In April 2014, the Counties of Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem initiated a project to update four Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plans that were approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2010 and 2011. The hazard mitigation plan update effort was led by the respective Offices of Emergency Management for the four counties with the assistance of Stuart Wallace, LLC, mitigation planning consultants.
Draft documents were submitted to FEMA in 2015 and FEMA issued approvals for all four counties and the participating municipalities in 2016. The updated plan will be valid until 2021.
Direct participation in the project was open to all County departments, as well as all incorporated municipalities and recognized government entities within these four counties. In addition, opportunities for participation by the public and interested parties were provided.
Important terms related to this project include:
- Hazards cause loss of life or injuries, property damage, and economic hardship. The hazard mitigation plan update addressed a range of natural hazards including flooding, high winds, severe winter weather and dam failures.
- Hazard mitigation reduces or eliminates risk of death, injury, or damage to private or public property potentially caused by hazards.
- Hazard mitigation plans evaluate potential risk factors and identify hazard mitigation measures to directly address identified risks.
- Hazard mitigation measures include activities, programs, or projects such as improving public awareness about hazard risk and mitigation; improving regulations and codes that lead to safer structures; and construction projects to directly reduce potential impacts of hazards.
Hazard mitigation plans are required by FEMA to establish and maintain eligibility for federal hazard mitigation project grants that in turn can help communities implement measures to reduce risk. More information is available at the following FEMA website: http://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-planning-overview.
Key milestones in the project included:
- Kick-off Meetings with Municipal OEM Coordinators for all four counties to review the planning process and initiate working with participating municipalities.
- Updating the risk assessment from the previous hazard mitigation plans.
- Working sessions with participating communities:
- Round 1 to review specific municipal risks and concerns, and identify potential risk reduction mitigation measures.
- Round 2 to review a preliminary draft of the updated hazard mitigation plans.
- Review of a draft Plan by the participating municipalities, the general public, and any interested parties.
- FEMA’s approval of the updated hazard mitigation plans.
Public meetings were also part of the planning process to solicit public comment and present a draft updated hazard mitigation plan to local officials, residents, businesses, and other interested parties.
The county, municipalities, and interested parties contributed their time and expertise in making sure the updated hazard mitigation plans addressed issues that are most important to the region’s residents, businesses, and property owners.
If you have questions or would like to be involved during the implementation of the plan, please Contact Us.