This report, America at Risk, builds on the meetings of America Burning, Recommissioned, and is based on statements, discussions and recommendations that were issued on May 3rd by the Commission as the "Principal Findings and Recommendations". One hundred years ago, American cities faced a devastating challenge from the threat of urban fires. Whole cities had become the victims of these events. Entire neighborhoods lived with the very real threat that an ignited fire would take everything, including their lives. Today, the threat of fires is still with us. But we have done a lot to address the risk, minimize the incidence and severity of losses, and prevent fires from spreading. Our states and localities have an improving system of codes and standards; most of us are aware of the risks; our communities have everyday heroes who provide the first response to emergency calls; some of our homes and buildings have alarms or sprinkler systems; and our water distribution system for fire suppression stretches further than many imagined in 1900. We have accomplished a lot, but we have much more to do. Our community fire departments and firefighters are at the vanguard of the long-term effort to address our fire risks. Not only are they the first responders to fire and other natural and man-made disasters, but also they have been strong advocates of effective codes and standards; they visited our schools and neighborhoods with educational material on fire risks, and they have put their lives on the line countless times. They will continue to do so. There is ample proof that the word hero is a correct attribute of our Nation's firefighters. As this report very clearly indicates, the success of America's fire services over the past 100 years is instructive for the strength and sustainability of America's communities for the next 100 years as well. Today, we must not only continue and reinvigorate our successes, but also expand them to include the natural and man-made threats that each of our counties, cities, towns and villages face every day - floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, hazardous material spills, highway accidents, acts of terrorism, and so much more. As the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities has shown, community-based partnerships among local government, public safety services, businesses and residents will provide us the best set of priorities and implementation strategies, as well as the longest lasting commitments with respect to disaster prevention. That is why FEMA and national fire service organizations have formed a Project Impact partnership to support communities' efforts to become disaster resistant. Project Impact depends on our first responders, our neighborhood fire departments, and without them, our communities would all be more vulnerable to disaster losses.