Hazard Mitigation Plan to be updated this year

For every $1 spent on hazard mitigation, $4 in post storm cleanup and rebuilding is saved, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Proactive hazard mitigation planning allows a community to take actions to reduce or eliminate threats from natural disasters. To help guide future hazard mitigation projects, the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) is updating their current Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Hazard mitigation plans (HMP) are a requirement of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, administered by FEMA, and once a community, county, or district is part of an approved plan they become eligible for up to a 75% cost share for a wide variety of projects listed in the plan. Hazard Mitigation Plans are required to be updated on a five-year cycle and the LENRD’s HMP is required to be updated in 2019.

A hazard mitigation plan is a publicly-guided document that identifies vulnerability to natural disasters such as flood, drought, earthquake, wildfire, winter storm, tornado/high wind storm, dam failure, etc. The plan sets goals, establishes mitigation alternatives, and prioritizes projects which may alleviate potential damages to property and provide protection when future disasters occur.

The planning effort to update the plans across the 15-county district are being guided by a Planning Team consisting of representatives from the LENRD, Counties, the Cities, several schools, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR), and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Public input will be gathered throughout the duration of the plan development through online tools and public meetings. All communities, Counties, Sanitary Improvement Districts, Tribal Nations, and School Districts within the LENRD are eligible to participate.

The LENRD hired JEO Consulting Group, Inc. (JEO) to assist with the plan development this year.  JEO assisted in completing the LENRD’s original and current Hazard Mitigation Plan, in 2009 and 2014.  This hazard mitigation plan update is funded by a FEMA planning grant.  The cost is shared 75% through federal funding and 25% through a local match.  For this plan update, the LENRD provided the 25% local match.

For more information on the Hazard Mitigation Plan, contact LENRD Projects Manager, Curt Becker.