The Duncan Banner

Local News

March 14, 2013

Mitigation Plan altered before FEMA review


What is Mitigation?
Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation is taking action now — before the next disaster — to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk, insuring against risk). Effective mitigation means making sure everyone understands local risks, deal with the hard choices, and invest in long-term community well-being. FEMA notes that without mitigation actions, the public’s safety, financial security and self-reliance is jeopardized.



The Mitigation Plan for the City of Duncan is evolving into something that will be more easily identifiable to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
During Thursday’s mitigation meeting, about 15 city and county officials reviewed the items they chose to remove from the Mitigation Plan, marked as completed or noted as ongoing at the previous meeting, held Jan. 23.
Steve Somerlott, with Hazard Mitigation Specialists LLC, led the meeting to recap the actions taken on the Mitigation Plan and to specify why certain actions were taken. Somerlott was joined by Charlie Balthrop with the State Emergency Management. Balthrop elaborated on some of the discussion items brought before the community leaders.
“We’re just trying to get the plan in a condition we think FEMA will approve it,” Balthrop said. “We deal with natural hazards. You can put anything in the plan you think you need to, but we can’t look at some of it.”
The city’s Mitigation Plan is being streamlined so the remaining projects can be added to Stephens County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Thursday’s meeting was about updating the projects and changing wording to make the projects more attractive to FEMA. Somerlott and Balthrop said FEMA avoids looking at anything that doesn’t fall under the realm of natural hazards.
For instance, structure fires are not considered natural hazards.

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