In an effort to reduce the Nation's mounting natural disaster losses, Congress passed the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. Part of the Act requires that state and local governments develop a hazard mitigation plan in order to remain eligible for pre- and post-disaster mitigation funding. Communities with an adopted and federally approved hazard mitigation plan are eligible for available mitigation funds before and after a disaster strikes. The plan must be updated on a 5-year basis or after major disasters.
The region’s plan update is currently being prepared and updated in coordination with FEMA and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to ensure it meets all applicable state and federal mitigation planning requirements. The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission is leading the project and has contracted with Salter’s Creek Consulting for the planning activities.
The planning activities began this week with workshop meetings being held across the region. Due to the large number of communities and the geographic area covered, there are choices of three locations for each meeting. Interested public and stakeholders only need to attend one meeting for each purpose. This week’s workshops introduced Hazard ID and Risk Assessment (For a list of times and locations for this week and future workshops, consult the HRPDC website calendar HERE). In November, the second group of workshops, and probably most important of the workshops, are expected to establish goals and update capabilities. The final workshops in December will identify mitigation actions. In early 2016, a draft mitigation action plan will be shared with participants via a webinar.
As mentioned these workshops are open to the public and will be working meetings for each community’s hazard mitigation planning committee and stakeholders who will contribute the most valuable knowledge and advice to the process. At a minimum the group should include personnel from communities’ planning, codes compliance, emergency management, utilities, public information and engineering departments. However, input is needed from stakeholders in areas such as parks & recreation, school systems, finance, manager/administration/elected officials, fire and police leaders, GIS, public health, housing/community development, local hospitals and colleges or universities, environmental groups, American Red Cross, CERT members, economic development, homeowner’s associations/clubs and risk management. The region’s utilities, governmental organizations, as well as state and Federal agencies are also invited to participate.
For more information, contact John Sadler, HRPDC Emergency Management Administrator at 757-420-8300.