As part of its mission to protect lives, property and the future, the Lower Loup Natural Resources District has started work on an update to its Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). Hazard mitigation plans, like the one approved for the LLNRD in 2012, identify where vulnerabilities to natural disasters such as flood, drought, earthquake, wildfire, winter storm, tornado/high wind storm, or dam failure might exist. The plan covers the NRD as well as participating communities, counties, or districts. It sets goals, establishes mitigation alternatives, and prioritizes projects which may alleviate potential damages to property and provide protection when future disasters occur.
Participation in the HMP makes each entity eligible for up to a 75% cost-share for a wide variety of projects listed in the plan. Hazard mitigation plans are required to be updated on a five-year cycle and the LLNRD’s HMP will expire in 2017. Each potential participant in the plan will receive an invitation to take part in the update in the coming weeks.
Hazard mitigation plans are a requirement of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A hazard mitigation plan is a publicly-guided document and the representatives of each community, county, or district will be able to offer input.
This planning effort is being guided by a team consisting of representatives from the NRD; county emergency management; Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR); and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Public input will be gathered throughout the duration of the plan development through online tools and public meetings. All communities, counties, school districts, and taxing authorities within the NRD are eligible to participate.
For every $1 spent on hazard mitigation, $4 in post-storm cleanup and rebuilding is saved, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Proactive hazard mitigation planning allows a community to take actions to reduce or eliminate threats from natural and man-made disasters.
The NRD has hired JEO Consulting Group, Inc. (JEO) to assist with the plan development over the next 12 to 18 months. This hazard mitigation plan update is funded by a FEMA planning grant. The cost is shared 75% through federal funding and 25% through a local match. For this plan update, the NRD is providing the 25% local match.