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Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt will participate in a Census Day event at a Fairfax County fire station in Falls Church, Va., with the county's internationally renowned fire-rescue team on Thursday, March 30, at 10:30 a.m. EST.
Prewitt will emphasize the importance of Census 2000 long-form data and encourage all U.S. residents to mail back their census forms as quickly as possible. The event also will demonstrate how mailing back the census form improves local services.
Billions of dollars of federal, state and local funds will be spent on thousands of services throughout the country. How and where that money is spent depends in part on census data, including those derived from the long form. Virginia Task Force One is just one of those services. The task force, sponsored by the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department, is a national and international disaster response team located in the county. It is a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Disaster Response System which consists of 27 Task Forces strategically located around the United States.
Additionally, many 911 emergency systems are based on maps developed for the last census. Census information helps health providers predict the spread of disease through communities with children or elderly people. When floods, tornadoes or earthquakes hit, the census tells rescuers how many people will need their help. When Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida in 1992, census information aided the rescue effort by providing estimates of the number of people in each block.
Carrye Brown, U. S. fire administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, also will participate in the event.