Region 23 is leading the process of updating a plan which focuses on the reduction or elimination of impacts resulting from natural and man-made hazards throughout the region. 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 due for an update every five years, as required by FEMA.
Hazard mitigation planning includes working with participating communities, the Emergency Management Region 23, 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. The planning team leading the update consists of representatives from the Emergency Management Region 23; Sheridan County; Upper Niobrara White NRD; representatives from Alliance and Chadron; as well as representatives from NEMA, NDNR, and the Nebraska Forestry Service.
The Region 23 Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update process began in September 2013 with a project kick-off meeting. Two rounds of public meetings were held; the first round of meetings, focused on hazard identification and risk assessment, were in January 2014, and the second round of meetings, focused on project identification, occurred in June 2014.
The multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan has since been updated and is now open for review and comment from the participating communities. Sections of the Region 23 Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update can be downloaded from the links below. Hard copies of the plan may also be requested through participating jurisdictions.
The draft plan was open for public review and comment until October 17, 2014. Then once necessary adjustments are made, the updated hazard mitigation plan will be submitted to the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for review and approval.
Mitigation Minute: Mitigation Grant Opportunities
FEMA recently released information regarding the appropriations for the 2014 Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program and the 2014 Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant Program. Communities wishing to submit grants under these programs will need to have applications completed and submitted by June 9, 2014.
The PDM Grant Program provides resources to assist states, tribal governments, territories and local communities to reduce overall risk to the population and structures from future hazard events, while also reducing the reliance on federal funding from future disasters. For 2014 the PDM Grant Program received $23M to fund plans and projects across the United States. All 50 states and six US territories will receive a base amount of $250,000 with the balance of the funds being distributed on a competitive basis.
The FMA Grant Program provides resources to assist state, tribal governments, territories and local communities in their efforts to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damages to buildings and structures insurable under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For 2014 the FMA Grant Program received $89M. The FMA has set the following project priorities: 1) Flood Mitigation Planning; 2) Projects to address Severe Repetitive Loss properties; and 3) Projects to address Repetitive Loss properties. FMA funds will be distributed on a competitive basis.
To apply for either grant go to the eGrant system on the FEMA Grants Portal at: https://portal.fema.gov. Applications must be completed and submitted for review by NEMA/NDNR by JUNE 9, 2014. For information related to the PDM Grant Program contact Mary Baker, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, at 402.471.7185 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information related to the FMA Grant Program contact Mitch Paine, Flood Mitigation Planning Coordinator, at 402.471.9252 or by email at email@example.com.