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Ex-FEMA chief says Arkansas should prepare for quakes

by The Associated Press | March 15, 2011 at 4:49 p.m.

Former Federal Emergency Management Agency director James Lee Witt is urging Arkansans to better prepare for major earthquakes in light of the natural disaster that’s ravaging Japan.

Witt made the comments at a rotary club gathering in downtown Little Rock on Tuesday.

He says that people in Arkansas need to make sure that the state’s bridges, schools and nursing homes are capable of withstanding earthquakes, especially with a rash of quakes hitting the towns of Greenbrier and Guy and the presence of the New Madrid Fault in northeast Arkansas, where seismologists say a major quake could occur any time.

President Bill Clinton appointed Witt to head FEMA in 1993. He’s now considered one of the nation’s go-to guys for disaster response.

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