Garfield County hazard mitigation plan underway
October 16, 2021
Garfield County is currently updating its regional multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) for 2022. HMPs are a requirement of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Once a community, county, or district is part of an approved plan, it becomes eligible for up to a 75 percent cost share for a wide variety of projects listed in the plan.
Public input is gathered throughout the duration of plan development through surveys, online tools, and public meetings. New surveys in English and Spanish are available for public engagement at garfield-county.com/emergency-management/natural-hazard-mitigation-plan/. Everyone is invited to join in providing their input to the survey questions.
All community officials, local fire districts, county stakeholders, and the public are encouraged to participate in this plan update process and provide local input on local hazards. According to FEMA and the Institute of National Building Scientists, for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation, a jurisdiction saves $6 on average in post-storm cleanup and rebuilding. HMPs are required to be updated on a five-year cycle by FEMA. Garfield County’s HMP was last updated in 2017.
A hazard mitigation plan is a publicly guided document that identifies vulnerability to a range of hazard types, such as flood, drought, landslide/rockfalls, wildfire, winter storms, hazardous materials, etc. The plan sets goals, establishes mitigation alternatives, and prioritizes projects, which may alleviate potential damages to property and provide protection when future disasters occur. Garfield County, municipalities, fire districts, and other special jurisdictions are eligible to participate in the HMP.
Garfield County has hired JEO Consulting Group, Inc. (JEO) to assist with the plan development over the next year. This hazard mitigation plan update is funded by a FEMA planning grant. The cost is shared 75 percent through federal funding and 25 percent through a local match. For this plan update, the county is providing the 25 percent local match by tracking in-kind labor.
For more information on this planning effort, contact the JEO project coordinator, Brooke Seachord, at 402-474-8741, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.