What is Mitigation Planning?
Mitigation Planning is an ongoing effort by local officials to reduce the impact natural disasters have on people and property through damage prevention. Over the past decade, emergency managers have altered their approach to disaster response and recovery due to the rising cost of natural disasters. Emergency managers no longer approach natural disasters with the sole thought of how to recover from a disaster. Instead, emergency managers stress the importance of pre-disaster or ongoing risk analysis in order to lessen the impact communities sustain from a disaster. Like any other region, the seven counties that comprise the CMPDD’s area are vulnerable to many different types of natural disasters. These disasters, which include winter storms, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, dam/levee failures, wildfires, and thunderstorms, can have substantial human, economic and environmental consequences.
Why is it important to have a Hazard Mitigation Plan?
The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires communities to have an approved hazard mitigation plan in place to qualify for certain federal funding programs. Federal regulations also require that a plan must be updated every five years.
How is CMPDD involved?
In an effort to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from natural hazards, the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District began working with local jurisdictions in our region in 2005 to develop Hazard Mitigation Plans. Each plan, identifies natural hazards that threaten the area, characterizes each jurisdictions vulnerability to those hazards, and outlines an action plan of projects that can be implemented to reduce the identified risks. CMPDD completed the first five-year update for each plan in 2011.
Since the implementation of Hazard Mitigation Plans in 2005, many local jurisdictions have taken significant strides to protect the safety and welfare of its residents by implementing strategies outlined in their Mitigation Plan. This has included purchasing emergency generators for critical facilities, implementing drainage improvement projects, building community shelters, and improving emergency warning capabilities.
What are the current mitigation planning efforts?
CMPDD has recently completed five-year updates for 27 Individual or Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plans for communities in the CMPDD area. CMPDD is currently working with Mississippi State University to develop revised Hazard Mitigation Plans as part of its next five-year update. Beginning in Summer 2019 and continuing through 2021, CMPDD will reach out to our communities regarding the next five-year updates.
How can you get involved in the planning process?
Public participation is very important to the hazard mitigation planning process, and CMPDD is seeking involvement from mitigation stakeholders and the general public to participate in the planning process to update various Hazard Mitigation Plans for communities in Central Mississippi. As with any mitigation planning process, open public involvement is essential to the development of an effective comprehensive plan. For more information concerning the mitigation planning process underway for any of the communities listed above or to find out how you can be involved in the process contact Gray Ouzts at (601) 981-1511.
For additional information, please contact Gray Ouzts at (601) 981-1511.