Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan
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.
Emergency Operations Plans (EOP)
The Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Services and Disaster Laws of 2000 (§44-146.13 et al) requires that each locality in the state develop and maintain a current Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) in order to be prepared for a variety of emergencies or hazards that may occur. This is based on the findings that planned-for and coordinated response on the part of local officials in support of in-the-field emergecy responders can save lives, protect property, and more quickly restore essential services. This plan is to be updated every four years. The EOP includes a concept of operations; assigns emergency service functions, duties, and responsibilities to County officials, departments, and agencies; and includes support branch annexes that explain general terms how the County will organize and conduct emergency response operations in the event of an emergency/disaster. The SPDC has assisted Mecklenburg County with updating their plan (adopted in October 2021) and is currently working with Brunswick and Halifax counties on their respective updates.
Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP)
A Continuity of Operations Plan essentially is utilized to address how critical operations and services of the locality will continue under a broad range of circumstances (emergencies, hazards, pandemics, etc.). This is accomplished by identifying: the essential functions of the County; the personnel, resources, systems, and data needed to carry out those functions, any manual workarounds for processes that are typically automated, where staff goes to perform their essential functions if their office is damage or otherwise unusable, and how to return to normal operations. Essential functions are broken into various tiers based on priority level (critical, vital, necessary, desirable, and low priority) to better allocate resources while pursuing acceptable recovery times. The SPDC is in the process of working with the counties of Brunswick, Halifax, and Mecklenburg to create a new COOP for each one.