(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of aritcles on the development of an emergency plan for the county.)
This past year was an important one for the safety of the community, according to Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller, who recently reported on the emergency planning accomplishments for 2010.
“On March 23, 2010, the first planning meeting for the Barton County Hazard Mitigation Plan was held. The purpose of a Hazard Mitigation Plan is to guide hazard mitigation to better protect the people and property of Barton County. Having an approved plan makes plan participants eligible to receive both pre and post disaster funding and projects. Without an approved plan there is a potential to lose funding.”
The hazard plan isn’t only intended for the county departments, Miller added.
She explained that it also involves cities, townships and school districts, as planning partners.
Non-governmental groups are involved too.
Miller, as the risk manager serves as the plan administrator and each participating jurisdiction is represented on the planning committee.
With the help of these units, the process of developing a Hazard Mitigation Plan includes:
• Identifying hazards
• Assessing the impact of the hazards on people and property
• Identifying the location and the extent of hazard areas
• Identifying assets that are at risk
• Identifying actions and projects for hazards
• Making a draft plan available for public review and comment.
Federal and state funding helped make the plan possible, Miller added. “Development of the plan was funded with a grant award of $40,500 from Federal Emergency Management Agency and $13,500 from the state of Kansas. Although a contractor provided guidance in the creation of the plan, local government entities provided information and oversight during the plan development.”
“The plan is currently being reviewed and once approved will be forwarded to FEMA for review and comment. Upon final approval by FEMA, Barton County and all other participating entities must officially adopt the plan. The plan will need to be reviewed and updated five years after its approval,” Miller explained.