" in Wash. Fed programs generally are terrible about the amount wasted to "administrative overhead".

    They did the same thing in Oklahoma. Funding for "safe rooms" (steel boxes meant to survive a tornado). Common sense says they'll save lives. Builder's sense says it's cheaper to add to new construction than to "remodel". Builder's Square and Sutherland's Lumber have them prominently displayed at the front door --- and can't sell them, despite half a mil worth of PSAs.

    But one family was saved by one recently, and it was big news locally. One problem. The family had recently built a new house - and added the safe room at THE BUILDER'S suggestion. BEFORE a single PSA aired! Yet the news was all about how the PSAs had saved a life (not the safe room, the PSA for the safe room!)

    Kinda like Clinton claiming credit for the recovery that started a year and a half before he was elected, huh.


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