FEMA Is Also in the Prevention Business

Agency funds preparation projects; some scientists want to see more
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2009 2:03 PM CST
An overturned car rests near a mobile home destroyed by a tornado near Niangua, Mo., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008. A woman living in a nearby trailer was killed in the storm.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
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(Newser) – FEMA may be best known for its response in times of crisis, but it also tries to provide help before disaster strikes, NPR reports. In the tiny Missouri hamlet of Niangua, a tornado shelter mostly funded by the agency will soon be able to house the entire town—a relief for citizens who have seen eight natural disasters in just a couple of years.

Disaster-mitigation specialists herald this type of project, but many say that FEMA hasn't done nearly enough in the direction of prevention. One expert says he hopes the new administration will restore funding to the preparedness programs.