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Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Meeting to be held April 25
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The Kansas Division of Emergency Management will be hosting a Regional Mitigation Plan Kickoff Meeting at 1 p.m. on April 25, in the Stafford County Annex Building, 201 E. 3rd St., St. John. Entities, including school districts, municipalities, special districts, and certain non-profits, within Barton County have been invited to attend the meeting. Interested individuals are also invited to attend the meeting to learn more about the plan and the planning process.
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 mitigation funding. The plan will be developed as a Regional Jurisdictional Mitigation Plan for Barton County, and will also include Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Kiowa, Pawnee, Pratt and Stafford Counties. In addition, not only will each county government be represented but also local governments within each county with taxing authority, such as cities, townships and school districts, are planning partners. Also, Non-Government Organizations, Private Non Profits and Rural Electric Cooperatives may be eligible for grant funding if they are in a jurisdiction with an approved plan and their project is consistent with the plan’s goals and objectives.  
Mitigation Plans form the foundation for a jurisdiction’s long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. The planning process is as important as the plan itself. It creates a group of planning partners that work together to develop a strategy and plan that will reduce damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters. Hazard mitigation is a sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and their property from hazards.
The process to develop a Hazard Mitigation Plan includes: 1) Identifying hazards; 2) Assessing the impact of the hazards on people and property; 3) Identifying the location and the extent of hazard areas; 4) Identifying assets that are at risk; 5) Identify actions and projects for hazards; 6) Make a draft plan available for public review and comment; 7) Submit the plan for approval to the State of Kansas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and 8) All participants adopt the plan.
With this new regional plan concept the plan will be written by the State of Kansas and its contract employees with information provided from all of the plan participants.  
Individuals may contact Amy Miller, Emergency Management Director, at 620-793-1919 or by email at for more information concerning the meeting.