In accordance with the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, since amended by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, local governments are required to develop a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved hazard mitigation plan as a condition to be eligible to receive funding for mitigation projects. Local hazard mitigation planning involves the inventorying of community resources, identifying and assessing hazards that have potential to negatively impact the region and determining how to best minimize or manage risks associated with identified hazards.
Hazard mitigation plans are reviewed and updated on a five year cycle. As part of the process, regional and local mitigation goals and strategies are reexamined and new ones created. This is in an effort to better define potential mitigation projects on the regional and local levels. The planning process itself involves input from the public, safety officials, representatives from local governments and other community stakeholders. By being proactive and putting mitigation measures into place, risk to life and property can be reduced and thus creating a safer and more disaster-resilient community.
The Southside Planning District Commission (SPDC) was recently awarded funds from FEMA and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to conduct a comprehensive review and update of the 2013 Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. This process will include updating data related to the historical occurrences of hazards and their location, impact, and financial losses. Additionally, mitigation goals and strategies will be reviewed, updated and prioritized in an effort to identify and push for projects that will ultimately reduce risk to future damages.
A kickoff meeting that included representatives from the SPDC, VDEM, DCR, numerous local jurisdictions, and other community stakeholders was held on August 2, 2018. This meeting provided an overview of the update process as well as a look at several funding opportunities for future mitigation projects.
While there will be ample opportunity for the public to provide input and feedback at future meetings, comments on the current plan can be provided at any time. The 2013 version of the plan is provided online (see above) and a hard copy can be reviewed at the SPDC office during regular business hours. Should you have any feedback that you wish to share or just have a general question, please contact Chad Neese at (434) 447-7101, ext. 211 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.