Opinion

Take measures now to reduce losses the next time

reduce losses Floods and windstorms hurt Washington State residents and businesses in late 1995. Much of the damage that resulted was preventable.
   While we can't change the past, now is the time to take action to prevent future suffering.
   Individuals, communities, county and state officials all have an obligation to think about mitigation measures now, in an effort to reduce losses the next time.
   With 19 counties now listed under the recent Presidential Disaster Declaration, there is a small amount of money available for mitigation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
   Does mitigation work? Ask the people who followed the new flood plain management rules and codes who found themselves dry after the last flood. Then talk to the people who were flooded out.
   Or ask the people in other parts of the state, where electric wires were put underground as a mitigation measure, how often their power goes out when the wind blows.
   Mitigation works.
   If you were affected by the 1995 floods or windstorms, call 1-800-462-9029 to register for assistance.
   Mitigation information is offered as part of the assistance that is available.

Chuck Steele, Director, FEMA Region 10 Mitigation Division