Final public meeting on the county Hazard Mitigation Plan 

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GREENVILLE – On Thursday afternoon and evening, government entities from around the county joined Burton Planning Services to assess the county’s needs and update the Hazard Mitigation Plan. 

FEMA requires the Hazard Mitigation Plan to be updated every five years so the county can continue receiving project funding. The previous plan was created in 2019, right before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

FEMA requires the Hazard Mitigation Plan to be adopted by local jurisdictions, public participation, include conditions and demographics, major disasters, risk assessments, mitigation actions and identified plan maintenance and update every five years. 

This plan’s purpose is to take sustained action to reduce potential loss, provide solutions to what-if questions, and establish a process for implementing it when a hazard occurs. 

The meeting mentioned the disaster response cycle, which starts with Mitigation and then goes on to Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. The meetings with Burton Planning are to complete the Mitigation step of the cycle. 

They go through various hazard categories, including dam and levee failure, drought, earthquake, epidemic, extreme temperatures, flooding, hazardous materials, landslide and land subsidence, public safety, severe summer weather, severe winter weather, wildfire, and tornado. Government entities from cities, villages, towns, townships, and the county rate the importance of various scenarios under these hazard categories on whether they apply to their jurisdiction, are cost-effective, technically feasible, environmentally sound, an immediate need, and risk reductions. 

By gathering as many entities as possible to participate in the process, Burton Planning and Darke County EMA are able to determine what mitigation actions are relevant to each community here in Darke County. This lets communities prioritize what is important to their specific area. 

The top areas of concern across the county were tornadoes, flooding, severe summer weather, drought, and severe winter weather. Given the recent storms and tornadoes, it’s unsurprising that these categories were at the forefront of everyone’s minds. 

Burton Planning takes all the information that the county has given them, organizes and compiles it, and then drafts the new Hazard Mitigation plan for the Darke County EMA to review. After EMA reviews it, the county, townships, towns, villages, and cities review it. The plan is then adopted within October or November, and then a final submission is sent to FEMA for approval by December. 

Until the plan is sent to FEMA in December, it is considered a living document. This means that the plan can be changed and updated until the final draft has been sent in. 

The Darke County EMA will share the draft of the Hazard Mitigation Plan so that the public can submit information and they can edit and update the plan before the final submission. They want to make sure all voices are heard so the plan that is made accurately serves everyone in Darke County. 

To get more information on the Hazard Mitigation plan or to see the 2019 plan, you can visit Darke County EMA’s website, or you can visit Burton Planning Services Darke County website.