The Lower Platte North Natural Resources District (NRD) is leading the process of updating a plan which focuses on the reduction or elimination of impacts resulting from natural and manmade hazards throughout the District. Having an approved and updated Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) in place is a requirement of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for communities, counties, school districts and other groups to qualify for several types of hazard mitigation funding opportunities, including 75% federal cost-sharing under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The current Hazard Mitigation Plan originally developed in 2010 is up for an update due every five years, as required by FEMA.
Hazard mitigation planning includes working with participating communities, the NRD, and other agencies to prioritize and complete projects designed to make communities safer and ease potential damage from disasters. According to FEMA, every dollar spent on hazard mitigation planning results in a four-dollar savings on post-disaster cleanup and rebuilding. JEO Consulting Group, Inc. assisted with development of the original plan and will also help with the updating process, funded by a FEMA planning grant. The planning team leading this update consists of representatives from the NRD; regional and county emergency management agencies; community representatives from Wahoo, Schuyler, and Platte Center; Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR); and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The Lower Platte North NRD began its update of the regional hazard mitigation plan in September 2013. Communities met in January and February 2014 to provide input and relay community-specific data related to exposure and vulnerabilities within their communities. Participating jurisdictions met again in October 2014 to discuss the risk assessment and identified projects and strategies to reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards.
The Lower Platte North NRD Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan has since been reviewed by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and has received approval.