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January 27, 2000

Governor Announces Awards For IEMA IMAG

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today commended the Illinois Interagency Mitigation Advisory Group for being chosen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to receive an Outstanding Public Service Award for their work in accomplishing risk reduction and prevention activities throughout the state.

The IMAG is one of nine recipients of the first Outstanding Public Service Awards presented by FEMA. The awards, which were presented at a ceremony today in Washington, D.C., highlight partnerships that are making Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities such a successful national prevention initiative.

"The State of Illinois is not only committed to effective response and recovery when disaster strikes, but we are also committed to mitigation and preparedness to lessen the effects of natural disasters," said Governor Ryan.

The IMAG was established in 1993 to review, evaluate, prioritize and recommend mitigation projects for funding. Since its inception, the group has acquired more than 3,000 structures, turning private floodplain property into public open space, wetlands, parks and recreational land. The IMAG's efforts save taxpayers at least $2 for every $1 spent.

"The awards are our way of thanking those influential individuals who have done so much to promote the concept of risk reduction in the past year," said FEMA Director James Lee Witt. "Without these people and their organizations, disasters would have a more severe impact across this nation and wreak greater havoc."

The IMAG's core members are the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), FEMA, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA), the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Water Resources, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) and the American Red Cross. Stewart Schrodt of DCCA currently is the chairman of the core group.

Three members of the IMAG will travel to Washington, D.C., to accept the Outstanding Public Service Award: Jan Horton, manager of IEMA's mitigation program, Mark Gauss from DCCA, and Ann Haaker from IHPA.


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